Strategizing For A Living Revolution

By George Lakey

Noncooperation is not enough. It's one thing to open up a power vacuum and another thing firmly to establish the democratic community we deserve.

For that, the strategy must go deeper. We need to go beyond what has been done plenty of times in history—to overthrow unjust governments through nonviolent struggle—and create a strategy that builds at the same time as it destroys. We need a strategy that validates alternatives, supports the experience of freedom, and expands the skills of cooperation. We need a political strategy that is at the same time a community strategy, one that says “yes” to creative innovation in the here and now and links today's creativity to the new society that lies beyond a power shift.

With the help and feedback of many activists from a number of countries I've created a strategic framework that aims to support today's activists, something like the way Otpur activists were supported by their strategy. I call it a strategy for a living revolution.

Storytelling and Healing as Trainers of Color

by Jay Masika

Change work, whether personal or political, cannot be all head or all heart, but a mix of the two. We use our stories (heart) to connect and build, which enables us to move into collective strategy. This work is vulnerable, and vulnerability is hard. I like to define vulnerability as putting myself out into the world in ways that leave me feeling exposed. Exposed is a broad term - for me it means everything from failing (specifically in public) to sharing a fear or simply letting my voice and my words be heard. Being a trainer is engaging in a dance of vulnerability with participants. Participants are trusting you with their process, all while seeing their mess and holding “the work”.

How Cost Sharing Confronts Scarcity, Secrecy, and Shame About Money

In a newsletter from 1986, MNS member Joan Nikelsky described cost sharing as, “a revolutionary and empowering process because everyone participates in thinking about their own and others’ financial situations…we experiment with ‘redistributing wealth’ on a small scale.”

Training after Tough News

by Erika Thorne and Nico Amador, with special thanks to Celia Kutz, Shreya Shah, Daniel Hunter, Nikki Marín Baena, Holly Hammond, Diana Gonzalez, Karen Ridd, Matthew Armstead, Katey Lauer, Betsy Raasch-Gilman, Zein Nakhoda and all others who made contributions to this thread.

Recent events, from major political set-backs to police violence against Black civilians and Indigenous water protectors at Standing Rock, have many of us on the left having to absorb the shock of hard news on an all-too-regular basis. We expect that the days to come will see an escalating number of incidents and announcements that will have more and more participants arriving to our workshops in various states of crisis. As movement trainers, educators and organizers, it’s our job to help groups build up their skill and resiliency for weathering these moments.

Getting Started with Online Training and Facilitation

by Jeanne Rewa

If you are used to training or facilitating people in person and are asked to train or facilitate online or over the phone, you might understandably feel a bit nervous. The good news is that most of what you already know and do as a facilitator in person also applies online and over the phone. With an understanding of the challenges and opportunities of this different medium, you can adjust the tools and approaches you already use, resulting in engaging and effective trainings and meetings online and over the phone.

Tips for White Trainers Leading Multi-Racial Groups

by Celia Kutz

In multi-racial workshops I’ve led, activists are struggling with how to organize within an extremely tense environment. White people are tentative; confused about how to take action that does not cause further harm. Black participants have little patience and struggle with being bold but not tokenized. I’ve been with Asian Pacific Islanders, Latin@s, mixed-race activists, all of whom want to work on anti-black racism and struggle with how to do that while building up their community’s power. Over the summer of 2015 Matthew Armstead and I attended a workshop that increased my ability to train within this intensity. The following are five tips strengthened while at Beyond Diversity 101: Race - a workshop designed for Black and white participants, with the majority of our time spent in separate caucuses by race. I’m primarily writing this to support white trainers facilitating multi-racial groups.

The Learning is in the Details

by Katey Lauer with edits and contributions by Zein Nakhoda

Increasingly, trainers are inviting participants to take active roles in trainings, having keyed into the limits of a lecture-only approach. As the popularity of engaged training grows, all training approaches that aren’t lecture can get lumped together. But when we look closely, we see that different non-lecture approaches actually have different learning results. That is, the learning is in the details!

Compartiendo el agua

Por: Andrea Parra

El 11 y 12 de marzo de 2016 tuve la oportunidad de facilitar un taller para talleristas con diez activistas que trabajan con la comunidad latina de Filadelfia. El espacio fue organizado por Movimiento Nuevo Santuario de Filadelfia, una organización que reúne personas de diferentes filiaciones religiosas, que trabajan desde sus congregaciones por la justicia para las personas inmigrantes en los Estados Unidos. Entre lo que hacen está denunciar y combatir violaciones a los derechos humanos como la separación de familias a través de la detención y la deportación, la asociación de la policía con las autoridades migratorias (ICE) y la denegación de licencias de conducir para las personas indocumentadas.