If you’re new to Netroots Nation, you can get a sense of what the event looks like by checking out our schedule overview. Below you can view panels, training sessions, keynotes and other content as sessions and speakers are confirmed. You also view a PDF of our printed program here.

If you’re looking specifically for the schedule grid, please click this link to view it.

Highlights for Netroots Nation 2014 include:

  • A keynote featuring Sen. Elizabeth Warren (and more speakers to be announced soon)
  • 80 panels and 40 hands-on training sessions
  • A progressive film Screening Series
  • An Ignite themed keynote, featuring fast-paced talks from movement leaders
  • A kickoff party sponsored by the Michigan Senate Democrats and the DLCC
  • A closing night party sponsored by Alliance for American Manufacturing
  • A special Tech Tools Shootout and reception sponsored by Google, New Media Ventures and Netroots Nation
  • Annual events including our pub quiz, comedy show and candidate reception and much more!

Order by:

Netroots Nation 2014 Kick Off Party – Welcome to Detroit

The Michigan Senate Democrats and the DLCC would like to welcome Netroots Nation 2014 attendees to Detroit with a kick off party at the Detroit Beer Company (1529 Broadway St., Detroit, MI)

We will be joined by Michigan Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer as well as other special guests.

RSVP here to receive a complimentary drink ticket.

Morning News Dump with Lizz Winstead, Shannyn Moore and Cliff Schecter

It’s the third year in a row that Lizz and friends help you jump start your Netroots mornings talking the big news stories of the day with zero regard for FCC regulations. Grab your coffee before the action begins each morning while getting an freewheeling and hilarious update of the day’s news with Daily Show co-creator and comedian Lizz Winstead and Radio host, journalist Shannyn Moore, and Pundit, author and teller of truths, Cliff Schecter.

The Morning News Dump is sorta like “Morning Joe,” minus the guests who have gotten everything wrong for the past 10 years. Each morning these three will also welcome some of your favorite bloggers and politicians as well to give you a download of the days news before you hit the Netroots ground running.

They already have lined up some other very special guests so you don’t wanna miss it!

Roll out of bed and join them!

From clicktivist to canvasser: Online to offline mobilization

The netroots have been critical in turning a number of races from unlikely to viable, proving that sometimes our best volunteers are behind a computer screen. This session presents two successful case studies of online organizations mobilizing their memberships into offline actions. We will identify strategy, tools and best practices for successful volunteer engagement.

Trainers: Kaili Lambe, Karli Wallace

Training for trainers: Principles of adult learning

Think of every training you’ve ever attended. What’s the difference between the ones that make you yawn and the ones that make you feel motivated and confident about applying new knowledge and skills to your work? Join this session to learn the science behind effective trainings, so you can apply it the next time you need to teach anything to anyone.

Trainers: Ashley Pinedo

Moving your audience in 140 characters

Learn how to create a powerful digital strategy on Twitter, including how to establish a strong organic presence and how to create a successful promoted presence.

Trainers: Ashley Ramirez

Organizing the South: The Times They Are a-Changing

How can progressives continue to transform the social and political landscape of the South? By making sure workers have a voice on the job, electing representatives who care about poverty and women’s rights, and ultimately, organizing the working class into a broad, diverse movement for economic and social justice. From Moral Mondays and Fast Food strikes to Volkswagon auto workers in Chattanooga seeking a voice on the job, exciting things are happening in the South.

Led by: Darius Kemp

Panelists: Will Branch, Cherri Delesline, Carol McDonald, MaryBe McMillan

Progressives and the Midterms: Making Smart Investments to Build Progressive Power in 2014 and Beyond

What are the smartest plays that progressives can make in the upcoming mid-term elections? What are they key issues that progressives should be talking about? Join us for a lively discussion on building progressive power on Election Day and beyond.

Led by: Amanda Terkel

Panelists: Shenna Bellows, Nick Berning, Stephanie Taylor, Annie Weinberg

Challenging the Dramatic Under-Representation of Women and People of Color in Political Office

What would it look like if the people who hold political power actually reflected the communities they are elected to serve? What structural barriers prevent the United States from having elected leadership that reflects the full range and strength of our diversity? This panel will look at how systemic barriers like money in politics and negative gate-keeping networks operate to keep women and people of color from elected office. The under-representation of these groups undermines our democracy and contorts policy agendas but has rarely been directly targeted for structural change. Most efforts to diversity candidates for elected office lift individual candidates over walls through recruitment, training, and other forms of direct personal support. This panel will explore what it would look like to directly attack the walls that result in a system in which white men make up 32% of the U.S. but nearly 80% of Congress.

