Agenda

If you’re new to Netroots Nation, you can get a sense of what the conference is like by checking out our schedule overview. Each year our agenda includes:

  • 80+ engaging panels on a variety of topics
  • 60+ hands-on training sessions
  • Keynotes and special featured content
  • A progressive film Screening Series
  • Caucuses, networking opportunities, social events and more!

Below you can use our interactive agenda to search panels, training sessions, keynotes and other content from 2017.

Order by:

Let's Talk About Drugs: The Opioid Epidemic and Why It Should Be A Core Political Issue for Democrats

Our communities are being torn apart by the drug crisis. Hear from top progressive candidates and elected officials from across the country about why this issue matters both morally and electorally—and why it’s an issue that speaks to corporate power, the lived economic reality of the working class, and social justice issues like policing, mandatory sentencing, and incarceration. We’ll argue that this should be a major issue and thematic focus for Democrats in 2018 and beyond.

Led by: Stephanie Taylor

Panelists: Sammi Brown, Cathy Glasson, Tom Perriello

FinTech: How Can Innovation Advance Civil Rights?

The emerging financial technology industry serves a multi-trillion dollar market that includes online consumer lending, college savings, payment processing for businesses, money transfers, wealth management, virtual currency, and much more. Innovative products can help underserved families quickly and securely access capital and build wealth. However, without consumer protections, predatory lenders could use new, sophisticated means to continue exploiting low-income families and communities of color. We will discuss how industry, government, and consumer advocates can shape this sector, so that more Americans prosper.

Led by: Scott Astrada

Panelists: Beverly Brown Ruggia, Louis Caditz-Peck, Paulina Gonzalez, Mitria Wilson

Dismantling the Corporate Influence Machine in the States

The corporate Right has spent billions in recent years to develop powerful machinery designed to influence state policy, politics, and the administration of justice at every level, from the legislature, to Attorneys General, local government, and the courts. This panel will shine a light the pay-to-play operations the Right has set up to provide corporations direct access and influence over public officials, through groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the State Policy Network (SPN), and the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), and give compelling stories of its impact–and how to resist it–in hotly contested states. Featured will be Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum’s win over gun groups in his fight against preemption and a look at how corporations are using preemption as a strategy to limit local regulation of business.  The panel will also discuss how key players in this machine have infiltrated the federal government following the election of Donald Trump, and their dangerous plans to rewrite the US Constitution to lock in their radical policies for generations to come.

Led by: Lisa Graves

Panelists: Jane Carter, Mayor Andrew Gillum, Jay Riestenberg, Chris Savage

Don't Write Us Off: A Roadmap for Building Power in the South

Some in the Democratic party write the South off, while others say it’s the next big thing. With shifting demographics and talented young leaders, the South is making a comeback. From key statewide electoral wins to building sustainable progressive infrastructure, the South is making a play to be the future of the Democratic party. Join us for a candid conversation about the state of the progressive movement and a roadmap to building back Democratic power in the South.

Led by: Tori Taylor

Panelists: Akilah Ensley, Jaime Harrison, David McDowell, Rep. Graig Meyer, Ted Terry

Y'all Means All: Fighting for LGBTQ Rights in the South

The South has been traditionally behind when it comes to social change. For this reason, many prominent LGBTQ groups and social justice organizations have been focusing progressive energy on creating political, legal and cultural change in the reddest of red states—all with the help of important, in-state partners. This panel will consider strategies for defeating anti-LGBTQ bills, legal challenges to harmful laws, creating meaningful partnerships to drive social change, and the future of organizing in the South. Join LGBTQ and social justice leaders who have worked to successfully create pro-LGBTQ policies in the South, as they discuss defeating harmful legislation, changing hearts and minds, and putting the “all” in y’all.

Led by: Nick Morrow

Panelists: Quentin Bell, Simone Bell, Ben Needham, Britney Nesbit

Keep Marching! How Connecting Locally Builds Power for Local and National Progressive Wins

The Women’s March was among many post-election on-the-ground actions reflecting our desire to gather in real life to express political power and will and to meet and support each other. People are ready to gather regularly and speak out. How do we sustain this positive energy? How do we organize locally to wield power at every level, from local to national? What does the current political climate mean for our local and national priorities like health care, paid sick days, mass incarceration, racial justice and more? Join us to discuss what it means to #keepmarching in a sustainable, healthy, intersectional and powerful way.

Led by: Anita Jackson

Panelists: Melanie Campbell, Dennis Gonzalez, Elle Hearns, Monica Roberts, Almas Sayeed

Rebellions are Built on Hope: How Organizations are Using Digital Activism and Grassroots Power to Lead the Resistance

In the wake of Trump’s election, Americans took to the streets to make it clear that they would stand for our shared American values of inclusion, diversity, and tolerance, and would not simply accept his extreme agenda. Major grassroots organizations have worked to organize this energy to form an intersectional and united resistance to Trump—one that has marched in the streets, called members of Congress, stood up for our values, and stopped destructive legislation in its path. This panel will explore how organizations—including NARAL Pro-Choice America, ACLU, Women’s March, Color of Change and MoveOn—are working together to resist what’s next in building the resistance.

Led by: Rebecca Wall

Panelists: Jayne Fagan, Arisha Hatch, Alyssa Klein, Diana Scholl

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Love—radical, revolutionary, fierce love—is the only force powerful enough to create the world we want and need. In a time of uncertainty and fear, love navigates in ways that linear thinking cannot. So why is it so hard for movements to practice love, to take it seriously in our approaches and strategies? How do we shed off old movement habits and open to our vast untapped potential? #RevolutionaryLove, #LoveWithPower, #LoveArmy, and Resonance Network will explore: What does it mean, and not mean, to practice love in movement building? What is the history of communities of color building movements based on love? What is the toughest part of committing to love? How does the practice of love change how we build movements?

Led by: Julie Quiroz

Panelists: Alexis Flanagan, Matt Haney, Mimi Ho, Deeptej Singh

Daily Kos Elections Q&A

Come join the editors of Daily Kos Elections for an in-depth Q&A about the 2017 special elections, general elections, the 2018 midterm landscape, and everything in between. NO presentations, NO PowerPoints, and NO speeches—just your questions (and our answers) on any race in the nation you care about. Progressives need to be well-informed about the races that matter most so we can deploy our limited resources effectively. So if you want to know more about what’s happening in elections around the country and what it will means for Democrats, Republicans, and the nation at large, join us!

Led by: David Nir

Panelists: David Beard, Daniel Donner, Carolyn Fiddler, David Jarman, Jeff Singer

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Digital Design in 2016 and Beyond

With an increasingly crowded media landscape and dozens of organizations and candidates vying for each voter’s attention, smart, forward-thinking design has become one of the few ways to effectively break through the noise. Effective design can help raise money, inspire supporters, or tell a powerful story about our people and causes. This panel will take an in-depth look at how candidates, campaigns and causes have adopted a design-forward approach to digital strategy. We’ll discuss lessons learned from the 2016 election, emerging design trends and designing for the resistance.

Led by: Ben Dotson

Panelists: Sabiha Basrai, Candice Dayoan, Yash Mori, Ben Ostrower

Climate Change: Who Will Be Hit First and Worst if We Don't Act?

So you’ve heard about Flint and Standing Rock, right? For every frontline community that makes the news, hundreds more don’t. People are speaking out about the poison and pollution they’ve lived with for decades. Hear community leaders share their stories about what it’s like to live in some of the worst pollution in America and solutions they are innovating to fight back. Walk away with toolkits and resources for how you can act on climate with solutions that put the frontlines first. Let’s build a stronger climate movement. Will you join us?

