Training for Trainers | Training For Change

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Training for Trainers

Formerly the Training for Social Action Trainers (TSAT)

Our fundamentals workshop for anyone using training and group facilitation toward social justice movement building. Formerly called Training for Social Action Trainers (TSAT), this intensive skills workshop is for organizers, political educators, and facilitators with any level of experience – from brand new organizers to seasoned trainers – looking to grow their toolbox for leading groups.

No dates? Dates don't work for you? Is there a wait list?

To share your interest in future Training for Trainers workshops, use our Interest Form, as an alternative to a full application.

Group training and facilitation skills are key to powerful organizing and movement building. These skills develop leaders, strengthen decision-making, shape strategies, and build the capacities needed to organize for justice. Whether you’re a local volunteer leader or a national training director, there are few spaces to hone pedagogy as a craft. Our Training for Trainers is an opportunity to grow your training toolbox, learn frameworks for group facilitation, and practice our experiential approach to training and leading groups. Participants leave this workshop with practical tools and increased awareness of themselves as trainers and facilitators. Graduates are eligible to attend our advanced training for trainers workshops.

We offer the Training for Trainers as a public workshop and privately with movement partners. Public workshops are offered nationally, as well as regionally. See below for information about our regional training projects.

As a participant, you will...
  • Gain greater awareness of yourself and your strengths as a facilitator
  • Learn flexible training tools, principles of workshop design, skills for working with diversity, and how to use experiential education methods effectively
  • Get a chance to take risks, experiment, and refine skills in a supportive environment
  • Receive personal guidance from experienced trainers in a small group setting
  • Meet and learn from peers and facilitators

This workshop is sliding scale, $100-$1,000. The true cost is $1,000 per participant. Our sliding scale honors different abilities to pay while helping us compensate trainers, staff, and accessibility providers fairly. We ask organizations and individuals with large budgets to pay at the higher rates to support the sustainability of this program and help us accept folks who pledge lower amounts. We acknowledge the different costs and considerations around your attendance, including childcare/caregiving, time away from paid work, and more, and we offer lower fee options for participants who are not able to pay at a higher rate.

The fee includes meals during the workshop and simple lodging for those who request it. 

Who Should Apply?

We prioritize applicants from organizations and groups actively building social justice movements and political power in their communities. We accept applications from diverse movement roles – volunteer activists, rank and file leaders, staff organizers, cultural workers, spiritual leaders, artists – and invite applications from both new facilitators and experienced trainers. Generally, we have limited spots for folks doing social service providing, working for government agencies, based in higher education, or folks not affiliated with an organization, campaign, or coalition.

This workshop is highly sought after, and we often have long wait lists. Many strong applicants apply multiple times before getting a spot to attend. If you’re not sure if this workshop is right for you, feel free to be in touch before you submit an application!

Workshop Format

Times vary by workshop. Please refer to the application for exact workshop hours, but generally, the hours are:

  • Day One – 5:30-9:30PM (dinner provided)
  • Day Two – 9:00AM – 9:00PM (breakfast offered before session, lunch and dinner provided)
  • Day Three – 9:00AM – 5:00PM (breakfast offered before session, lunch provided)

The workshop is designed as an experiential package with each session building on the previous one. To create the best learning environment possible, WE DO NOT ALLOW PARTIAL ATTENDANCE – you must commit to take the entire workshop.

This is a participatory, practice-based workshop. Central components include the role of a trainer (or facilitator), creating group safety and cohesion, using experiential activities to elicit the wisdom of the group, working with diversity, and principles of workshop design. There are multiple opportunities to ask questions, explore challenges, and practice facilitation. This is a fun and rigorous workshop – as participants stretch themselves, strong emotions can surface.

Though the hours can be long, we’ve found that our training style helps keep people engaged and energized. We provide short and extended breaks within our agenda, including breaks during meal times, and encourage participants to take care of themselves so that they can stay fully present. Please contact us in advance if you have questions about the hours or format of this workshop.

Application and Acceptance Process

We aim to confirm participants at least a month before the training, when possible. We’re mindful that folks coming from out of town need time to book travel, and we’ll follow up as soon as possible about your application status. Please don’t book travel or accommodations until we confirm registration. We’re committed to accepting a diverse group for each training and to supporting folks with less access to resources to attend. Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, working class folks, and folks from less-resourced organizations are encouraged to apply. We prioritize applicants with clear groups, projects, or organizations back home to apply what they learn.

If you’d prefer to apply by phone instead of online, there is a phone number included in the application.

Regional Training Projects

Some workshops are offered as part of regional training projects where majority of participants are from the designated region. Specific workshop applications will indicate if it’s a regional workshop; workshops without a regional designation are national. Applicants from anywhere in the U.S. and Canada are encouraged to apply to regional workshops, but spots are more limited.

Central Appalachia: Majority participants accepted from the mountains and foothills of PA, OH, WV, VA, KY, and TN.

North Carolina: Majority participants from the state of NC.

Pennsylvania: Majority participants from the state of PA.

Childcare & Caregiver Support

We have limited cash stipends available for parents and caregivers arranging care back home, to make the workshop more accessible. Stipends are offered on an as-needed basis. Some workshop offerings include on-site childcare; please refer to the application for childcare options for particular workshops.

Judith C. Jones Fellowship for Trainers of Color

BIPOC Graduates of Training for Trainers are eligible for our Judith C. Jones Fellowship for Trainers of Color. Learn more about the Fellowship, here.

Public Health Protocol

We set transparent health protocol for each workshop for everyone’s safety. Our protocol includes requests and requirements around covid vaccination, masking, testing, and what to do in the event of exposure. Please check the application for the specific protocol for a particular workshop.