Led by: Jenifer Fernandez Ancona

Panelists: Cristobal Alex, Sayu Bhojwani, Ariel Boone, Glynda C. Carr

Bro-Choice? Where Do Men Fit in the Reproductive Justice Movement?

Men have shown up as allies for women in politics since suffrage, but issues of reproductive, sexual, and family health continue to be seen as primarily the burden and responsibility of women. The limits of this frame have become glaringly apparent: the “war on women” frame leaves out the LGBTQ community, lacks a racial justice analysis, and most importantly, reifies outdated ideas about gender. It’s time to rethink our frame and engage men—not as allies, but as stakeholders, whose sexual health, bodily autonomy, and ability to form and care for their families is deeply impacted by the same systems of reproductive oppression.

Led by: Raquel Ortega

Panelists: Travis Ballie, Renee Bracey Sherman, Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, Kashif Syed

Fighting for Democratic Practices after an Emergency Manager Takeover in Michigan: Report from the Trenches

Since taking office in 2010, Rick Snyder, the corporate-friendly Republican governor of Michigan, has installed 10 so-called “emergency managers” (EMs) to take the place of elected mayors, city councils, and school boards. In 2011 Snyder and the Republican legislature broadened the powers of EMs and essentially replaced local democracy with their political appointees. In 2012, Michigan voters rejected Snyder’s version of the law, but the legislature simply ignored the vote and passed an identical law. The majority of those deprived of their local representation live in cities where people of color are a majority of the population. Despite this profoundly anti-democratic takeover, residents and elected officials keep resisting this abrogation of the rule of law. This panel will feature activists from across Michigan who continue the struggle to regain their city’s autonomy.

Led by: Alec Gibbs

Panelists: Brandon A. Jessup, Karen Majewski, Claire McClinton, Nayyirah Shariff, Maureen Taylor

New Frontiers in Voter Contact: How open APIs, mobile, and real-time data collection are changing field forever

A new wave of technology startups are leveraging an increasingly open progressive data ecosystem to build tools that enable campaigns and organizations to make faster, better, more responsive decisions. Imagine a voter receiving a fundraising email immediately after a contact at the door. Or a real postcard arriving in your mailbox with a personalized GOTV message from a Facebook friend. A new wave of progressive innovators including Organizer, Amicus, and the organizers of the Open Supporter Data Interface (OSDI) are giving progressives an edge by enabling more integrated and targeted data-driven campaigns. Learn how these technologies are enabling leading unions and committees to take their tech to the next level, and contribute your ideas for the future of voter contact.

Led by: Gayatri Bhalla

Panelists: Robin Alberts-Marigza, Debra Cleaver, Ian Magruder, Jason Rosenbaum

Agitating for Change: Russian Media and the Thirst for Information

Access to information is crucial for an informed and democratic society, and obtaining important government information is getting more difficult in Russia, where the state is beginning to clamp down on media in the wake of the turmoil in Ukraine. The professional and citizen journalists there face common enemies—corporate special interests with unending financial resources, procedural hurdles, and ever-changing political climates. To combat this, how are journalists in Russia leveraging social media and other online tools for action? What lessons can be gleaned from efforts in the US and other countries around the world? And how can we work together to support the work of our progressive allies across world?

Led by: Libby Rosenbaum

Panelists: Artem Chlegov, Ivan Pritulyak, Dimitrie Ross, Elena Vasilieva

Filmmaker Caucus

Introduce yourself to fellow filmmakers, producers, presenters, activists, organizers and movie-lovers at our annual Filmmaker Caucus.  All are welcome — whether you are participating in the screening series or just interested in hearing about a range of projects and meeting other people creating progressive change through film.


Led by Justin Krebs of Screening Liberally, one of the many projects of Living Liberally.

Led by: Justin Krebs

Engaging and Growing Your Supporter Base with Google Tools

Whether your goal is to reach new supporters or deepen existing connections, there are a variety of digital tools and platforms to take your outreach to the next level. This training covers how products like Google+, YouTube, and Hangouts can be used to communicate your message, engage in dialogue with stakeholders, and broaden your reach. Participants will learn how to
make the most of live events by streaming them and allowing remote viewers to participate online, embedding calls-to-action within YouTube videos, and more.

Queer People of Color Caucus

This caucus is to provide a conversation space for folks who identify as Queer People of Color. We will network and strategize around issues including: Queer/Trans criminalization, immigration and anti-racism work. We come together to seek common ground as people of color in the LGBTQ struggle for equality.

