From the Seattle General Strike of 1919 to the Montgomery bus boycott to the decade-long fight that finally shut down the Keystone XL pipeline, the history of social movements is a history of direct action. When people put their bodies on the line to disrupt the status quo, they’ve brought about profound structural changes and transformed the political and cultural landscape. In short, when we take direct action, we win.
In 2021, we face high-stakes and urgent fights — climate change, racial violence, and extreme economic exploitation and inequality, to name a few — so we need our direct actions to be strategic and powerful. And we need everyone in our movements to have the skills and confidence to take bold action.
Agents of Change is a training series and community-building opportunity that will teach you how to plan safe and successful direct actions and organize with others for the long term. The series kicks off with a social event on August 2nd, where we’ll hear stories from people who participated in some powerful direct actions. Starting in late August, we’ll hold three interactive webinars: we’ll start with a history of direct actions in movements and then explore direct action strategy and how actions fit into a movement theory of change. In webinar 3 and the hands-on Action Lab, we’ll teach key direct action skills, including different action roles, security culture, de-escalation, and art builds. We will close out the series by doing an action (target TBD!) where we’ll put it all together.
This training series is for you if…
- you have some movement experience and you want to skill up;
- you’ve ever felt hesitant about whether you could safely attend an action;
- you’re ready to take bigger risks at actions (e.g. risking arrest);
- you’re interested in building trust with a group of people to consistently take action with.
If you’re new to organizing, or you’re a direct action pro, you are welcome too!
If you belong to a group (whether that’s an organizing/activist group, a faith community, or even a friend group), we invite you to attend the training with that group. Our goal with Agents of Change is not just to transfer skills and knowledge, but to help you strengthen existing relationships to build power, and we know this is easiest when there is already trust present. If you’re not part of a group, you can absolutely join us as an individual — we will support you in finding people who share your interests/values and will have your back at the action.
Agents of Change is FREE to attend and open to all. It is Covid-safe; all in-person activities will be held outdoors.
Questions? Please email Alice, the training series coordinator.
Want to read some of the brief talks given at the Agents of Change kickoff on August 2? Go here!