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Clarke Prizes in Advocacy

Ryan and Leanne Clarke Prizes in Advocacy and Active Citizenship

What are The Clarke Prizes in Advocacy?

The prizes were established in 2014 by Ryan Clarke (Class of ’88) and his wife Leanne to:

  • reward distinguished advocacy demonstrated by students who are advocating or wish to advocate for some type of meaningful social and/or political change;
  • enable the Faculty of Social Sciences to offer an exceptional opportunity for its students who have an interest in the area of advocacy;
  • provide financial assistance to the winning recipient(s);
  • provide participants with an unforgettable and valuable learning experience outside the classroom;
  • empower students to partake in advocacy while strengthening important professional and life skills; and
  • highlight real issues and work towards bringing about real change in the community.

What types of activities are eligible?

Students can explore any topic related to advocacy and active citizenship. Topics might include poverty alleviation, policy change, women’s issues, student fees, indigenous issues, access to education, the environment, etc.

This can be an idea for a future campaign or for a campaign already in progress.

Students are encouraged to be creative and use this as an opportunity to do one or more of the following. This list is not exhaustive:

  • Expand upon advocacy or citizenship work you started in a course
  • Explore a topic you are passionate about
  • Create awareness for change related to an organization you may be volunteering with
  • Explore a topic related to a future career of interest

Financial prizes are awarded to the top three campaign proposals

First prize - $3000
Second prize - $2000
Third prize - $1000

How can you learn more or participate?

General Information Sessions - Late 2018

Students are invited to attend a general information session where they will learn more information about the Clarke Prize, the application process, and tips and tricks when applying.

Advocacy Information Session with Ryan Clarke - Early 2019

This session is strongly recommended as it will outline key aspects of effective advocacy to assist in the development of individual or group campaigns. Students do not have to have an idea confirmed by the information session. The session may assist with encouraging ideas to explore.  There will be plenty of time for questions.

Submit Applications - February 2019

Students must submit an project proposal by the deadline The deadline to submit an intent to participate will be announced for February 2019.

Awards Ceremony - March 2019

Clarke Prize winners will be announced at a ceremony scheduled for March 2019.

Questions may be directed to: 

Go to Mark Busser profile

Mark Busser

Ph.D International Relations, McMaster University2014


Academic and Experiential Learning Coordinator

Resources for Students

Download Quick Tips on Effective Advocacy to help develop and focus your proposed campaign idea.

Download the How-To Guide for Telling Your Personal Story (taken with permission from Advocacy Solutions).

Download the Clarke Prize Rating form to see how project applications will be evaluated.