National Leadership Summit 2019: Program


2019 Summit Schedule

(as of June 19, subject to changes)

Friday, June 21

Registration Opens (11am) - Payden Room 103

Deep Dive Workshops (1:30-3:45pm)

Community Building and Leadership as Democratic Practices - Payden 101

This session will be a deep dive into the concepts of leadership, responsibility, and other values that we as change-makers hold closely, but may not often take the time to consider outside the context of capitalism. Through interactive exercises we’ll explore these values in a cooperative and revolutionary context to find ways of relating to these concepts in a community centered way.


Facilitators: Jason Bayless, Jessica Munger

Introduction to Move to Amend for New Folks - Payden 102

Welcome to the movement to amend the U.S. Constitution! Learn about the movement to end corporate constitutional rights and get big money out of politics - and why we can’t do one with out the other.

 This introductory session is for folks who aren't yet active in the campaign but want to learn more. We'll talk about the campaign strategy, why simply overturning Citizens United is not enough, current Move to Amend programs, and how you can get started in your community.

Facilitators: Milly Harmon, Shelly Williams, George Friday

Mastering MTA's Outreach and Organizing Tools to Grow Your Group - Payden 222

Master - and teach others - how to engage in outreach about Move to Amend. Learn the steps and practices to introduce your neighbors and community leaders to Move to Amend. Learn how to find supporters in your area, create email blasts, get the most out of your affiliate web pages, apply social media best practices, and more.

Facilitator: Keyan Bliss

Welcome Address from Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA) & National Director Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap (4:30-5:45pm) - Payden 103

Dinner (6:00-7:00pm)

Plenary: Democratic Populism as Antidote to Trump Nationalist Populism (7:30-9:00pm) - Payden 103

Democracy is the proposition that the people should govern themselves. But who are the people, and how should they govern? Populist movements have always sought to answer these questions. In response, establishment figures insist that it is the people and their populism that pose a dangerous threat to democracy. What do we make of our current populist moment, and how can we distinguish between populism's left and right variants that pose entirely different suggestions for the way forward?

Speakers: Mark Charles, Nick Braña, Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Daniel Lee (moderator)

Saturday, June 22

Registration Opens (7:00am) - Payden Room 103

Breakfast (7:30am-8:45am) - Alumnae Hall Cafeteria

Plenary: Move to Amend Strategic Moment (2019-2020) (9:00-10:30am) - Payden 103

Move to Amend was formed by twelve people in a living room in California in October 2009. Ten years later we are a national movement with supporters, affiliates and national leaders all over the country. We have seen changes in leadership at the national and local level over this decade. Our amendment has been introduced in Congress four times, and we have grown the number of co-sponsors each time. We have trained ourselves to successfully build alliances across racial and age divides, run organizing drives to pass ballot initiatives, local resolutions, state resolutions, and lobby and birddog our elected officials.

A lot has changed in the political landscape since we launched our campaign. Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Me Too, and the Green Party, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and organizations like Democratic Socialists of America, Justice Democrats, and the Sunrise Movement have moved the political discussion to the left in numerous ways. Donald Trump has also changed the political discussion as well and the rise of white supremacy, anti-semitism, Islamophobia and xenophobia poses a dangerous threat to our democracy movements, as does neo-liberalism. Climate collapse has begun and is happening faster than even the most dire predictions had forcast. Climate collapse and US foreign policy has also driven migration and refugees seeking asylum to our borders, which will only continue in the years ahead.

In this session we will wrestle with the implications of the current moment on our work and look ahead to how Move to Amend can be most effective and relevant to the larger social justice movement as we move our own agenda of the We the People Amendment and democratic constitutional renewal forward. 

Facilitators: Jessica Munger, Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Doug Hughes

Workshop Sessions (10:45am-12:15pm)

Workshop: Recruiting & Engaging Volunteers - Payden 101

Nurturing and sustaining a healthy flow of diverse leaders is vital for building a committed and inspired volunteer base. Join us as we discuss best practices for reaching out across divisions of age, race, and class to engage with prospective volunteers.

Facilitators: Keyan Bliss, Milly Harmon

Workshop: Compare and Contrast: Resolutions and Ballot Initiatives - Payden 102 

If at least partially true that "all politics is local" and "the way to build a powerful movement is from the ground up," then working to abolish "corporate personhood" and "money as speech" by organizing locally to pass municipal resolutions and ballot initiatives must be a part of our strategy. Learn how it's done and interesting twists to increase the potency of local communities calling on Congress to pass the We the People Amendment.

Facilitators: Greg Coleridge, Mary Sue Gmeiner

Workshop: Pledge to Amend for 2020 - Payden 222

How can we ensure that our movement endures beyond this moment of resistance? Engaging in electoral politics is a way to build local power and grow capacity. This session will delve into how to influence the course of events during the 2020 cycle through voter empowerment and grassroots electoral activism.



