PODCAST: Craft of Campaigns | Training For Change

Craft of Campaigns

a PODCAST of the Organizing Skills Institute

The Craft of Campaigns podcast highlights stories and lessons from issue-based action campaigns, beyond one-off mobilizations and single election cycles. Campaigns channel grassroots energy to win concrete victories, build winning coalitions, and topple pillars of power standing in the way of justice.  In each episode, we interview organizers about how a campaign unfolded, strategy decisions, and lessons for our current moment. Each episode includes a transcript and writeup of key take-aways.


S1 E4:Mary Hooks & Kate Shapiro on ending bail in ATL & the Black Mama’s Bail Outs


What does it mean to look at an issue like “bail” and “the criminalizaton of LGBTQ people” through the lens of a campaigner? That was the question for Southerners on New Ground in the lead-up to launching their Free From Fear campaign framework, which they used to pilot successful campaigns to end wealth-based incarceration in the City of Atlanta – which reduced the jail population by over 90% – and inspired the Black Mama’s Bail Outs tactic that has since been replicated all over the United States.  

S1 E3: Sasha Wijeyeratne on holding a ‘hard no’ & winning the narrative “on the doors” in the fight against Amazon’s “HQ2”


In this episode, we’ll hear about deciding not to negotiate, quickly mapping out their opponents and key leverage points, countering Amazon’s & Cuomo’s PR machine “on the doors” in Queens and being willing to struggle with their own members on the issue,  how AOC’s recent primary victory influenced their targets “flipping” on Amazon, the influence of this fight on their current campaign against Innovation Queens and learning more deeply the resonance of Bernice Johnson Reagon’s quote, “coalition isn’t home”. 

S1 E2: Tara Raghuveer on hijacking Kansas City’s elections by being “ruthless” about basebuilding


In this episode, we’ll hear how KC Tenants went from ten people in February 2019, to an organization of 4,300 dues-paying members who have won five citywide campaigns transforming conditions for hundreds of thousands of the city’s renters. We’ll hear how they reshaped the city’s municipal election without spending a dime on partisan electoral engagement; their internal debates that led to the disruption of 911 evictions in a single month; their culture of reflection during the pandemic; and how “ruthlessness about basebuilding” has helped them succeed. 

S1 E1: Neidi Dominguez on “not listening to DC” & embracing disagreement in the fight to win DACA (11/15/22)

In this episode, we’ll hear an inside account of the campaign to win Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which today protects nearly a million people from deportation. Neidi Dominguez discusses the decision to separate the campaign from a broader legislative campaign, using “inside” and “outside” strategies to force the Obama Administration’s hand, and how leaning into disagreement ultimately helped organizers stay focused and win their campaign.

S1 E0: Season One Trailer (10/27/22)


Welcome to the Craft of Campaigns, a new podcast from Training for Change. In this podcast, we go behind the headlines and hashtags, inviting movement storytellers to share lessons from social justice campaigns. In each episode, we’ll explore one campaign, through firsthand interviews, for key lessons, principles, and practices for organizers today. Subscribe today so you don’t miss upcoming episodes.

Hosted by Andrew Willis Garcés

Andrew, based in Greensboro, NC, is a lifelong Southerner shaped and inspired by the Southern grassroots organizing tradition and also by the communities of resistance from his maternal homeland of Colombia. He founded and led Siembra NC under the Trump Administration, and has worked with dozens of unions and grassroots community organizations over the last two decades as an organizer, strategist, communications consultant and trainer. He’s been a TFC Core Trainer since 2009. You can read some of his writing at The Forge, Truthout, Waging Nonviolence, Convergence, In These Times.

Produced by Ali Roseberry-Polier

Ali’s background is in community organizing and activist storytelling, connecting present-day movements to legacies of resistance. First politicized through the fossil fuel divestment movement and queer community education as a student, their recent work includes archival and oral history research, including with Black Liberation 1969 and the Philadelphia AIDS Oral History Project. Ali’s writing has appeared in Waging Nonviolence, Hidden City Philadelphia, among others. Ali first attended a TFC workshop in 2011 and joined staff in 2017.

Music by Trey Kams

The Craft of Campaigns is a project of the Organizing Skills Institute and made possible by TFC’s grassroots donors.
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