Led by: Eyad Alkurabi, Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez

AMTWiB w/ L. Joy Williams

Political Strategist and President of the Brooklyn NAACP hosts the critically acclaimed AMTWIB featuring the latest in news, politics, and activism across the country. She’s joined by TWiB Sr. Legal Analyst Imani Gandy and TWiB! Sr. News Editor Emily Epstein White. Get ready for a conversation you needed in your life and you probably didn’t even know it.

Led by: Emily Epstein White, Imani Gandy, L. Joy Williams

It's not Photoshop's fault that no one liked your infographic

Do you ever find yourself at a loss for how to make attractive visual content when you have to include your organization’s garishly colored logo? Have you ever spent hours trying to craft the perfect Facebook graphic and then your mom is the only person who shares it? Do you secretly wish you could make an infographic that looks decent enough for Upworthy to post? If you answered, ‘yes’ to one or more of those questions, then you need to be at this session. This training is for anyone looking to up their design game, make share-ier content and get a handle on tools for visual problem solving. We’ll focus on the bare-bones basics of good design and show you how to take your visual content to the next level by using design principals to break through frustrating roadblocks.

Trainers: Sarah Baker, Eric Ming

Influencing public policy in the digital age: Legal rules for using social media

Nonprofits are built on a foundation of relationships, and tools like Facebook and Twitter allow nonprofits to expand our relationships and our worlds. But new tools come with a tangled web of rules and regulations, and many nonprofits are hesitant about engaging in online advocacy. Can a c3 lose its tax status over a careless Tweet? What happens when a politician likes your organization’s Facebook page? This training will clarify the rules for using social media, blogs and email as part of your advocacy toolkit. Trainers will give concrete examples and invite the audience to discuss hypothetical situations to develop a deeper understanding of the rules that apply to online advocacy.

Trainers: Isaiah Castilla, Ben Wyskida

Vision, values, voice: Building powerful messages to win

If you’ve read anything on political messaging lately, you know you’re supposed to be talking about values and perfecting the art of storytelling. But what does that mean? This workshop provides concrete structures for building powerful and resilient values-based messages that will take on tough issues and cut through the communications clutter. Based on communications theory and research and the experience of advocates and activists around the country, our values-based approach will help communicators think through their messaging strategy, segment audiences and identify concise, effective language to move your issue forward.

Trainers: Julie Fisher-Rowe, Alan Jenkins

Mothers of Murdered Children: Moving from Grief to Action

We know the names of Trayvon Martin, Hadiya Pendleton, and Jordan Davis, but what of the thousand of children murdered every day in America’s cities and towns? This session will bring to life how Detroit mothers who’ve lost children to violence are channeling their grief to propose policy changes, increased funding, and attention from mayors, school board officials, and others to make a difference—and make sure other families don’t face these same tragedies. In addition to families with first-hand experience, attendees will hear from policy staffers on how to advocate most effectively with city and county municipalities.

Led by: Dana Vickers Shelley

Panelists: Brenda Hill, Natalie Motyka, Andrea Perkins Clark, Catherine Phillips

Not Just Detroit: How to Fight Back Against Wall Street and Predatory Municipal Finance

Last summer, Wall Street banks were poised to jump to the front of the line in the Detroit bankruptcy. The city was going to have to slash retirees’ pensions and sell off assets to pay hundreds of millions in bank fees. After a concerted campaign that included in-depth research, actions, and litigation, the bankruptcy court dramatically reduced the amount the city would pay big banks by hundreds of millions of dollars, thus freeing up much needed cash to invest back into Detroit. Panelists will talk about this ongoing fight, and organizers from the Chicago Teachers Union will talk about how they campaigned against predatory financing deals to rally support during their strike and to fight school closings. These campaigns are part of a growing national movement to expose and challenge predatory municipal finance deals to reframe the debate around public budget crises and offer solutions that put the needs of our communities first.

Led by: Saqib Bhatti

Panelists: Sarah Coffey, Brandon A. Jessup, Jackson Potter, Wallace Tuberville

Workers Organizing Online: What We've Learned and What We're Learning

Digital organizing in the labor movement is finally hitting its stride. Organizing 2.0 is the only organization founded specifically to address this field, and we want to share some of what we’ve learned over our five years of study. In this panel, we’ll feature case studies of brave and successful online/offline organizing, including the higher risk/higher reward moves by labor/community coalitions like Fast Food Forward and OurWalmart. We’ll also talk about how teacher unions have successfully broadened education fights to include the entire community and how union locals and community groups have invested in online work even with their limited capacity.