Led by: Michelle Romero

Panelists: Mustafa Ali, REY LEON, Rev. Leo Woodberry, Miya Yoshitani

Taking Seats at the Table: Black Women at the Intersection of Politics and Activism

White women voted for Donald Trump by 53 percent, while 94 precent of Black women voted for Hillary Clinton. Democrats won the 2013 Virginia Governor’s election, particularly because of black women. Black women are the committed base of the Democratic Party and progressive movement; yet despite gains at the federal level, black women’s leadership is not always reflected in the Democratic Party and the mainstream progressive movement. What is the next generation of black women leaders working in #BlackLivesMatter, reproductive justice, labor unions, LGBT organizations and politics doing to bring black women activism to the forefront of political leadership? Hear from them and how to increase black women political leadership in your own community.

Led by: Atima Omara

Panelists: Glynda C. Carr, A'shanti Gholar, LaToia Jones, Nakisha Lewis

States Resisting: Working with State Lawmakers to Fight the Conservative Agenda

For decades, conservatives—backed by corporate special interests—have invested massive resources to cement power in the states. Now, Trump and Congressional conservatives are wreaking havoc at the federal level. Their regressive agenda attacks immigrants, the environment, women’s health, public education, civil rights, and virtually every cause progressives have worked hard to advance. State-level leadership is one of our most effective tools in fighting the Trump administration. This panel will highlight case studies of effective resistance strategies, including: aligned policy and grassroots efforts for state border wall divestment, presidential tax disclosure and transparency, and fighting the Muslim Ban and other executive actions.

Led by: Nick Rathod

Panelists: Isela Blanc, Rep. Park Cannon, Rep. Jennifer Williamson, Rep. Faith Winter

Ready to Resist: How a New Collaboration Used Technology and Mass Organizing to move Tens of Thousands into Action

Since January, an emerging collaboration of organizations have partnered on strategies and a series of mass actions and phone calls to build and bolster just part of the resistance movement. Over Trump’s first 100 days, MoveOn, Working Families Party, People’s Action and Center for Popular Democracy Action have organized a series of “Ready to Resist” calls on Sunday evenings. The calls have become a locus of energy for progressives and have taken on a life of their own: over 50,000 grassroots activists have joined many of the calls; Senators and progressive leaders have spoken; and most importantly, the calls have moved tens of thousands of people into consistent, nearly weekly action against the Trump agenda.

Led by: Mehrdad Azemun

Panelists: Jennifer Epps, Amanda Johnson, Vicki Kaplan

AAPIs Sharing Effective Strategies for Resisting and Mobilizing

Democrats and progressives need a roadmap to taking back our country. We need to spend the next four years focused on mobilizing hundreds of thousands of new voters—primarily key AAPI voters—to the polls in the closest battleground states where Democrats won or lost the 2016 presidential vote or state house, including red states like Georgia. This session will lift up the AAPI community and offer specific strategies and tactics on messaging, data collection and mobilization to not only increase turnout among Asian-American populations but create long-lasting civic engagement.

Led by: Amy Chen

Panelists: Shwetika Baijal, Cayden Mak, Sam Park, Sandra Shelly

Miss Classification is Not a Beauty Queen! (Sponsored Panel)

One of the weapons corporations have used in the War on Workers has been to rob them of fair wages and benefits and the right to form a union by misclassifying employees as independent contractors. The Teamsters and other worker allies have been front and center in this fight. Global trucking giant XPO Logistics has doubled down on using this illegal employment scheme despite government agencies and courts ruling against it. Hundreds of thousands of port, last-mile, and truckload truck drivers across America have fallen victim to this corporate greed while they struggle to make ends meet. This panel will take a look at the ongoing fight to get workers across the country the fair pay, benefits and union membership they deserve.

This panel is sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Led by: Christina Montorio

Panelists: Daniel Aneseko Uaina, Nick Weiner

Forging a State-led Path to Climate Justice in the Era of Trump

In the face of the Trump administration’s sweeping rollbacks of federal climate and environmental justice programs, it’s now up to states to lead the fight for a safe, just and sustainable future. Campaigns have begun popping up across the country to pass state-level climate policy that prices pollution to fund solutions like renewable energy for frontline communities and a just transition for affected workers. Representatives of burgeoning campaigns in CA, NY, OR and WA will discuss the challenges and opportunities of this new phase in the American climate movement, and how we can unite labor unions, low-income communities of color, and environmental groups to forge a state-led path to climate justice, for the next four years.

Led by: Michelle Romero

Panelists: Tom Erb, Shilpa Joshi, Kim Powe, Dan Sherrell

Resistance Through the Courts: Our First Line of Defense Against Trump's Agenda

With the radical right controlling the White House and Congress, the courts must be the first line of defense against Trump’s agenda—and a centerpiece of the resistance. From direct challenges to policies like the Muslim ban to protecting the rights of workers, women, people of color, persons with disabilities, LGBT communities and more, the future of the federal judiciary is essential. Trump already nominated one Supreme Court justice and could fill over 100 vacancies on the lower courts. Join us to discuss the courts’ role in checking Trump’s abuses of power, why the resistance must include action on judicial nominations and lessons learned from recent fights on how to act and strategies that make a difference online and on the ground.

Led by: Nan Aron

Panelists: Sean Carlson, Anisha Singh, Keith Thirion

Organizing Outside the Perimeter: Reaching Smaller Towns and Communities

Organizers and activists from smaller communities, surrounded or based in more conservative areas, will discuss their experiences organizing residents who often have different experiences and priorities than those in larger metro areas. We’ll discuss the unique challenges one can face when organizing in smaller and rural communities and what tactics and rhetoric they use to tackle these challenges. We will discuss ways that organizations, organizers, and activists based in more resource/power rich areas can help these organizers and communities who work outside of the usual political/social places of power.

Led by: Briana Bivens

Panelists: Ian Bridgeforth, Linda Llyod, Beto Mendoza, Michelle Sanchez Jones

Resisting with Vision: Building the Abortion Rights Movement City by City

2017 brought seismic shifts to D.C., but abortion advocates have been working in a hostile climate for years. States enacted 288 restrictions on abortion access from 2011-2015 alone. The Hyde Amendment has long been considered controversial, and yet reproductive justice activists using bold, visionary strategies have rapidly changed the culture around Hyde in a matter of years. Pursuing strategic wins at the local level is a driver for policy and culture change and an important model to learn from given the current climate. Red state advocates from Texas and Pennsylvania and national advocates will discuss local advocacy and how they use it to organize, build champions, drive a vision for reproductive justice, and ultimately win the day.

Led by: Ravina Daphtary

Panelists: Rep. Barbara Lee, Jenny Mistry, Tabitha Skervin, Amanda Williams

Diversifying the Progressive Movement

The lack of diversity that exists in all levels of politics is no secret. From Congress and campaigns to organizational leadership positions and the consultant class, we continue to see the same patterns over and over again. Whether this diversity problem stems from lingering discrimination and racism, from sparse opportunities for diverse individuals to grow and succeed, from a leak in the many pipelines that lead to political leadership, or perhaps something else, it is time we address this uncomfortable reality and work together to find solutions. The progressive movement depends on the inclusion of our country’s growing population that increasingly is made up of “someone else’s babies” and those who do not fit the status quo.

Led by: Jalisa Washington

Panelists: Jessica Byrd, Amber Goodwin, Madalene Mielke, Chuck Rocha

Holy Sh*t: Where Did All These People Come From?

