Summer Policy Institute 2021

SPI 2021 THEME:

Emerging Stronger: Building New Opportunities Post-Pandemic

July 22–31, 2021

The 2020 pandemic upended the lives of families and communities, worsened income and racial inequities, and showed the importance of strong public policy response to big issues. It also shifted the way that we think about work and our economy. As West Virginia and the country emerge from the crisis, we can build a stronger West Virginia that works to recover all that was lost, looks toward a brighter future, and is inclusive of all.


The Summer Policy Institute (SPI) is an annual event for college students and young people interested in bettering WV through policy change.

SPI brings together highly qualified traditional and non-traditional college students and young people to build policy knowledge, leadership skills, and networks. The convening is co-hosted by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy and the American Friends Service Committee.

Attendees participate in interactive sessions where they learn the basics of data, policy, and state government and build their organizing and advocacy skills. Throughout the convening, attendees work in small groups to identify and develop policy proposals to shape the future they want to see in West Virginia, culminating in team “policy pitches” to state legislators and policy professionals. Many SPI attendees have gone on to continue advocating for their policy idea and to hold internships with West Virginia non-profits and in state government.


Due to safety considerations, SPI 2021 will take place virtually via Zoom.

There will be live content on July 22, 23, and 24, and policy pitches will take place on July 31. During the week leading up to pitch day, participants will engage in the self-paced work of developing their policy proposals with their team members, as well as have opportunities to attend coaching hours and practice their policy pitches before they present to our judges.

There is no cost to attend, and college students can work with professors to receive course credit.

If you need accommodations to attend our virtual conference, including help with internet access, please reach out to Renee Alves at WVCBP: ralves@wvpolicy.org.

Applications are being accepted through April 30, 2021 via Eventbrite. Click the register button to apply.


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