Movement Education Program

This Movement Education Program is a tool and process to help Move to Amend leaders become more effective organizers. At the end, we should be better equipped to build authentic and trusting relationships with people from groups hardest-hit by structural oppression, and with organizers on the frontlines of the struggle against injustice and corporate rule.

Completing this Movement Education Program is required of all Move to Amend affiliate groups. While Move to Amend does not expect volunteers to take on educating the general public about oppression and racism as a primary role, it is still critical to understand the close relationship between structural oppression based on race, class, gender, etc. and the current dire state of our democracy. We must be skillful at building solidarity and trust across differences in order to grow a mass movement strong enough to win against corporate rule.

Here is a snapshot of the program. It works best if all--or nearly all--affiliate volunteers participate. Affiliates who have completed the process are also finding ways to bring new members through this movement education program as part of their orientation and deepening involvement.

Sessions One through Five grow our knowledge and sensitivity to the realities of oppression and racism within our institutions and groups. They also invite us to uncover and absorb lessons for Move to Amend from past social justice movements—abolition, suffrage, civil rights, workers’ rights, LGBT rights.

Between Sessions Five and Six, there is a pause for reflection: are we ready to move on to planning?

Sessions Six and Seven lead us through a self-assessment and planning discussion meant to culminate in a written plan for “Solidarity Organizing & Internal Democracy”. This plan can then serve as a companion to the affiliate’s “Action Plan” laying out local efforts toward the national ten year strategy.

 

Topic Session Length Affiliate Participation National Team Participation
Introduction  Session One 90 min In person if possible. By video chat or phone is also ok.

National Team member(s) participate by phone.

Email affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org to schedule and send notes after. 

  Session Two  90 min In person if possible. By video chat or phone is also ok. Send notes if possible.
Learning from Past Movements Session Three 90 - 120 min In person if possible. By video chat or phone is also ok. Send notes if possible.
  Session Four 90 - 120 min In person if possible. By video chat or phone is also ok. Send notes if possible.
  Session Five 90 min In person if possible. By video chat or phone is also ok. National Team member(s) participate by phone.

Email affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org to schedule and send notes after.

  Pause & Reflect 60 - 90 min In person if possible. By video chat or phone is also ok. Please send notes to affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org
Planning Session Six 2 - 2 ½ hrs In person.

National Team member(s) participate by phone.

Email affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org to schedule and send notes after.

  Session Seven 2 - 2 ½ hrs In person.

National Team member(s) participate IN PERSON if at all possible, otherwise by phone.

Email affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org to schedule and send notes after.

  Build Plan  as needed Use Session 6-7 notes and this planning guide. Can schedule a separate meeting or fold into one or more regular affiliate meetings Send final written plan to affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org after

Archive: Click here to visit version 1 of the Movement Education Program, which was optional for affiliates in 2013-14. 


Table of Contents

--> Click the links below to jump to the readings and questions for each session.


SESSION I: Introduction

Objective

Define oppression and solidarity, learn how corporate rule benefits from oppression, and learn how oppression damages democracy and our chances of winning this fight against corporate rule.

Format

Conference Call with all affiliate members + 2-3 members of National Team.
Time: 90 minutes

Affiliate is asked to assign note-taker for this session. Notes will be reviewed before sessions II & VI. (Please also send copy of these notes to National Team along with the next monthly report. We will review and use it in order to understand how to provide better support.)

Readings

 Additional readings:

Discussion Questions

  1. What were your reactions, your thoughts and feelings, in the course of reading the articles on solidarity work and addressing oppressions? On the articles relating to democracy and corporate power?
     
  2. How would you make a case that Move to Amend’s work goes beyond reversing the legal status of corporations as persons and money as free speech (getting the “We the People” Amendment passed)? Why is our struggle against corporate personhood related to issues of solidarity and social justice?
     
  3. Describe some ways in which growing up and living within our culture trains us “not to see”. Talk about a time when you became aware of your privilege—when you realized that a view or pattern of yours changed from seeming accurate and earned to becoming questionable and unearned?
     