What happens when you wake up after Election Day, and your monthly donors have DOUBLED? Since Election Day, many progressive organizations have seen an unprecedented swell in interest and engagement from a whole new group of grassroots activists. From record-breaking fundraising and millions of people who are ready to take to the streets, here’s how four organizations from across the progressive movement are finding ways to capture the energy of the resistance and turn it into action.

Led by: Bridget Todd

Panelists: Malinda Frevert, Melanie Garunay, Heather Holdridge, Adrian Reyna

#Resist, Rebuild, Sustain: How Organizers and Technologists Must Collaborate in this Moment

With so many activists sparked by the November election, many are confronted with how best to sustain this moment. In this panel, we’ll share the story of an innovative collaboration between digital strategists and activists. After Trump’s Muslim ban, Meetup launched a network of 1,000 local #Resist groups. Quickly, the network of #Resist Meetups had more than 100,000 members participating in civic action all over the country. To sustain the momentum, Meetup teamed up with The Domestic Worker Legacy Fund, dedicated to elevating communities of color, to house a “Deep Democracy Lab” to provide vision to sustain this grassroots momentum. This panel will examine the ways organizers, digital strategists, and technologists must collaborate in this political moment.

Led by: Almas Sayeed

Panelists: Kristin Hodgson, Ashley Kroetsch, Jess Morales Rocketto, Mariana Ruiz Firmat

Talking about Trade: A Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Climate Antidote to Trump's Xenophobic NAFTA Narrative

Opposition to status quo trade deals has reached unprecedented heights. The question now is: What should come next? Donald Trump exploited workers’ legitimate concerns about trade to eke out wins in the Midwest, but his approach points blame at immigrants, while his billionaire cabinet threatens to make deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) even worse for our communities and our climate. Join us for a strategic conversation on how progressives can speak against NAFTA without legitimizing Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric. We’ll offer a concrete alternative trade vision—one that’s rooted in supporting immigrants’ and workers’ rights, seeking climate justice, and fostering healthy communities across borders.

Led by: Anthony Torres

Panelists: Ana Maria Archila, Ben Beachy, Colette Pichon Battle, Monica Ramirez

Protecting Democracy in 2017 and Beyond: Strategies and tactics to fight back against efforts making it harder to vote

Voting in America has never been easy, but through struggle and sacrifices the right to vote has expanded since the inception of the United States. But, increased access to voting is under attack through policies pushed by politicians who want to make it harder for people to vote.

This panel of voting rights and civic engagement experts will explore strategies and tactics that are being employed at the state, local and national levels to fight back against efforts to suppress the vote and how citizen activists can participate in ensuring that our elections are free, fair and accessible to all.

Led by: Jason Kander

Panelists: Hannah Fried, Nse Ufot

Net Neutrality and the Fight to Regain It

The importance of net neutrality cannot be understated, especially when it comes to the ability to build and grow our movement. Previously, coalitions made up largely of people of color helped guarantee the independence and fairness of our most important communications resource. Now the FCC, under its new leadership, is working to completely destroy the net neutrality protections and again communities and organizations of color are responding.

This is about your ability to communicate your message. What is at stake? What do we do? What are our chances now? Join the activists who led prior campaigns to protect net neutrality for this not to be missed conversation.

Led by: Alfredo Lopez

Panelists: Brandi Collins, Steven Renderos, Collette Watson

How Grassroots Activists Slowed Down the “Inevitability” of ACA Repeal

As election results poured in on November 8, pundits predicted that Obamacare was toast. Republicans had been campaigning on repeal for 7 years and were now in total control. It seemed like an uphill battle to preserve critical health care for millions. And yet it took House Republicans roughly 5 months to pass their version of a repeal bill. Meet some of the activists who were in the trenches fighting and organizing against this health care bill and learn tangible, low-to-no-cost lessons you can apply to your campaigns starting tomorrow—from transparency, raising the voices of real people, creative risk-taking, effective messaging and data, mobilizing your activists offline, rapid response, video, and more.

Led by: Khelan Bhatia

Panelists: Sarah Baron, Leah Greenberg, Reshma Mehta

How to Embed Creative Digital Storytelling Into Your Activism

Direct action, protest, and mass mobilization have long helped progressive organizers win for our movements and look to be a fixture of resistance in the Trump era. But the way we communicate this activism is changing. Digital tools have democratized the way we tell stories and shifted the balance of power from institutions to activists, opening critical opportunities for engagement and movement building. This panel will explore how we we can use these opportunities to tell the most compelling stories possible. We’ll hear from digital practitioners on established and emerging tools for storytelling, activists on their experience as embedded digital storytellers, and organizers on how to harness these stories for meaningful policy change.

Led by: Ryan Schleeter

Panelists: Courtney Fuller, Sarah Rasmussen, Pearl Robinson, Amir Salehzadeh

A Progressive Vision of Universal Basic Income

Interest in universal basic income has surged in recent years, as it’s become more apparent that the way our economy operates is leaving many people behind. While basic income has the potential to radically transform our society, certain implementations of the policy might actually leave many worse off than they are today. Join us for a discussion on a progressive vision of basic income and how that might lift up those who are struggling, both today and going forward into the future.

Led by: Sandhya Anantharaman

Panelists: Joe Dinkin, Reetu Mody, Tom Perriello, Saket Soni

Grow, Fight, Win: Organizing for Immigrant Rights

In traditionally red states like Texas, Georgia, and Arizona, pro-immigrant movements are starting to grow, fight, and win. How is this happening? What tactics is the left taking to achieve policy success? In the face of increasingly anti-immigrant policies nationwide, we are bringing together a distinguished panel of immigrant rights organizers from TX, GA, and AZ to share best practices around effective issue based campaigns in conservative strongholds. Learn how to build coalitions, cultivate unlikely allies, localize messaging, and leverage grassroots power. Attendees will leave understanding the importance of conservative outreach and organizing outside electoral systems to achieve social change.

Led by: Ainee Athar

Panelists: Marisol Estrada, Alejandra Gomez, Zenen Jaimes Pérez

Making Sure the Kids'll Be Alright: Organizing the Youngs Beyond Campus

Learn what works and what doesn’t from groups that are organizing young people around the country. For too long, inside-the-beltway led groups and campaigns have put “youth organizing” on the backburner—often focusing solely on high-profile campuses. This leaves out a huge chunk of the millennials we need for progressive victories: only 40% of millennials make it to college, and the generation goes well past college age. Traditional campaign tactics like phone banking and door-knocking aren’t reaching them, so what does? We’ll discuss tactics that worked to register and turn out young people, and how we are keeping them engaged now.

Led by: Ben Wessel

Panelists: Yong Jung Cho, Prentiss Haney, Lizzy Stephan, Nse Ufot

The State of Trans Affairs in 2017

Progressive While Black: Rules for Engaging Black Progressives in the Trump Era

In 2015, Bernie Sanders burst onto the scene with his bid for president, spurring engagement and activism among members of the progressive movement. However, there has been, and continues to be, a noted lack of authentic engagement of Black progressives within the movement. With the midterm elections looming and increasing hostility towards progressive ideals and Black issues, members of the progressive movement must re-evaluate its interactions with progressives of color, specifically Black progressives. The progressive movement’s ability to mobilize against the Trump presidency rests in its ability to mobilize, collaborate with and engage Black progressives.

