Workshop descriptions

A Comparison between progressive groups’ organizing and indigenous organizing..  Solidarity now and solidarity later – Robert Tohe, Sierra Club & Hazel James. Participants will learn about an emerging practice that indigenizes progressive organizing styles to build strong relations for solidarity and mutuality. What are the connections that support community resistance, indigenous self-determination, and propel the movement?

A Mediator’s Experience in Coalition Building. Lucy Moore will offer 2-3 stories from her mediation practice that illustrate  efforts at coalition building that were successful….and not. There will be time for questions and discussion.

Applied Ethics – Sue Coates – Too often, we rely on rules and regulations to guide our actions, and find them inadequate, especially when values collide. I explain the difference between codes of ethics and codes of conduct, and the philosophical principles underlying them, so people can make difficult decisions together based on standards of belief about right and wrong. This technique can be used for decisions such as whether to engage in whistleblowing when improprieties are discovered.

Commitments and Agreements – Sue Coates –  Smaller non-profit organizations and individuals often have misunderstandings about commitments. In most cases, it is not necessary to have an attorney write up an intimidating contract, but it is essential to write down what each expects of the other.  I will explain what the key points in such agreements are, how to document them, and what to do if something changes. This technique can also prepare the parties to make efficient use of an attorney’s time if the need arises.

Constructing Creative Strategies – Mark Diaz Truman, New Mexico Progressive Coalition – Come to this session to learn the basics of people-powered strategy, including tools that organizers use to build a theory-of-change that can turn a constituency’s resources into the power it needs to make change.

Creative Tactics: Creating Graphics to Amplify Your Message – Asha Canalos, New Mexico Story Power – This workshop will begin with a short digital slide presentation of historically important graphic works that have helped shape social progress in the United States. The presentation will be followed by a short talk detailing advantages, effective approaches, and specific concerns of implementing artwork into successful political and social organizing. Handouts will be distributed so participants can take home textual information and resources to support their work.

Developing Teams and Leaders – Laura Ramnarace, Nonviolent Action New Mexico – We will talk about and demonstrate group-building and explore the pros and cons of various leadership styles and leadership structures.

Digital Media to Win – Pat Davis, Progress Now In the era of smartphones, social media and shrinking traditional newsrooms, digital media can either be a tool for fake news or movement building.  ProgressNow New Mexico runs New Mexico’s most read network of progressive news sites and has used digital media in New Mexico to outmaneuver conservative campaigns and push progressive actions quickly when it counts.  Learn the 5 tricks to make Facebook and Twitter work for you and your campaign without spending a dime.

Dismantling White Supremacy – Sierra Logan, Northern NM SURJ –  This workshop will focus on ways to disengage from and dismantle white supremacist systems and raise awareness about how they impact our individual selves, our families, our institutions, and our communities.

“E.Woke”: digital security with liberation visioning – Roberta Rael and Christina Rodriguez, Generation Justice . “E.Woke” is an intergenerational, hands-on session that incorporates digital security with liberation visioning. What are the digital implications of the moment we are in, and how do we prepare for the future? Journalists, activists, organizers, and media-makers are invited to learn about how technology can be a tool for both liberation and oppression. Participants will walk away with a deeper understanding of surveillance, as well as specific tools and resources for digital security self-defense.

Group Decision Making and Meeting Facilitation – Laura Ramnarace, Nonviolent Action New Mexico – This workshop will focus on maximizing inclusive input with optimal efficiency. We will share tips and tricks for gaining the most input from your group while dealing effectively and respectfully with people who tend to dominate, and drawing forth valuable input from the shyest participants.

How to Frame Narratives about Climate and the Environment to Change Hearts and Minds, and Spur People to Action – Sarah Malone, Storytellers of New Mexico – This workshop will share specific storytelling strategies and provide the opportunity to practice narrative framing skills together.

How to Frame Your Message to Change Minds – Camilla Feibelman, Sierra Club. How often do you talk with people who don’t agree with you.  How can you enter their frame of mind and of reference to speak and listen in ways that might be meaningful to them?  This workshop will help you communicate in a way that will help your audience hear you.

How to Gain and Hold a Successful Meeting with Your Legislators – Sandy Duckert, RESULTS – How to schedule and hold meetings with members of Congress and their staffs to address specific issues. The premise is we can build powerful relationships with policy makers of all persuasions using the language of the listeners to create the changes we want for our world.

How to Organize in Communities that are Mostly Opposed to Your Message – Madeleine Carey, WildEarth Guardians – This session will use storytelling and personal experience to workshop constructive ways of working through hostile conversations with the rural agricultural community.