  4. Do you think that “We the People” would be well-served to rethink and rewrite our Constitution? Why or why not?
     
  5. What kind of attitudes, behaviors, values, and beliefs can people with privilege hold about democracy and about the work of MTA?

Session I Facilitation Resources

Instructions for Scheduling Session One Conference Call with National Team

Session One is meant to be conducted as a conference call with your affiliate members and 2-3 delegates from the National Team (board and staff). Your affiliate members can choose to do this call all together in one location on speaker phone, or you can call in separately from different locations. If it would be helpful we would be happy to call your group, but note that it is only possible for us to do this with one number, so everyone who wants to use this option will need to be in one location.

To set up your call, please contact the National Office (affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org or 916-318-8040) at least 3 weeks in advance (4-5 weeks is better and much appreciated!) with 2-3 call dates and times that will work for your group. Make sure everyone puts a hold on those dates until we can get back to you with confirmation and information about who will be joining you from the National Team.

If you have requests based on proximity to you, or past relationships, let us know (we'll do our best, but can't promise availability during the times that work for you). We'll get back to you within 1 week with a response, as well as the call-in details.

Please also let us know if you would prefer that we facilitate the call or if someone from your group is going to. The facilitator needs to keep the stack and move the discussion along. Make sure to read the "Facilitation Tips" and Agenda in advance (it is a good idea to suggest everyone in the group read these materials to ensure a better discussion).

So, to re-cap, send us an email (affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org) or call us (916) 318-8040 at least 3 weeks in advance of your desired call with the following information:

  • 2-3 call dates and times that work for your group
  • Any requests for particular National Team members (board or staff)
  • Whether you need us to call you
  • If you would like us to facilitate or if someone from your group will be doing so

SESSION II: Developing a Framework for Solidarity Organizing and Anti-Oppression -- Understanding Why It Starts with Building a Culture of Trust and Safe Spaces

Objective

Learn how oppression shows up in human relationships and explore how we can build our Move to Amend groups so that all people can participate fully, making it possible for us to win this fight against corporate rule.

Format

Affiliate meeting in-person.
Session Time: 90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on number of participants.

Affiliate is asked to assign note-taker for this session. Notes will be reviewed before session VI. (Please also send copy of these notes to National Team along with the next monthly report. We will review and use it in order to understand how to provide better support.)

Readings

Additional readings:

Discussion Questions

  1. What emotional response did you have to these readings/excerpts?

  2. Can you recall an instance in which the denial of ageism / sexism / racism / classism / homophobia / ableism was accepted, or even mandated? Looking back, how could you have participated in that situation in a more productive way? For example, your boss made a racist joke and interrupting the situation felt unsafe)?

  3. Have you, or anyone you have talked to felt that, concerning race or gender, there was no more  work to be done? How could you engage in a conversation that  might transform that feeling?

  4. Describe a situation where you had micro-aggression directed toward you (could be sexism, racism, homophobia, ageism, classism). How did you feel? What do you do (or not do)? Was there anyone else present, if so what did they do?

  5. Describe a situation where you or someone else you were with participated in a micro-aggression (could be any oppression). Did you realize it was happening at the time? What do you do (or not do)? How did you feel?

  6. How can we intentionally craft the culture and dynamics of our Move to Amend groups so that folks who are different than the "mainstream"/ majority of our current members (so likely people of color/women/young people/queer people, etc) feel safe/welcomed/that there is a place for them to participate fully?

Session II Facilitation Resources


Session III: Learning from Past Movements: Suffrage and Abolition

Objective

Learn from effective past social movements, the Women’s Suffrage Movement and Abolitionist Movements, and explore how Move to Amend can incorporate this understanding toward our strategies to win our current fight against corporate rule.

Format

Affiliate meeting in-person.
90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on number of participants.