Led by: Anoa Changa

Panelists: Mary Hooks, Rep. Barbara Lee, Cesar Vargas, Michele L Watley

How to Be a Labor Ally 101

As a member of the progressive community, you may have marched next to brothers and sisters in the labor movement. You may know that workers have won some key victories on the shop floor and at the voting booth. But what else? Join us for this AMA-style panel with labor activists from diverse backgrounds. You’ll get a broad overview of the struggle for workers’ rights across the country and walk away with practical tips on how to build solidarity with the labor movement.

Led by: Rosemari Ochoa

Panelists: Brett W. Copeland, Gabriella Landeros, Nelson Lucero, Mary Cathryn Ricker

Our 1964 Moment: Learning from the Rise of the Right


Shocking as it was in the moment, when you look across the last five decades of political strategy, Trump was the definitional end to a well-thought-out strategy by the right. After Barry Goldwater’s sweeping defeat in 1964, the right worked to build an infrastructure of institutions, funders and elected officials that would work in tandem to gain complete control in our democratic process. This control is driven by a governing philosophy messaged far better than the left manages to message our goals and philosophy. Join us as we discuss how to build our own infrastructure and message our goals in a more efficient way and uncover the lessons we can learn from the rise of the right.

Led by: Morris Pearl

Panelists: Nancy Flake Johnson, Erica Payne, John Robinson

Digital Sanctuary: Combatting Bias and Racism in Tech Tools and Policies

The 2016 election cycle brought critical challenges with technology into sharp focus. While these fights have been brewing for years across the web, 2016 made it clear that inequality online leads to injustice offline. We need a different set of tech tools policies that disrupt structural exclusion and implicit bias. Systemic racism gets embedded in our technology and tech-driven tactics, allowing for technology to be used in ways that further marginalizes people of color, queer and trans folks, people with disabilities, and women. During this panel we’ll talk about who profits, whose labor is exploited, and what we’re doing to build tools and models that can lead to systemic change and digital sanctuaries.

Led by: Mariana Ruiz Firmat

Panelists: Brandi Collins, Malkia Cyril, B. LoEwe, Cayden Mak

Prosecutor Accountability: Building Local Power

Prosecutors make decisions everyday that impact the lives of Black and Brown people and their communities. Prosecutors decide whether to charge a case, whether to make a plea deal and whether to accept bail; and they make decisions on sentencing. Previously, these were elected positions that flew under the radar, with 85 percent of prosecutors running unopposed. However in 2016, multiracial coalitions led by Black and Brown people came together to bring in reform candidates from St. Louis to Houston to Orlando. This panel focuses on the work after the victories—building political power, holding these newly elected prosecutors accountable and organizing resistance against the inevitable pushback from those in favor of the status quo.

Led by: Scott Roberts

Panelists: Sherry Boston, Jasmine Burney-Clark, Josie Duffy, Mary Moreno

Standing Up for Science: Lessons Learned from Science Organizing in the Trump Era

The Trump administration and GOP-controlled Congress are waging a war on science, but the grassroots resistance from scientists, science advocates and the general public is growing in a way that nobody saw coming. Join us for a discussion of tactics, shared successes, and lessons learned from those organizing in support of science.

Led by: Amanda Mourant

Panelists: Mustafa Ali, Kim Cobb, Dr. Gretchen Goldman, Dr. Lucky Tran

Life After Obama: A New Generation of Leaders on Progressive Foreign Policy


For 8 years, America had a President who came to power criticizing the Iraq War, championed diplomacy, and pushed for global solutions to problems like climate change. Now, with Donald Trump pursuing policies that make George W. Bush look liberal, a new generation of leaders in Congress is rising up to fight back. Come hear the view from Capitol Hill and discuss how progressives can help these new champions build power for the future. As our movement lays the foundation for the next progressive era, we’ll discuss how a progressive foreign policy must be part of our platform and how we can grow our movement in the halls of Congress and around the country.

Led by: Erica Fein

Panelists: Rep. Ro Khanna, Rep. Barbara Lee, Stephen Miles

Battling the Stigma: The Media's Role in the Fight for Repro Justice

Media has always played an important role in changing hearts and minds, and today’s abortion debate is no exception. Although great strides have been made in the way we view a woman’s right to choose, we still have a long way to go. This panel discussion will examine how the matter is currently portrayed in the media and how we can continue to push the needle in favor of women’s reproductive justice. Media helped change the way Americans view LGBTQ couples; can they change the narrative on choice too?

Led by: Jessica Reeves

Panelists: Myra Duran, Bridgette Gomez, Nora Vargas, Danielle Vega

Parenting in the Resistance

Parents are an important but often overlooked center of political and economic power, but parents and other caregivers face unique challenges in movement building and resistance work. How do we talk with the children in our lives—particularly children of color—about current events? What does self-care look like for parents in a rapid-response culture? How can we mobilize parents to take back political power and center the stories and experiences of American families? How do we raise a new generation of anti-racist, anti-sexist people? This panel is not just for parents, but for anyone currently caring for, guiding or loving children in their lives.

Led by: Amanda Kloer

Panelists: Melissa Giraud, Tamara Johnson-Shealey, Randall Smith

Making Congress Listen: How to Transform Trump Anger and Movement Energy into Victories on Capitol Hill


We’re living in a moment of unprecedented energy and activism, as Americans of all political stripes are speaking out and looking for ways to resist the radical Trump agenda. As organizers, we have a golden opportunity to channel this energy to stop Trump’s overreach by effectively engaging Congress and encouraging Democrats to be bold leaders. By helping our fellow citizens lobby their representatives in smart, strategic ways, we can effectively derail the Trump/Ryan Agenda and strengthen the ability of allies in Congress to move the Democratic Party in a more progressive direction.

Led by: Mike Darner

Panelists: Sarah Badawi, Ezra Levin, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Yasmine Taeb

People Over Party: Fighting the Political Establishment to Win Elections

America is in crisis. As more people are disillusioned with the political establishment, the only winning strategy is to fight for all of the things we need to thrive: healthcare, safety, education, housing, a well-paying job, and a livable planet for all. Come join candidates Adrienne Bell (TX-14), Robb Ryerse (AR-03), Paula Swearengin (WV-SN) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) and Yong Jung Cho from #AllOfUs and Erika Andiola from Our Revolution to hear about how their campaigns and organizations are going beyond the left-right divide and organizing all working people to fight the billionaire class.

Panelists: Erika Andiola, Adrienne Bell, Yong Jung Cho, Alexandria Ocasio, Robb Ryerse, Paula Jean Swearengin

Time to MOBILE-ize! Mobile Tools for Digital and On-the-Ground Action


Political and nonprofit organizations are increasingly turning to mobile technology to connect people to the causes they care about. While social media, the mobile web and downloadable apps can reach constituents more effectively than ever before, text messaging (SMS/MMS) is quickly becoming the best direct response tool to reach citizens for political and civic engagement. In recent years SMS/MMS has been an integral tool for rapid response and time-sensitive civic engagement efforts for labor, advocacy and immigration efforts. Join us as we address the impact, platform capabilities, strategy and outcomes of specific mobile campaigns, making it easier for you to get started with your own mobile plan.

Led by: Mattias Chesley, Hillary Lehr

Panelists: Sandi Fox, Arisha Hatch, Ahlam Said, Jocelyn Strauss, Mitu Yilma

Pivoting Left: How We Win by Standing Up for Working Families and Embracing Progressive Values


On Election Day, polls found that a majority of voters felt squeezed economically. While the cost of housing, education and health care continue to rise, many Americans haven’t seen a raise in a decade or longer. As progressives consider how to respond to Trump’s populist economic nationalism, progressives have a choice: embrace a bold populist economic agenda that speaks to working class families and excites an increasingly diverse Democratic base, or pursue the incrementalist agenda of recent years. Come hear why public opinion experts, progressive leaders, and members of Congress are pushing for new agenda to create a lasting progressive governing majority.