How to Plan a Meeting – Heather Ailes, SURJ – The nuts and bolts of planning, organizing, and running a meeting, either as an individual or a group.

How to Plan an Effective Issue Campaign – Camilla Feibelman, Sierra Club. How many times have you started a meeting with a group concerned about an issue by deciding what color the tee-shirts you should be.  This workshop will teach you how to create a strategic campaign around an issue.  We’ll review setting goals, evaluating them, selecting the proper forum for your work, identifying a target, identifying tactics and crafting a work plan.

How to Use Privilege to Create Opportunities for Others – Laura Ramnarace, Nonviolent Action New Mexico – We will define privilege and address what it means to be a good ally, and ways to implement these behaviors in such a way as to create and support opportunities for others.

How to Work with the Media – Maurreen Skowran, Albuquerque Indivisible –  Learn to think like a  reporter, so you can make your publicity appeal to them. Get an introduction to journalistic news values and how they drive news coverage. Practice writing a press release, incorporating basic structure used for news stories.

How to Write an Effective Letter to the Editor and Other Communication to Reach the Public – Camilla Feibelman, Sierra Club. The Opinion section of the newspaper is the most read.  Decision makers, elected officials, reporters and editorial page editors pay close attention to what is being said by the public and how many letters come in on each issue.  Learn how to write a powerful letter on your issue and how to get it published.

Inclusive Meeting Design for Solidarity – Mark Diaz Truman, New Mexico Progressive Coalition – Meetings are the flesh and blood of a movement. This workshop will teach you how to run effective meetings that make it possible for all to contribute their voices on equal footing.

Ins and outs of the Tactical Technology Activists use to Organize Themselves and Others – Maya Rommwatt, New Mexico Story Power – You’ll sharpen your abilities in the world of Google docs/sheets/forms and Doodle polls to make better use of your time and communicate like a pro. And you’ll learn the basics of Facebook groups to promote your grassroots organization and develop better social media skills.

Inter-organizational Relations – Sue Coates –  Collaborations can be very powerful, but the complexities they entail can be difficult to manage. When the collaborators know how compatible they are, they can enhance their effectiveness and avoid conflicts. I will explain a simple organizational culture profile technique I developed after 20 years of managing sponsored projects in which some of the sponsors were incompatible.

Legislative Advocacy Training –  How to Navigate the New Mexico Roundhouse – Lissa Knudsen – Are you interested in learning how to get legislation passed through the New Mexico State Legislature? If so, attend this skills-building workshop where we will uncover the New Mexico state political process.You will gain skills in message crafting, media advocacy, relationship building, and community organizing. Please bring policy ideas you are interested in having introduced so we can directly apply them to the training.

Mapping a 20- to 40-Year-Long Strategy for Power – Mark Rudd, New Mexico Progressive Coalition Most of us believe that “We’re in this together, and time is short.”  But a small minority is in power that believes that government is bad and free markets can solve all problems.  What will it take to put sanity and reality back into power, in order to create economic and other forms of justice and save the planet?

Navigating the Agency Process from Start to Finish. This workshop will focus on advocating for your issues through both the federal and state agency processes. While the emphasis will be on environmental law and policy, similar processes occur in most federal agencies. Learn how to find out what agencies are doing, how to submit comments the agency will listen to, and how to appeal agency decisions when necessary.

Power Research – Heather Ailes, SURJ – How to do investigative research focused on power structures (often known as opposition research or muckraking). Power research helps you be strategic about targets and strategies when organizing to achieve a particular political or social change goal.

Powerful Speaking and Writing to Your Legislators – Sandy Duckert, RESULTS – How to speak powerfully in 2 to 5 minutes before city councils or other governmental agencies, and how to write effective letters to the editor, opinion pieces. The premise is we can build powerful relationships with policy makers of all persuasions using the language of the listeners to create the changes we want for our world.

Public Speaking – How to Get Your Audience’s Attention and Motivate Them to Take Action – Lissa Knudsen – Like most people, you may suffer from communication anxiety, have trouble organizing your thoughts, or get so tongue-tied the words just won’t come. If you’re the type of speaker who occasionally “ums” your way through a presentation, this workshop is just what you need to boost your confidence and credibility. We will discuss what causes communication anxiety and what you can do about it, audience analysis and why it is central to speaking effectively, what goes into an effective introduction and conclusion, and presentational aids. This workshop also will give you an opportunity to practice your skills and to receive real time feedback on what you are doing well, what areas you can work on, and strategies to strengthen your public speaking.