Led by: Elana Levin

Panelists: Jonathan Lamb, Kenzo Shibata, Sara Steffens, Kyle Tanner

Solidarity, The Original Way to 'Lean In': How Women Workers are Owning their Power for Paid Sick and Family Leave

For the first time in history, half of women are in the labor force and three quarters of moms are working. Many of them are now the primary or co-breadwinner for their families. Women are organizing their workplaces to create a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities. What lessons can we learn from their successes and how can we move this agenda forward? Join us for this discussion of the ways traditionally “leaned on” women workers are owning their power, raising their voices, and organizing for better workplaces through paid sick and family leave, protecting pregnant workers, pushing forward fair pay policies, and more.

Led by: Liz Shuler

Panelists: Girshriela Green, Saru Jayaraman, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Liz Shuler

Religious Exemptions: The Next Frontier for Progressive Battles

Across the country, the religious right is losing the moral battles for LGBTQ equality, reproductive justice, and workers’ rights. So why are progressives losing so many legal and legislative battles? The answer is religious exemptions, the tactic being used by right-wing political forces to chip away at legal protections for LGBTQ individuals, women, and workers. This panel will dig into how these exemptions are being used, how right-wing groups are redefining “religious liberty” to push an extremist agenda, what the implications of the exemptions are at the state and federal level, and how progressives can use winning messaging to reclaim the “moderate middle” being targeted by these exemptions.

Led by: Heather Cronk

Panelists: Kierra Johnson, Erin Matson, Meghan Smith, Sebastian Velasquez

2020 War Room: Inside the Secret Plan to Beat GOP Gerrymandering

Democrats won 1.7 million more votes, but Republicans won the majority in Congress. You’ve heard that story before. Now join us for an inside look at the Democratic strategy to fight back. Legislators, campaign strategists, and nationally renowned redistricting experts will walk us through how Democrats can use cutting-edge data and modeling, strong progressive messaging, and old-fashioned shoe leather to fight back against GOP gerrymandering today and then turn the tables on Republicans in 2020.

Led by: Tom Bonier

Panelists: Stacey Abrams, Jim Ananich, Michael Sargeant

Fighting Fake Science: When the Right tries to Derail Your Movement with Misinformation

This panel will discuss right wing tactics—from climate change deniers to misinformation campaigns on birth control, sex ed, and abortion—that use fake science to try to attack progressive movements. Panelists will present successful strategies devised to counter the right’s attacks, and identify best practices on how to respond when the right comes at you with fake science.

Led by: Travis Ballie

Panelists: Peter Sinclair, Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, Erika West

The Ever-Evolving Ad Tech and Targeting World: What to Look for in 2014 and Beyond

From Facebook’s new sign up button to Pandora’s musical taste targeting to handle matching on Twitter, the platforms we use to communicate our campaign messages are constantly changing. This panel will bring in digital experts and representatives from various tech platforms to talk about what’s new and what’s working in the digital media space.

Led by: Madeline Twomey

Panelists: Danielle Butterfield, Sean Duggan, Chris Frommann, Kaiya Waddell

LIVE: The Good Fight, with Ben Wikler, powered by MoveOn.org

David versus Goliath fights, told from the behind-the-slingshot point of view: that’s “The Good Fight, with Ben Wikler,” the award-winning, MoveOn-powered podcast and radio show about people changing the world. And it’s taping an unmissable live episode right from the heart of Netroots Nation.

Be a part of it! Your hoorays and boos will power the Win-O-Meter in a special edition of the Win Report, your friends will wow you with career-making cameos in wickedly satirical comedy sketches, and your heart will soar as you hear progressive champions reveal the true stories of against-all-odds fights for a better world. Bring tissues to dry your tears, lozenges to rescue your cheering-hoarse voice… and a unquenchable thirst for victory.

Panelists: Ben Wikler

Screening: American Revolutionary

Grace Lee Boggs is a 98-year-old Chinese American woman  whose vision of revolution may surprise you.  A writer, activist, and philosopher rooted for more than 70 years in the African American movement in Detroit, she has devoted her life to an evolving revolution that encompasses the contradictions of America’s past and its potentially radical future.

AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY: THE EVOLUTION OF GRACE LEE BOGGS plunges us into Boggs’s lifetime of vital thinking and action, traversing the major U.S. social movements of the last century: from labor to civil rights, to Black Power, feminism, the Asian American and environmental justice movements and beyond.  Boggs’s constantly evolving strategy – her willingness to re-evaluate and change tactics in relation to the world shifting around her – drives the story forward.  Angela Davis, Bill Moyers, Bill Ayers, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Danny Glover, Boggs’s late husband James and a host of Detroit comrades across three generations help shape this uniquely American story.  As she wrestles with a Detroit in ongoing transition, contradictions of violence and non-violence, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, the 1967 rebellions, and non-linear notions of time and history, Boggs emerges with an approach that is radical in its simplicity and clarity: revolution is not an act of aggression or merely a protest.  Revolution, Boggs says, is about something deeper within the human experience – the ability to transform oneself to transform the world.

