Complete this interest form if you are interested in joining the 2025 Activist Academy Leadership Program!

[Schedule, FAQs, honorarium $ info and more below]

What is the Activist Academy?

The Activist Academy leadership program is for individuals ready to take their activism to the n​ext level and grow as leaders in their communities.

This is a FREE in-person leadership program for individuals who want to learn about the climate justice movement and who are seeking to gain the skills to take action in combating climate change and fighting for environmental and social justice. Participants will gain fundamental campaign planning, community organizing skills, relationship building, and connection to peers and leaders with a shared interest.

Individuals with varying levels of experience in organizing and activism are welcome! Participants don’t need to be experienced activists or organizers to join. We welcome folks with a wide variety of experience and backgrounds. Additionally, we compensate participants $900 for being a part of our program. We provide this honorarium to ensure folks do not incur any financial burdens making accommodations to attend the sessions, transportation etc.


For decades, we have relied on institutions and agencies to protect us from harm. To keep us safe. We soon learned that only a few were protected and that others, predominantly BIPOC communities, have suffered the most harm from systemic racist institutions in our country. This looks different in each community. It can look like a lack of services or community investments, racial injustices, and toxic, polluted communities.

The Sierra Club recognizes that we cannot build a just and sustainable movement with only those who have historically made up our base. For us, that means using Sierra Club resources to support those most impacted by environmental injustice and multiple systems of oppression. For this reason, the Activist Academy is looking for majority Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and people from low-income and working-class backgrounds to take part in this program.

We value the knowledge and experiences BIPOC bring to our collective work as we look to ensure that our efforts reflect the needs of their communities.

Participants will have the autonomy to decide how to put their skills to practice. This could look like supporting movements and campaigns in the Sierra Club, partner organizations, their local communities to leading one of the future Activist Academy training programs and much, much more.

We are excited to welcome you, and co-create a home for your activism!



The Activist Academy leadership program is for individuals 18-35 years old who live in Los Angeles or Orange County.

If you are interested in getting more knowledge and leadership skills to get involved in your community and take action for Climate and Energy Justice, APPLY TODAY!

If you have questions, we invite you to visit this Activist Academy FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) GoogleDoc.*Participants of the 2024 Activist Academy program will be awarded an honorarium of $900 for transportation and other program-related expenses to avoid any potential burdens participants may incur for their time and participation in this leadership program.

2024 Activist Academy Course Curriculum + Schedule

Locations will be finalized soon!

Session #1: Introduction
Audubon Center at Debs Park
Saturday, March 16th 
9:00 am-  3:00 pm
[6 hours]
  • Establish a sense of shared purpose and a unifying story of us & now;
  • Begin to build relationships and trust;
  • Deepen understanding of our Guiding Principles and how we can embody them in practice;
  • Clarify expectations of what we’ll be doing together
Session # 2: 
What is Environmental and Climate Justice?
Los Angeles State Historic Park, Welcome Pavillion

Tuesday, March 26th,

6:00-9:00 pm
[3 hours]
  • Get to a shared understanding of the meaning of key terms: climate justice, systems of oppression, collective liberation, extractive economy;
  • Get to a shared understanding of the causes of climate change, its relationship to fossil fuels, energy, social and economic inequity;
  • Dig into the Climate Justice Alliance Just Transition Framework as a model for addressing climate justice. Share examples of projects and campaigns participants have seen that touch on one or more of these needed innovations
Session #3: 
Just Transition: Building a World Where All Thrive
Deane Dana Friendship Natural Area
April 9th
6:00-9:00 pm
[3 hours]
  • Dream together a world where we thrive and discuss the importance of envisioning and articulating our dreams for hopeful futures;
  • Learn the term “just transition” and explore what that could mean for our communities, and how it could play a role in bringing about the visions we each hold.
  • Review a few examples of just transition in LA
Session #4: Community Organizing
Deane Dana Friendship Natural Area
Saturday, April 13th
9:00-3:00 pm
[6 hours]
  • Get to a shared understanding of the meaning of community organizing, and shared excitement about being/becoming organizers;
  • Organizations and coalition-building
Session #5: Campaign Planning 101 + Advocacy Action teams
Patagonia Pasadena
Tuesday, April 23rd
5:30-9:00 pm
[3.5 hours]
  • Identify the principles and practices of a successful organizing campaign
  • Understand the three types of power (power over, power with, and power within)
  • Power Mapping
  • Deep dive into Sierra Club climate + energy campaigns
  • Staff will share an overview of their campaign strategic plans, tactics
  • Participants will begin to think about what campaigns they will be facilitating actions to support the goal of thse campaigns via actions.
Session #6: 
Art in Activism
Patagonia Pasadena
Tuesday, May 7th
6:00-9:00 pm
[3 hours]
  • Identify why a narrative is vital to organizing work (how to develop an effective personal narrative and campaign narrative)
  • Explore the role online tools and tactics can play in our volunteer engagement efforts
  • Provide resources for planning the use of online resources as a part of your engagement 
Session #7:
Collective Decision-Making in Activism and Generative Conflict
Lewis MacAdams Riverfront Park
Saturday, May 11th 
9:00 am-3:00 pm
[6 hours]
  • Foster an understanding for what equitable decision-making looks by introducing vocabulary (participation, trust, and transparency on teams) 
  • Explore and practice a basic toolkit of interpersonal conflict skills.
  • Deepen participant skills at navigating conflicts and how generative conflict involves diverse power dynamics: conflict work and equity-justice work are inextricable 
Session # 8: 
Collaborative working time for Advocacy Action Teams
Los Angeles State Historic Park, Welcome Pavillion
Tuesday, May 21st,
6:00-9:00 pm
[3 hours]
  • Time for Advocacy Action Teams to get 1:1 mentorship and support on campaign specific actions.
Session # 9: Advocacy Actions Share Out + Program Debrief  + What’s Next!

Los Angeles State Historic Park, Welcome Pavillion

Tuesday, June 4th
6:00-9:00 pm
[3 hours]
  • Advocacy  Action campaign teams will be introducing their actions. These will be campaign “tactics” that support the overall goals of campaigns (What, why, where, how etc.). Teams should be able to clearly articulate how their action helps achieve campaign goals, who the decision-makers are, the audience etc.
  • Debrief our experiences during the Activist Academy program
  • Discuss and share ideas and opportunities for staying connected and continuing meaningful work on our own and together.
Session #10:
Celebration and Culmination!
Audubon Center at Debs Park
June 7th
[3 hours] 
  • Culmination of the participants of the first cohort Activist Academy Program! Friends, family, and community partners are invited and welcomed.
  • Guest Speakers to include participants, and electeds 
  • This year we will also incorporate an actions corner where guests will learn about this cohort's upcoming advocacy actions, sign up, and promotion!

Meet our 2024 Trainers Team 



Meet the Inagural Cohort of the Activist Academy!

Angeles Chapter Activist Academy