Readings

19th Amendment -- Women’s Suffrage:

Abolitionists: 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments:

Discussion Questions

  • What was your previous experience with the history of these amendments, and what impact did it have on you to do this reading and watch the videos?
     
  • What role did a multi-faceted, grassroots movement play in the passing of the 19th Amendment?
  • The Abolitionist article describes how many of its adherents “came to believe…. that a moral commitment to ending slavery took precedent over observing those parts of the Constitution that protected slavery and, in particular, that they refused to obey the Fugitive Slave Act.”  In the video, we watch William Lloyd Garrison burn a copy of the Constitution saying, “And this, the Constitution of the United States of America is the source and parent of all the other atrocities.  A covenant with death and an agreement with hell. So perish all compromises with tyranny.”  Discuss the implications of this radical stance for the abolition of slavery.

Session III Facilitation Resources

  • Session III Agenda

  • Reminder -- now's the time to schedule your conference call with the National Team for Session V. See below for details.

Instructions for Scheduling Session Five Conference Call with National Team

Session Five is meant to be conducted as a conference call with your affiliate members and 2-3 delegates from the National Team (board and staff). Your affiliate members can choose to do this call all together in one location on speaker phone, or you can call in separately from different locations. If it would be helpful we would be happy to call your group, but note that it is only possible for us to do this with one number, so everyone who wants to use this option will need to be in one location.

To set up your call, please contact the National Office (affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org or 916-318-8040) at least 3 weeks in advance (4-5 weeks is better and much appreciated!) with 2-3 call dates and times that will work for your group. Make sure everyone puts a hold on those dates until we can get back to you with confirmation and information about who will be joining you from the National Team.

If you have requests based on proximity to you, or past relationships, let us know (we'll do our best, but can't promise availability during the times that work for you). We'll get back to you within 1 week with a response, as well as the call-in details.

Please also let us know if you would prefer that we facilitate the call or if someone from your group is going to. The facilitator needs to keep the stack and move the discussion along. Make sure to read the "Facilitation Tips" and Agenda in advance (it is a good idea to suggest everyone in the group read these materials to ensure a better discussion).

So, to re-cap, send us an email (affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org) or call us (916) 318-8040 at least 3 weeks in advance of your desired call with the following information:

  • 2-3 call dates and times that work for your group
  • Any requests for particular National Team members (board or staff)
  • Whether you need us to call you
  • If you would like us to facilitate or if someone from your group will be doing so

Session IV: Learning from Past Movements: Civil Rights Movement and Labor Movement

Objective

Learn from effective past social movements, the Labor Movement and the Civil Rights Movement, and explore how Move to Amend can incorporate this toward our strategies to win our current fight against corporate rule.

Format

Affiliate meeting in-person.
90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on number of participants.

Readings

Discussion Questions

  1. What were your previous experiences and/or understandings of the U.S. labor movement?  Are there aspects of this 19th Century movement you see as relevant to your present day organizing?
     
  2. What can we learn from the early labor movement about the divide between ruling and working classes of today?
     
  3. The labor movement saw the necessity of creating political power outside the mainstream political establishment and kept the movement “close to those sources of human distress” that necessitated it.  With this people-power base they pressured the official political structure to recognize their needs. What are the implications for MTA in this approach?
     
  4. What strategies did SNCC implement to generate a people-driven Civil Rights movement into the culture rather than a leader-driven movement?  What are the advantages?
     
  5. What opportunities do you see or should you create for your affiliate to help build this kind of non-establishment, people-power base?

Session IV Facilitation Resources


Session V: Learning From Past Movements: Division and Co-Optation

Objective

Explore mistakes made by previous social justice movements, and learn how Move to Amend can avoid repeating those mistakes.

Format

Conference call with all affiliate members + 2-3 National Team members - see above (under Session 3) for details on how to set this call up. Remember to give us 4-5 weeks notice if possible, and choose a couple date options.
90 minutes

Affiliate is asked to assign note-taker for this session and send copy of notes to National Team along with the next monthly report. We will review and use it in order to understand how to provide better support.