Led by: Rep. Mark Pocan

Panelists: Nell Abernathy, Aimee Allison, Rep. Ro Khanna, Joshua Ulibarri

The Intersection of Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence

Atlanta is a major transportation hub when it comes to trafficking young girls from Mexico and is one of 14 U.S. cities with the highest levels of sex trafficking of children. The FBI ranks Metro Atlanta near the top of the list for human trafficking. It’s vital that we as activists aren’t just bystanders to the problem but part of the solution. Join us as we explore how these types of violence intersect with each other and discuss the importance of tackling these issues through a holistic, intersectional lens.

Led by: Daniel Blackman

Panelists: Jewel Allen, Keri A. Potts

Cracking the Code of the 2018 Midterms: Organizing Tools to Win Down Ballot

The 2018 midterm elections will be here before you know it. In such a pivotal moment for the progressive movement, down-ballot candidates should be well equipped to run sophisticated, multi-channel campaigns. What role will data and technology play in the 2018 elections? What tools are organizations using now to prepare for 2018? How will Democrats and progressives match up to their GOP opponents when it comes to data-driven campaigning?

Led by: Amanda Coulombe

Panelists: Mark Jablonowski, Max Kamin-Cross, Danielle Winterhalter

Drawing a Roadmap For Reclaiming Our State Legislatures

States are often referred to as the laboratories of American democracy, but progressives have lost control of most of them, which means opportunities for enacting progressive ideas into law are increasingly limited. Right-wing Republicans are on the verge of gaining the ability to call a constitutional convention because they control so many statehouses. Progressives need a national roadmap for reclaiming our state legislatures so we can introduce progressive ideas to more regions of the country, build a better resistance, and prevent Republicans from dominating the next round of redistricting. This panel will discuss how we can use strategies like big organizing to win legislative races in purple as well as red districts.

Led by: Andrew Villeneuve

Panelists: Laurie Jinkins, Angelica Rubio

Indivisible Women: Mobilizing and Rising Up in Rural America

Indivisible Women, established in a rural community in a red district in a blue state and recognized as one of the larger Indivisible groups in the nation, is creating a new model for women’s leadership. Designed to engage rural women in the political process, encourage partnerships and community building, and access personal power, this panel will share new systems women in rural America are implementing to create solutions to some of our greatest challenges. You’ll learn tools to mobilize multi generations and neighboring communities to work together and design a vision beyond the resistance, plus how to establish a grassroots PAC to support women in leadership and elected office.

Led by: Sheila Cameron

Panelists: Barbara DeHart, Heidi Hall, Elisa Parker, Tracie Stafford

Immigrant Resistance in Red States

Racist, criminalizing state laws already made Georgia a tough state for immigrants. While the current regime poses an enormous challenge to immigrant rights—especially in red states like Georgia—a thriving resistance movement is bringing together communities of color. Come hear about the state’s historically anti-immigrant policies, how an increased anti-immigrant crackdown from this presidency threatens immigrants, and how people on the ground are fighting back in tough terrain like Georgia and beyond.

Led by: Flavia Jimenez

Panelists: Mohamed-Shukri Hassan, Francesca Menes, Adelina Nicholls, Adrian Reyna

How Betsy DeVos Became So Unpopular (Sponsored Panel)


Betsy DeVos went from being a relatively unknown Republican donor to the most unpopular member of Donald Trump’s cabinet. It didn’t happen on it’s own. A dedicated effort from educators, parents and the community organized a resistance that slows down and threatens their entire education agenda. We’ll look at what digital practices worked and discuss what can be replicated in the future.

This panel is sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers.

Led by: Wagatwe Wanjuki

Panelists: Josh Nelson, Hailey Snow, Kami Spicklemire, Dominik Whitehead

0-4: How do Progressives Win in the Trump Era? (Sponsored panel)

With the possibility of scandal and obstruction of justice looming, the undefeated Trump era winning political season continues to chalk up more wins nationwide.

Join us to discuss the candid conversation Progressives must have on race and social economic justice to finally bridge the gap between African-Americans, the LGBTQ community, Latinos and the White Working Class.

This panel is sponsored by CWA.

Led by: Angie Wells

Panelists: Cesar Leyva

Prohibition, Mass Incarceration and Racism: How We Can Halt the Prison Pipeline for Cannabis Use

Millions of people in the United States are incarcerated for cannabis possession, and the majority of those are minorities and the poor. Mass incarceration of minorities and the poor for cannabis possession has been the standard since it was made a Schedule 1 drug. Join us for a conversation about how to push elected officials to make the necessary changes to better our society and halt the prison pipeline for cannabis use.

Led by: Sharon Ravert

Panelists: Neill Franklin, Ebony Knight, Jason Lauve

Keep Your (Tiny, White) Hands Off Me: Strategies and Solutions for Black and Brown Bodily Autonomy

Since becoming president, Donald Trump has issued a series of unprecedented attacks on the autonomy of black and brown bodies in America and around the world, including attempting to forcibly remove health care coverage for millions and defund Planned Parenthood; expanding the devastating global gag rule; making plans to build a wall along the Mexico border; and upping federal immigration enforcement efforts. This panel will feature voices of resistance from those directly affected by such policies. We’ll discuss solutions and strategies for protecting and advancing bodily autonomy, even and especially in the age of Trump.

Led by: Lori Adelman

Panelists: Brittany Alston Caballero, Josie Duffy, Catalina Velasquez

A Path Forward: Navigating Ballot Initiatives for Progressive Change

We need every tool in our direct democracy belt sharpened and ready for use. Ballot initiatives may be the only path toward progress on certain issues—especially in conservative states. Hear from panelists of diverse firsthand experience funding, organizing, researching, writing and legislating ballot initiatives. Get the rundown on corporate opposition to grassroots initiatives and how to win despite being outspent. Learn from ballot failures and avoid some future bruising. Join us and leave this panel a wiser warrior for democracy, a more astute journalist, and a stronger organizer.

Led by: Elizabeth Arnold

Panelists: Rick Claypool, Rep. Kathleen Clyde, Kellie Dupree, Alejandra Gomez, Ryan Hughes

The Progressive Response to (Predictable) Emergencies: National Security Crises and Domestic Crackdowns in the Time of Trump

Let’s face it, the first few months of Donald Trump’s America have been horrifying, but it can get worse. Moments of crisis, such as extremist violence or an international crisis, create windows for seizing power, enacting racist repression of entire communities, restricting civil liberties, cracking down on domestic opposition and going to war. Hitler used the Reichstag Fire; Putin used the 1999 apartment bombings; and George W. Bush used 9/11. With Trump, Bannon and their allies in Congress, progressives must be prepared to fight back in the first hours and days of a national security crisis. Hear from senior leaders from the ACLU, Proteus Fund, Win Without War and MoveOn.

Led by: Iram Ali

Panelists: Zainab Chaudary, Stephen Miles, Faiz Shakir, Murshed Zaheed

Take the Donkey by the Tail: How (and Why) to Take Over Your Local Democratic Party

Republicans now control the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives, two thirds of State Houses, and the majority of Governorships. Why? Many point to a Democratic Party that is increasingly stale, disorganized, and undisciplined. Perhaps that is why, after the 2016 election, so many millennial progressives have decided to stand up, fight back, and take over their local Democratic Committee. In this panel, you’ll hear from four young progressives on how they stormed the gates of their local party, how they’ve revitalized local Democratic activism in their city, and how (and why) you should do the same!

