Enacting African American Legislative Voice: A Program Design for the Recruitment and Development of African American Educational Lobbyists

Aaron J. Griffen


This paper builds on a previous study where the voices of African American educational lobbyists were examined and interpreted. Through describing how they interpret their acts of lobbying, tenets of Reverse Interest Convergence were found when lobbying for African American educational achievement. (Griffen, 2017) Furthermore, three specific recommendations were provided to fill the need for the specific recruitment and development of African American educational lobbyists: 1.Mentoring for African American Lobbyists; 2. Providing Legislative Process and Advocacy Courses in High School; and 3. Developing Internship Opportunities in Lobbying Fields of Choice for African Americans (p. 65). As a result of mentorship practices that successful lobbyists receive (Vance, 2012), these lobbyists’ discipleship will allow prospective lobbyists to experience the operational attributes, characteristics, and strategies one uses to become an effective lobbyist (McGrath, 2007; McGrath, 2006, Hall & Deardorff, 2006; and Milbrath, 1960). This study outlines how these newly developed African American educational lobbyists will gain access throughout the legislative process through, missionary works, where African Americans interests have historically been excluded for lacking knowledge of the legislative process, lacking coalitions and allies, lacking resources, and lacking the mobility to influence (Wolman & Thomas, 1970). To build upon the previous study, the following question is asked: How do African American educational lobbyists exercise and interpret their acts of lobbying? Through the continued examination and interpretation of the voices of African American educational lobbyists, four program approaches interpreted as Acts for a New Lobby describe a program design for the recruitment and development of African American educational lobbyists. The hope is that the development and design of such a program will result in grassroots and grass-tops partnerships that will mobilize communities, universities, and “Urban-Defined” school campuses, thus, developing and enacting African American legislative voice.

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