Readings

Discussion Questions

  1. What are some mistakes that each of these movements made in pursuing their goals and what could they have done differently in order to be more successful?
     
  2. How might we at Move to Amend fall into similar traps and how can we organize to guard against these pitfalls?
     
  3. What are some common beliefs about how effective change happens that these authors are challenging?
     
  4. What would it look like for Move to Amend to speak the radical truth of how corporate rule harms us, organize across issues and oppressions, and create and commit to a vision for broad, systemic social justice?

Session V Facilitation Resources


PAUSE & REFLECT

Now that you have completed the first five sessions of the Move to Amend Movement Education Program, it’s time to take stock and assess whether you are ready to proceed into the planning phase.

You can schedule a separate meeting to accomplish this self-assessment, or fold these topics into one or more regular affiliate meetings. These can be done by phone, but in-person is better. **It is ideal for this "pause and reflect" conversation to happen with all affiliate volunteers together, even those who may not (yet) have participated in the Movement Education Program.

Plan for 60-90 minutes, depending on size of group and facilitation style.

Don’t forget to send notes/results to National Team at affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org

Pause & Reflect Discussion Guide


Session VI: Organizing for Liberation: Democratic Practice within the Affiliate

Objective

Preparing to grow our own internal diversity and inclusiveness across all groups and identities, as well as our internal democratic practice.

Format

All affiliate members in person + 2-3 members of National Team by phone or video conference. Have National Team facilitate if possible.

See Agenda & Facilitation Guide for more details

Session Time: 2 - 2 ½ hours 

Logistics. Affiliate volunteers ideally meet in-person for both sessions VI and VII. Ideally, remote participants join by video-conference (Google Hangouts & Skype are free) or each on a separate phone line.

Facilitation. Two or more National Team members will ideally co-facilitate sessions VI and VII. This allows all affiliate volunteers to participate directly, rather than putting one or two in a neutral role as facilitator(s). The National Team session participants should be the same for both Session VI and VII.

Note-taking. There must be a note-taker for this session. Ideally it should be a co-facilitator from the National Team, so all affiliate members can participate fully. The notes will need to be shared out promptly so they can be used as part of Session VII.

Readings

Optional Readings

Skim Session I & II Discussion Questions and revisi these earlier readings as a refresher and re-centering:

Preparation

Review the notes from the "Pause & Reflect" session. 

Skim the reflection and action questions in the Agenda & Facilitation Guide below. This will prepare you for the bulk of the discussion.

Agenda & Facilitation Guide

 


Session VII: Developing a Local Plan for Solidarity Organizing and Movement Building

Objective

Lay the foundation of a plan to engage in solidarity with a variety of community groups whose work relates to our mission of building a vibrant, inclusive, and accountable democracy.

Format

All affiliate members in person. 1 National Team (board) in person as facilitator if possible. Other 1-2 members of National Team by phone or video conference.

See Agenda & Facilitation Guide for more details

Session Time: 2 - 2 ½  hours

Logistics. Affiliate volunteers should all meet in-person for session VII. Remote participants (National Team or other) join by video-conference (Google Hangouts & Skype are free) or each on a separate phone line. 

Facilitation. We strongly recommend that a National Team member be asked to facilitate session VII. This allows all affiliate volunteers to participate directly in planning, rather than excusing one or two play neutral role as facilitator(s). If at all possible, the National Team will send a geographically-close Board member to facilitate in person.

Note-taking. There must be a note-taker for this session. Ideally it should be a co-facilitator from the National Team. Please send copy of session VI and VII notes to National Team along with the next monthly affiliate report. This will help us understand how to provide better support.

Preparation

(1) Everyone should review these key readings as a refresher and have them at hand for meeting:

(2) Review the notes from the "Pause & Reflect" session and Session VI (six).

(3) Skim the reflection and action questions in the Agenda & Facilitation Guide below. This will prepare you for the bulk of the discussion.

Agenda & Facilitation Guide


 

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