Led by: Thomas K. Valentine

Panelists: Briana Bivens, Dave Gunton, Kelli Ogunsanya

From Demonstration to Legislation: How Organizing Will Win Back Progressive Power


Progressives lost because we failed to motivate enough people to show up to the ballot box. We will win back power when we empower the grassroots and fight for the issues that improve people’s lives. We must energize progressives across the country to focus on winning at the state level in particular, where we have lost 1,000 elections since 2008, and at the local level where policy innovation is happening every day. To do this, we must root our politics in grassroots organizing, and show the resistance movement that politics has answers for them to build power.

Led by: Rep. Keith Ellison

Panelists: Sarah Johnson, Edith Sargon, Annie Weinberg

Tweeting in the Eye of the Storm: How Savvy Digital Organizing was Essential to Blocking the Muslim Ban

On January 27, Trump signed his discriminatory Muslim ban executive order. Attorneys with the National Immigration Law Center and International Refugee Assistance Project worked late into the night to draft the first legal pushback, which was then argued in court by ACLU lawyers the next evening. But the court almost certainly wouldn’t have held the hearing and blocked the ban so quickly if it hadn’t been for the enormous outpouring of activists in airports, cities and eventually outside one key courtroom in New York, organized largely in real time over Twitter. Learn about how it all went down and how savvy digital organizing, working hand-in-hand with legal expertise, was so essential for this huge victory.

Led by: Karen Tumlin

Panelists: Daniel Altschuler, Omar Jadwat, Jackie Vimo, Adela de la Torre

Want to Run for Office? We Want to Help! (Sponsored Panel)

Your neighbors want you to run. Your friends and family want you to run. We want you to run! The progressive movement is investing real resources to make sure talented candidates at every level have the tools they need not just to run, but to build strong campaigns. There are organizations across the country that are ready to recruit, train, and support new candidates, as well as networks of activists who are ready to start organizing for those candidates. We want to make sure every person thinking about running knows what’s available to them.

This panel is sponsored by ActBlue.

Led by: Patrick Frank

Panelists: Amanda Litman, Muthoni Wambu Kraal, Lala Wu

Time to Choose: Nonviolent Coexistence or Violent Co-annihilation?

“We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co annihilation. This may well be mankind’s last chance to choose between chaos and community.” Almost 50 years later and these words from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. still resonate powerfully, as we find ourselves yet grappling with collective political, social and economic violence that seems insurmountable and reminiscent of the time when Dr. King first spoke those words in his speech on the Vietnam War. Politically, voter suppression is on the rise as state legislatures in numerous states are violently seeking to turn back the hands of time and erect tedious barriers to voting. Socially, we see a rise in organized hate crimes, terrorist attacks and mob violence against various minority groups. And economically, the well-being of vulnerable populations is being sacrificed to protect the profit margins of large corporations. We find ourselves in an hour of urgency and we must decide if we are going to heed the wisdom of Dr. King and “organize our strength into compelling power” or condemn our children by ignoring this critical choice…nonviolent coexistence or violent co annihilation​.

Join Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center, and The King Center’s nonviolent leaders, trainers and experts for an insightful discussion on the global state of violence and the relevance of Dr. King’s philosophy and methodology of nonviolence (Nonviolence365™ / NV365™). This session will provide insight on how Dr. King’s commitment to nonviolence enabled him to influence changes in national public policy and lead a world-changing nonviolent movement. We will also explore how these same principles and steps remain relevant in today’s violent climate and examine how to use NV365 to systematically affect social change.

Led by: Sam Collier, Mary Pat Hector

Panelists: Charles Alphin, Carmen Luisa Coya-van Duijn, Dr. Bernice A. King, Dr. Kendra Momon, Bryan Murray, Dr. Hilda R. Tompkins

Running from Trump, Running for the People

The 2016 DNC platform has been characterized as the most progressive in the party’s history, both by establishment Democrats and those affiliated with the Bernie Sanders wing. But these days, national party platforms are not the only game in town. As Democratic candidates struggle to mobilize voters around a bold, positive vision for the future, social movement documents—from the Movement for Black Lives platform to Canada’s Leap Manifesto—are also defining the parameters of political discourse. Panelists will explore their involvement in efforts to develop local and regional vision statements, manifestos, and policy roadmaps that are already capturing imaginations and uniting diverse communities around the country. What lessons are being learned about how to craft inclusive, democratic visions of the society we want to see? What is the relationship between inside and outside platforms? Does the “people’s platform” model offer an alternative path to electoral success?

Led by: Drew Hudson, Anthony Rogers-Wright

Panelists: Rep. Keith Ellison, Danielle Meitiv, Alexandria Ocasio, Paula Jean Swearengin

No One Is Above the Law, Not Even the President: Attorney Generals and the Trump Administration

The courts have proved an invaluable ally in limiting the damage of the Trump Administration, and understanding who the Attorney Generals are in those fights and how we can support their work is critical to our success in protecting the rule of law and the people. Join us for a panel featuring some of the people who have been on the forefront of these issues.

Led by: Darcy Burner

Panelists: Bob Ferguson, Vincent Warren

The Language of Resistance: Messaging and Content Creation to Combat Islamophobia

In an age where breaking through echo chambers and opinion bubbles is harder than ever, learn how to use proven message testing research to create relevant content for a variety of audiences. In this panel, we’ll touch on a recent round of message testing research around combatting bigotry against Muslims, Arabs and South Asians, and then puts the most effective messages to use. Hear from content creators who implement those messages with varied audiences and come away with both an understanding of the issues Muslims face and a sense of allyship.

Led by: Zainab Chaudary

Panelists: Tanzila Ahmed, Iram Ali , Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons

How to Combat Fake News

As the last election cycle taught us, millions of Americans are getting their news from questionable sources. On the right especially (although not entirely absent from the left), “fake news” sites have proliferated and are responsible for massive amounts of misinformation in the minds of voters. This panel will deconstruct the fake news paradigm and offer strategies and solutions to getting a progressive message into the newsfeeds and minds of susceptible voters.

Led by: Melissa Ryan

Panelists: Mark Jablonowski, Sara Langhinrichs, Crystal Patterson

Increasing Women's Access to Health Care Under Trump

It’s more important than ever to fight for increased access to care and reproductive freedom for women. Donald Trump may say he “cherishes” women and will be the”best” president for women, but his stances on issues affecting women prove otherwise. Trump’s presidency and proposed policies pose a clear and present danger to women—specifically women’s reproductive freedom. Join women’s health experts, activists and public health champions to discuss successful strategies for increasing access to care and reproductive freedom.

Led by: Melissa Byrne

Panelists: Merissa Hawkins, Jessica Jin, Jessica Knox, Somer Loen

Leaving It All on the Field: The Midterm Elections in the Resistance Era


Democrats have suffered severe losses in recent midterm elections. Because of redistricting, the 2010 elections devastated the party so badly that we have not yet been able to recover. And 2014 wasn’t much better. But the party in control of the White House usually loses ground in the midterms—and because of Trump, progressives are more mobilized than they have been in a decade. Just in time, too: not only is control of the House at stake, but the next round of redistricting is just around the corner. For 2018, where, and how, should progressive activists focus their energy for maximum impact? Our panel— comprised of a handicapper, a staffer, an activist, and a candidate—will approach these questions from each angle.