Relational Organizing through One-to-One Person-to-Person Meetings – Mark Diaz Truman, New Mexico Progressive Coalition – While we use the phrase “relational organizing,” often it’s not always clear how those relationships are built. This workshop will focus on how to build intentional, explicit relationships through one-to-one meetings that support effective organizing.

Remaining Clear and Focused During Conflict – Avery Kalapa, Yoga with Avery – A short talk about the nervous system and how yoga can help one to remain clear and focused, followed by experiential yoga based practices and breath. This workshop will provide tools to use for feeling powerful and ready for a challenging situation, for staying centered during conflict or a stressful encounter, to replenish energy and calm down to avoid fatigue, and to connect from an embodied heart-centered way vs. mental way with the self and others.

“Representing Ourselves” Advocacy from within for small and underrepresented communities. Ivy Rizzo founded and runs our state’s food allergy support group for people with life-threatening food allergies. She’ll use that experience to training you on: defining our needs, finding our cohorts, building an organization, gaining national and local resources/support.  The training would really focus on starting at the  feeling of being a part of an underrepresented group with real needs and finding ways to push past being overwhelmed and isolation to a place of pride, solidarity, and power.

Resistance 101: I Want to Protest, I Just Don’t Know How – Karen Bentrup – Millions of Americans are engaging with civil protest actions across the nation. Want to get into this democratic movement but you’re not sure how? This session will guide you through the basics of getting from the on-ramp into effective and fun protest actions. We will review online resources and text communications, local and national activities, your constitutional rights, and finding the right resistance organizations for you. We will also role play calling Congress, email the White House, make protest signs, and share terrific ideas in this interactive session. As activist Dolores Huerta said, “Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.”

So, you want to run for office? – Pat Davis, Progress Now Who we elect matters, but winning a campaign today takes a lot of work.  Since 2012, ProgressNowNM’s programs and campaigns have been helping progressive candidates win and fight back against conservative PACs.  Come with your questions and learn how to: analyze voter lists, fundraising basics, public financing basics (it’s not as easy as you think), organizing volunteers, when to hire staff (and when to do it yourself!).  City Councilor Pat Davis (also the executive director of ProgressNowNM) and his team of campaign experts will walk you through the basics of preparing to run for office and answer your questions.

The Culture of One – Social Strength through Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy – Jordan O. James, Indigenous Training Collaborative – This workshop speaks to the concept of how heritage has been traditionally sustained in education here in the U.S. We will celebrate the ways which this social strength provides a framework to help us understand the dynamics of culture and identity amidst today’s changing census demographics. Participants will come away with having learned about evolving changes in the U.S. population and how all individuals and communities can speak to these changes as a way to understand and sustain both their heritage and culture.

The Power of Using Your Voice – Makenzie Sanchez, Sierra Student Coalition – This workshop will be based on Makenzie sharing her own experiences as a young person creating social and environmental change. She will focus on how to communicate with adults effectively, how to write emails/letters, the timeline of making change, and using one’s resources to one’s advantage in bringing about change.

Transgender 101 – Jaycee Lewis, Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico – Transgender 101 will be an introduction to transgender people, our lives and issues. Our objective is to personalize transgender folks and to increase visibility and awareness while decreasing the discrimination, fear, hostility, and violence routinely directed toward members of our population. We also encourage our audiences to examine their own gender identity and the cultural norms and expectations we hold surrounding gender and sexuality. Did you know transgender folks are twice as likely to experience homelessness as the general population? We are also three times as likely to experience unemployment. For transgender people of color that goes up to a staggering four times! Transgender people experience discrimination and even physical violence on a consistent basis. This basic training includes a chance to engage in dialogue and have your questions answered directly.

Understanding Intersectionality and Building Stronger Allyship – Alicia Chavez, Young Women United – Participants will have an opportunity to discuss race, gender, sexuality, class, age, religion, etc., to sharpen their analysis of intersectionality, unpack the impact of systemic oppression, and understand ways privilege can be used to build stronger allyship among movements.

Working More Effectively in Indigenous Communities – Jordan O. James, Indigenous Training Collaborative – This workshop speaks to the historical context regarding how Native American communities came to be established here in the U.S. and best practices to work together with members from those communities. The workshop relates and interweaves within communities of color, where many members of the community come from a wide variety of indigenous backgrounds, and how they can work together. Participants will come away with having learned about the historical context, use of language and power dynamics which provides a foundation to work more effectively with indigenous communities.

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Workshop descriptions