Facilitators: Jessica Munger, Saleem Chapman

Lunch (12:15-2:00pm) - Payden Lobby

Consulting Appointments to get help with your local organizing (sign up in advance/during registration) (12:30-1:30pm)

Workshop Sessions (2:00-3:30pm)

Workshop: Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable in Service of Our Democracy Work - Payden 101

Doing deep Democracy work, means we put ourselves in situations where we feel uncomfortable — but this is the good kind of discomfort — the kind that gives us an opportunity for growth. In this work, we are engaging with differences outside of our normal ways of relating to others and of understanding our world, and this goes well beyond the differences between “Conservatives” and “Liberals”. In this workshop, we will identify areas where discomfort can arise and you will leave with clear strategies for managing the discomfort and responding in a healthy way that promotes the kind of Democracy and community we all seek.


Facilitators: Jason Bayless, Tara Ingram, Jessica Munger

Workshop: Public Speaking for Organizing - Payden 102

Human fears of heights, spiders and needles may only be surpassed by the fear of public speaking. We have your back! Move to Amend board and staff members will share tips, suggestions and dos/don'ts...and provide encouragement in this interactive space for you to overcome not just fears of public speaking but how to use public talks as a tool for recruitment and organizing.

Facilitators: Daniel Lee, Saleem Chapman, Greg Coleridge 

Workshop: The Real Deal with the Other Amendment Proposals and Organizations - Payden 222

Why are there so many competing proposals for how to address Citizens United? What are the differences and who is behind the proposals? Learn the history of the players behind the proposals, past efforts to come to consensus and why they haven't worked, and how best to explain why the We the People Amendment is the only proposal that will get to the root of the problems of the corporate hijacking of the Constitution and get big money out of politics.


Facilitator: Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap

Afternoon Break (3:30-4:00pm)

Workshop Sessions (4:00-5:30pm)

Workshop: Medicare for All vs Corporate Rule - Payden 101

It’s humane, popular, and affordable, yet extremely difficult to achieve in a sick political and legal environment dominated by insurance, pharmaceutical and medical corporations. What are the challenges and opportunities of linking the movement to attain Medicare for All with the campaign to end “corporate personhood.”

Speakers: Katherine Isaac, Melinda St. Louis, George Friday

Workshop: Lobbying Effectively for the We the People Amendment - Payden 102

Are you wondering how to exercise your personal political power to support the We the People Amendment in Congress? Well, just in time for the National Lobby Day, this session strategies will delve into best practices for lobbying your elected officials. You'll also have a chance to put these concepts into practice through simulated lobbying sessions.


Facilitator: Saleem Chapman

Workshops: Organizing Move to Amend State Networks - Payden 222

Discuss how to create a framework for state-level organizing. Hear from veteran Affiliate leaders to learn how they formed state networks in Minnesota, Ohio, and California. Explore long-term strategies and tactics for forming your own Move to Amend State Network.

Facilitators: Barbara Gerten, Anne Wilson, Mary Sue Gmeiner, Keyan Bliss, Milly Harmon

Dinner (5:30-7:00pm) - Alumnae Hall Cafeteria

State and Regional Meetings to be held during dinner. 

Plenary: Creative Resistance (7:00-9:30pm) - Payden 103

Our Movement must be bold and strategic, and it also must be fun and beautiful. Trainers from Beautiful Trouble offer tools, techniques, and analysis to help us build creative, artful, impactful tactics to make ourselves heard and get results. Learn about innovative methods to make change inspired by decades of work from Movements around the globe.


Facilitators: Jessica Munger

Sunday, June 23

Breakfast (7:30am-8:45am) - Alumnae Hall Cafeteria

Plenary: Plenary: Building Relationships Across Issues and Movements (9:00-11:00am) - Payden 103

Back by popular demand! Creating a democracy movement for fundamental change must ultimately connect issues, movements...and people. Representatives from national groups that work on issues that intersect with Move to Amend's agenda of creating authentic democracy and ending big money in elections and corporate personhood will reflect on the possibilities for widening and deepening collaboration at this critical moment in time that demands nothing less than fundamental change by groups and movements that are inclusive, politically/economically independent and dedicated to building nonviolent power.


  • Bill Shiebler, Deputy Director of Human Rights and Community Relations, American Federation of Teachers
  • James McGee, National Steering Committee, Labor Committee for Single Payer
  • Allison Hoppe, Sunrise Movement DC Hub Co-coordinator
  • Greg Coleridge (moderator)

Workshop Sessions (11:15am-12:45pm)

Workshop: Community Outreach and Engagement: Building Partnerships & Solidarity - Payden 101

Building authentic and trusting relationships with members of our communities is critical to form a mass movement strong enough to abolish corporate rule. Learn how we can best engage other community activists and organizations to create opportunities for collaboration and forge meaningful relationships with local movement allies.

Facilitators: Milly Harmon, Tara Ingram

Workshop: Supporting and Engaging Young People - Payden 102

Young people have been and are central to most social change movements in this country and around the world. What are current social concerns and personal challenges of youth? What advice do young people have to non-youth to support them? How can Move to Amend better engage with younger individuals to build power?