Led by: Laura Clawson

Panelists: Carolyn Fiddler, David Nir, Jon Ossoff, Lauren Underwood

Stemming Drop-off and Roll-off: How to Ensure Key Voters Vote in 2017-2018

With so much at stake in 2018 and the importance of early wins in 2017, it could not be more critical to understand the factors affecting voter drop-off, the decline in turnout in non-presidential elections; and roll-off, the failure to cast ballots in down-ballot races. What do we know about potential drop-off and roll-off levels among key demographic groups whose participation will affect the likelihood of progressive electoral gains? What does current research tell us about the issues and information that will best engage and motivate key progressive voters? How might various techniques mobilize drop-off voters? What kind of pop cultural communication and social media can work? What role can different candidates and initiatives play?

Led by: Page Gardner

Panelists: Roger C. Vann, Mayra Macias, Jessica Tully, Joshua Ulibarri

#AskaSista: Black Women Muse on Politics, Policy, Pop Culture and Scholarship


You’ve heard the statistic again and again. 94% of Black women voters voted for Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump. Indeed, Black women have been at the forefront of progressive thought and movement in North America, continuously without the proper recognition, financial investment or confidence. Who knew Leah Daughtry’s name before the hashtag #BlackWomenDidThat after the excellence of the Democratic National Convention? When April Ryan, Angela Rye and Symone Sanders are taking names and doing battle on the national press stage, do we have their backs? And, as a stalwart defender of our rights and responsibilities as American citizens, are we ready to continue supporting Auntie Congresswoman Maxine Waters taking the lead to impeach the President?

Led by: Cheryl Contee

Panelists: Shakya Cherry-Donaldson, Kimberly 'Dr. Goddess' Ellis, Loretta Ross, Nse Ufot

California Dreamin': A Blue State Blueprint for Progressive Resistance

At the local, state and federal levels, California elected officials and community leaders are leading the fight against Donald Trump. They’re not just blocking the current administration and mobilizing to defeat their agenda. They’re also providing an alternative vision for America by modeling the power of progressive governance with important reforms on issues including immigration, health care, workers’ rights, climate change, voting rights, and racial justice. Join an expert panel of political officials and advocacy leaders to discuss the lessons California has to offer on how to organize and win on progressive values, tackle our current political crisis, and cultivate the next generation of progressive leaders.

Led by: Aimee Allison

Panelists: Tim Molina, Lateefah Simon, Karla Zombro

Trumped Up Trade: Retaking the Working Class on Trade and the Economy

 

 

Trump was elected by flipping Midwestern states with appeals to working class voters on trade. Although congressional Democrats have led opposition to job-killing trade deals, these voters were primed to abandon Clinton and believe Trump after myriad deals that offshored jobs and flattened wages. But Trump is contradicting his campaign pledges as the administration’s Goldman Sachs wing fights to maintain the failed trade model—or make it worse. Despite this, Trump still “owns” the trade issue. Many 2018 Senate battles are in states where traditionally-Democratic voters chose Trump on trade. Stopping a GOP Senate supermajority and building an Electoral College majority requires us to take back the working class on trade and jobs.

Led by: Lori Wallach

Panelists: Erika Andiola, Ben Beachy, Rep. Keith Ellison, Murshed Zaheed

Take to the streets — how large scale mobilizations have fueled the Resistance (Sponsored Panel)


In the last year, as political power has waned, progressives have shown an increasing ability to mobilize and get people into the streets. It started even before the election with mass protests of the #NoDAPL movement and has accelerated into this year. Join us as we take a step back and analyze how far we’ve come as a progressive movement, specifically through the lens of large scale days of action. We’ll be joined by the organizers behind events like the People’s Climate March, #NoDAPL and others as we discuss best practices and lessons learned from some of the largest global direct actions in the last decade.

This panel is sponsored by Action Network.

Led by: Brian Young

Panelists: Philip Aroneanu, Yong Jung Cho, Paul Getsos, Nelini Stamp

Knockout Your Naysayers: Real-World Examples to Get Your Digital Program Up and Running

Technology is constantly disrupting the way we communicate, and it seems like there’s a new app or tool coming out every day. Yet too many organizations are drowning in paper call sheets and outdated organizing models. In this session, we dive into the key components of launching a digital program through successful partnerships between communications staff and field teams. Panelists will discuss case studies and lessons learned in getting buy-in from senior staff to invest in digital organizing as well as share concrete tools you can take back to implement in your organization and campaigns.

Led by: Lizette Escobedo, Fermin Vasquez

Panelists: Marcus Benigno, Zaineb Mohammed

Let Her Learn: Understanding and Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Girls of Color

The school-to-prison pipeline, the maze of policies and practices that unfairly pushes students out of school and into the criminal justice system, has long been framed as a boy’s issue. But we know from the data that girls are being targeted too. And it starts as early as preschool. Black girls are only 20 percent of the preschool population but 54 percent of preschool suspensions. These numbers are not the result of higher rates of misbehavior. Girls of color are often punished for minor and non-existent offenses, or the same offenses committed by their peers who are not punished. Come hear from a team of organizers and experts on how you can rally your community around this issue and shut down the school-to-prison pipeline.

Led by: Sabrina Stevens

Panelists: Robin McNair, Letha Muhammad, Becky Pringle, Zakiya Sankara-Jabar

Millions of Jobs: How Progressives are Taking Back the Populist Narrative and Going On Offense on Infrastructure

Progressives are taking back the populist narrative and going on offense against Republicans with a plan to rebuild America—and create millions of new jobs in the process. Hear the inside story of how this campaign came together and where we go from here—to 2018, 2020 and beyond.

Led by: Sarah Badawi

Panelists: Rep. Keith Ellison, Adam Green, Dwayne Royster

UnKoch My Campus: Resisting the Political Corruption of Higher Education

Koch funding is infiltrating our nation’s universities at an unprecedented rate. This is because, by Charles Koch’s own admission, universities are his most important resources for achieving political control. This panel will demonstrate how Koch funding at nearly 400 universities is helping him secretly buy influence over local, state and federal policymaking. We’ll highlight how Koch is stripping power from faculty, corrupting the education students receive and using their control of academia to attack our democracy. Participants will gain an understanding of how Koch’s strategy impacts their issue areas of interest and learn grassroots tactics for successfully disrupting this corruption of our universities.

Led by: Ralph Wilson

Panelists: Mark Hammond, David Harer, Chad Stanton, Laura Wright

Nuts & Bolts Live: Down Ballot Campaigns 3.0

Nuts & Bolts, the Saturday front page series on Daily Kos, focuses on the details of how your county, state and national party work—and how you can get involved. Following fictional campaigns, it has been used by candidates nationwide as a way to help keep their down-ballot, low money candidacies functional. Join us for Nuts & Bolts Live: a Q&A with local political leaders and advocates who want to see changes in their communities.

Led by: Christine Pelosi

Panelists: Jorge Aguilar, Tamara Johnson-Shealey, Aftab Pureval, Chris Reeves

Can Latino Men be Organized to Fight Back?

The 2016 election had a few bright spots, but for the most part, Democrats failed to turn out enough of its base. One of the key constituencies that demands further exploration—and one that will be critical for future Democratic electoral success—is Latinos; what is noticeable is how differently Latino men voted compared to Latinas. There was a 13-point gender gap between Latino men and women. As Republicans continue to count on a shrinking Anglo vote, progressives cannot allow Latino men to drift further to the middle. This panel explores what can be done to cement Latino men as the part of the progressive base.

Led by: Joshua Ulibarri

Panelists: Leticia Martinez, Paul Rivera, Tomas Robles, Colin Rogero

#BadassHelenKeller and #FierceFannieLou: How Disability Can Save the Progressive Movement

Fannie Lou Hamer was involuntarily sterilized because of polio in her 20s and often talked about the additional oppression she fought because of her health. Helen Keller was more than just inspiration porn. She protested Apartheid and founded the ACLU. Disabled people, both those with visible conditions and those with hidden ones (mental health, learning disabilities, chronic illness) are already within our movement. In this session, we’ll discuss how our issues and agendas overlap, incorporating best practices and strategies to recognize and combat ableism can strengthen our agenda, buttress our grassroots, and sustain us for the long road ahead.

Led by: Rebecca Cokley

Panelists: Mia Ives-Rublee, Katherine Perez, Vilissa Thompson

Talking While Black: Is It Time To (De-)Desegregate the Black LGBTQ Community?

Though the LGBTQ community claims to be one of inclusion and community spirit, the community seems to be on the same level as straight America when it comes to the daily micro and major aggressions committed on Black members of that very same community—all the while claiming “we are family.” From the white male standards of beauty to using Black pain (HIV/AIDS) as a fundraising tool, the Black community is consistently disregarded and disrespected. But who’s fault is that? Is it the white community who we have been disappointed by so very many times? Or is it ours for depending on them?

Led by: DEREK WASHINGTON

Panelists: Faith Cheltenham, Khafre Kujichagulia Abif, Monica Roberts, Ashton P. Woods

The White Face of Domestic Terrorism: How Islamophobia Distorts the Reality of Terrorist Violence in America


Americans love to summon images of turbaned Arabs when they bandy the word ‘terrorist,’ but recent studies have revealed a much more complicated reality: That domestic terrorism in the United States is twice as likely to be committed by a white American-born, right-wing extremist. This reality is often obscured by an official emphasis from politicians and law enforcement on the Islamist threat, which is echoed and expanded upon by the media. This panel will assemble terrorism experts from a variety of backgrounds to explore how ethnic hysteria against Muslims generated by hate groups has helped feed the distortion that has misshaped the resulting American anti-terrorism policy.

Led by: David Neiwert

Panelists: Rabiah Ahmed, Daryl Johnson

Game of Phones: Rapid Response Calling in the Age of Trump

Calling has proven to be one of the most effective ways to lobby your elected officials. Join us for a conversation on the successes (and failures) of using calling tools, with a particular focus on the influx of legislative hotlines leading up to and after Trump’s inauguration. We’ll share best practices on creating and promoting hotlines and other methods of driving call actions.

Led by: Carla Aronsohn

Panelists: John Burton, Mark Crain, Zavé Martohardjono, Laura Moser

Gamify Your Activism: Developing Automation Tools for Grassroots Advocacy

Message boards, e-mail lists, and easily built campaign websites improved the efficiency of grassroots activism through the 90s and 00s. As we move into an era of augmented reality and organizing across large distributed networks, organizers will need innovative and emotionally-appealing methods of inspiring, tracking and rewarding actions in a virtuous cycle. Our in-house advocacy automation tool, the Chapter Activity Tracker, gives network leaders an interactive and flexible platform to engage their chapters and removes financial barriers to organizing. This panel will demonstrate proven methods by which we have increased capacity and results while distributing power and responsibility to a growing network of leaders.

Led by: Betty Aldworth

Panelists: Juana Akumoah Boateng, Scott Cecil, Alec Foster, Tyler Williams

Local Food Policies: Converting a Food Desert to a Food Oasis

Whether challenging the municipal urban agriculture ordinance in Boston to treat Black women farmers equally or converting a Georgia food desert to a food oasis, resistance is being fought to bring about a better food world. The “food rebels” gathered for this panel are each involved with engaging policy to effect change and generate new opportunities for those traditionally locked out of power. Join us to discuss the levers of change in food policy that are available to activists and why progressives must to be aware of the issue and impacts.

Led by: Mark Winne

Panelists: Suzanne Girdner, Khalid Kamau, Kwabena Nkromo

Building a 21st Century Movement Against Militarism

Much has been written about the demise of the American peace movement, but this panel will examine the exciting work to build a new movement against militarism. From police using tanks against protesters to a drone war that has taken thousands of lives to endless wars in the Middle East, the American war machine is alive and well. Why does the left have so much trouble taking it on? At a time when more than half of the federal discretionary budget goes toward war, we will explore how rebalancing federal funding is at the heart of building the America we want to see. An all-star group of organizers will discuss innovative new campaigns to recenter the fight against militarism at the heart of the progressive movement.

Led by: Daniel May

Panelists: Reece Chenault, Tessa Levine, Jose Vasquez

Ending the Myth of the Welfare Queen

Throughout the country, reproductive justice and anti-poverty movements are coming together to change the narrative about who gets welfare and why. They are doing so while building campaigns to repeal harmful policies established in the lead-up to and during the 1996 Federal Welfare Reform. State laws denying child care to children whose parents have a prior drug felony conviction or cash aid to families if they birth children while poor depend on the myth of the welfare queen. This racist, misogynistic and classist myth supposes that poor women have babies to make money and their poor parenting decisions result from laziness or selfishness. Learn how this new forged coalition is changing the narrative and changing the laws.

Led by: Jessica Bartholow

Panelists: Myra Duran, Nourbese Flint

A Whole New Woooorld: Organizing in Pop Culture Communities

From comics to boy bands, there are pop culture fan communities already self-organizing resistance, creating culturally relevant content, and imagining new ways to inspire narratives that open imagination and belief in a just, fair and equitable future. Social change organizations want to experiment with new ways to connect with younger generations and people of color who are politically and socially active and share progressive values—but may not be connected to the traditional political entities or issue-based nonprofits. Organizers can learn from our examples, understand why they must shift away from a messaging mindset, overcome their fear of failure, and start building the funding needed to support this new cultural organizing work.

Panelists: Keidra Chaney, Keith Chow, Andrew Slack

Puzder, Green, Kalanick and Flynn: Inside the Successful Campaigns to Pressure Trump Officials to Step Down


Outside pressure campaigns from the left all contributed to Andrew Puzder, Mark Green, Travis Kalanick and Michael Flynn stepping down from key roles in the Trump administration. Each stepped down under different circumstances but the left played a key role in organizing and communications that set the stage for these earliest wins against the administration. Panelists will take attendees inside these campaigns and their efforts to shine a light on the problems with some other administration officials.

Led by: Scott Simpson

Panelists: Judy Conti, Jonathan Lipman, Jade Magnus, Stephen Peters

Trolling for Justice: How Cheeky, Provocative Campaigns Can Lead to Progressive Victories

Who doesn’t love a breakout petition? Or a viral infographic? What about an unexpectedly engaging call alert? Great, right? But also: TROLLING. The panel will discuss trolling as a tactic to educate new audiences, hit hard at the opposition, and generate opportunities that convert people to action. This panel will focus on how bold, cheeky, and deliberately provocative campaigns can be leveraged to not just egg on the opposition, but tell a story that leads to progressive wins. Panelists will describe how this tactic shapes their work and share best practices, and will invite participants to identify what real-time campaigns they’re running that could benefit from a dose of #trololol’ing.

Led by: Emma Boorboor

Panelists: Anna Bean, Sean Carlson, Brandi Collins, Bridget Todd