Speakers: Alik Schier, Alfonso Saldaña, Jennifer Squires, Victoria Brannan, Khaliya Suaray, Shelly Williams (moderator)

Workshop: Lobbying Effectively for the We the People Amendment - Payden 103

Are you wondering how to exercise your personal political power to support the We the People Amendment in Congress? Well, just in time for the National Lobby Day, this session strategies will delve into best practices for lobbying your elected officials. You'll also have a chance to put these concepts into practice through simulated lobbying sessions.


Facilitator: Saleem Chapman

Workshop: Power Within: Creating Reliable Leadership Presence - Payden 222

Together we will explore the practices that generate a reliable feeling of internal power, such that you can count on yourself to lead (and lobby) when the stakes are high. Power begins inside you. Let's amp it up.

Facilitator: Brennan Smith

Lunch (12:45-2:00pm) - Payden Lobby

Consulting Appointments to get help with your local organizing (sign up in advance/during registration) (1:00-2:00pm)

Plenary: Birddogging Training (Making Sure Elected Officials Understand Who's Boss) (2:00-4:00pm) - Payden 103

The Birddog Nation training is an advanced tactical training on how to get *real* commitments for the world we’re fighting for from candidates for office and elected officials. The training will teach the nuts and bolts of birddogging, the art and science of the inescapable birddogger question, and tips and tricks for non-violent direct action - including time tested practices that keep your team calm, focused and primed for success. The skills learned in this workshop can be applied to any issue that matters to any individual.

Facilitator: Jennifer Flynn Walker

Break (4:00-4:15pm)

Workshops (4:15-5:45pm)

Workshop: The Use of Political Art & Graphic in Supporting Change - Payden 101

Political art and graphics have played a vital role in social change since the very beginning of consciousness raising, organizing and change. From Goya to Picasso to Banksy, politically minded artists have made major contributions in defining the mission and strategies for a wide range of movements. The current session is primarily focused on participants bringing their own art and the works of other favorite artists. We will take turns sharing what we find most compelling and how art and other media could be developed to greater advantage in advancing our mission.

Facilitator: Geoffry White

Workshop: Addressing the Climate Crisis Through a Religious and Ethical Perspective Can Help us Enact the We the People Amendment - Payden 102

For the past several years the Move to Amend Interfaith Caucus has focused on bringing communities of faith and ethical convictions together in support of the “28th We the People Amendment” as a powerful way to make a significant impact on the existential threat of climate change. We do this using the premise that we are “Stewards of Creation” (or “Stewards of the Earth” for non-theists) Because humans must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid utter catastrophe, we contend that climate disruption is the number one reason for passing the amendment: without its passage, climate change will continue to move inexorably towards greater destruction. Learn how affiliates and associated organizations can include this objective in our work and accelerate our progress towards passage of this crucial amendment.”

Facilitators: Katharine Dodge, Greg Coleridge

Workshop: Strengthening Our message by Anticipating Attacks and Avoiding Traps and Employing the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth - Payden 222

Make a positive impact on people who don't yet know what you are talking about. Carefully eliminate useless and harmful mythology from our message. Don't sow hostility, make allies. Realize how our core principles are inseparable from, and also deeply, directly indebted to, the centuries old struggles in America against injustice based upon race and gender. LIberate our movement from timidity, when the convergence of corporate rule, rising fascism, the Sixth Extinction, and global warming threaten the future of life on Earth like never before. We not only need to establish democracy, defend and protect the inherent unalienable Constitutional rights of the people while denying those rights to corporations ... we must also establish and protect the rights of nature to continue to sustain life as we know it. The proof of (a) our core principle that a corporation is NOT a "person" in the meaning of the Constitution, and the proof that (b) the alleged Constitutional precedent is not a "mistake", but is instead nothing less than a demonstrable fraud, will be presented to participants in two "friend of the people" briefs, and discussed to the extent that time permits.

Facilitator: Clyde Winter

Closing Plenary (6:00-6:30pm) - Payden 103

Dinner (6:30-7:30pm) - Alumnae Hall Cafeteria

Evening Fun: Talent in the Family (8:00-9:30pm) - Payden Lobby

Showcase of your skills, talents, skits, chants, songs, and more. What have you done in your community that got people inspired and riveted? What have you always wanted to try and would like to practice on us first?

Monday, June 24 - LOBBY DAY

Breakfast (7:00-8:00am) - Alumnae Hall Cafeteria

Group Photo & Depart for Capitol Hill (8:15am) - In front of Alumnae Hall

Meetings with Congressmembers and Senators (9:00am-1:45pm) - Capitol Hill

Delegations meet with Congressional representatives or staff. Practice making the case for the We the People Amendment with national elected officials. Open or deepen relationships and conversations with federal legislators that you will sustain when you get back home.

Lunch and Debrief Meeting (2:00-3:00pm) - Rayburn House Building, Room 2318

Group Photo in Front of Capitol (3:00pm)

Conference End (3:30pm)