As it kinetically unfurls an evolving life, city, and philosophy, AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY takes the viewer on a journey into the power of ideas and the necessity of expansive, imaginative thinking, as well as ongoing dialectical conversation, to propel societal change.


Panelists: Grace Lee

Master Class: NGP VAN

The Master Class program is focused on the specific tools that organizers use every day, and helping intermediate users become efficient, effective power users.

This Master Class focuses on harnessing the power of several new tools we’ve developed over the last several months that make an organizer’s workflow more efficient and help improve the quality of and access to data on our platforms. We’ll review the latest techniques on everything from more efficient list creation (our newest and more powerful version of Create a List), segmenting contact universes into Turf (changes to Turf cutter and Turf Management), as well as streamlined ways of quickly getting these universes into the hands of volunteers and activists (such as our improvements to the indispensable Virtual Phone Bank, including the new Open VPB, which configures a call list to be publicly available within seconds) and our widely-used MiniVAN mobile canvassing app for iOS and Android devices. We also cover how our products can be managed under a single, universal login (ActionID) and a brand new tool called VAN Relay, which improves the quality of data in volunteer, membership and organizing databases. In addition, we focus on high level administration of our integrated phone services and social organizing tool.

Trainers: Torvic Vardamis

Latino Caucus

Join us for an engaging discussion on issues affecting our community. We’ll seek to come away with some tangible steps on two key questions.

In particular we plan to discuss:
1. Beyond immigration, what should the Latino agenda be going into the 2014 and 2016 elections?
2. How can we bring about greater political and corporate accountability both within our community and by using our collective power?

Refreshments generously sponsored by Voto Latino.

Led by: Mariana Ruiz Firmat

The Shannyn Moore Show

A special NN14 broadcast of The Shannyn Moore Show.

Led by: Shannyn Moore

Discussion with Detroit Activist Grace Lee Boggs

Following the full-length screening of American Revolutionary, a film about her life, 98-year-old Chinese American activist Grace Lee Boggs will be joining us for a discussion about the movie, her life and work.All are welcome, whether you attended the movie or not.

Organizing Young Women into the Progressive Movement Caucus

It’s no secret that women will likely determine the midterm and 2016 election outcomes, but many – on the left and the right – are struggling to figure out how to organize this key demographic both electorally and for advocacy organizations. With polls consistently showing that the GOP is out of touch with women, now is a key time to activate this powerful demographic.

1. How can we engage young women and organize them to join your cause or campaign? What messages resonate with young women most?
2. What are the primary communication channels that young women are using, and what tactics can we use to make sure our messages get heard? Going further, how can we use these channels to activate young women? What misconceptions exist about young women that hinder our organizing?

Refreshments sponsored by Change Corps.

Led by: Ilyse Hogue, Kate Maeder

Issue Campaigns Aimed at Congress

The theory and practice of issue campaigns aimed at Congress can be complex. In this session, we’ll talk about the self interests of members of Congress and how media can affect the behavior of members. We’ll also cover messaging, tactics and timing so that your issue campaign will be as succesful as possible.

Trainers: Heather Booth, Bob Creamer

Corporate Welfare and Tax Loopholes vs. Public Services: Who's Winning?

Cuts to education, transit, housing, food assistance, public safety, infrastructure, and pensions are driving the political debate in communities as across the country as politicians claim that government spends too much. But cutting or eliminating such programs harms many taxpayers, especially those in underserved communities. We’ll explore the billions of dollars given away in the name of “economic development”—money that could be invested in vital public services. Discover how to use online resources to uncover inequities in your community and how to reframe the story to show how this shift in economic priorities is robbing many of vital services and perpetuating the rich-poor income gap.

Led by: Mesha Williams

Panelists: Greg LeRoy

Google Analytics: Using data to improve your website

Say goodbye to being overwhelmed by the information in Google Analytics. In this session, we’ll cover just the data points that are most applicable to your nonprofit’s website. We’ll discuss what each data point is actually telling us about the areas of our website that need improving. Armed with our new data know-how, we’ll walk through specific ideas you can use to start improving your own site. (And to keep all of us focused on the data that matters after the session ends, you’ll receive a link to a dashboard template that you can save and use in your own Google Analytics account.)

Trainers: Yesenia Sotelo

Using theories of change to campaign and win

We all campaign on the basis of theories about how change will happen, whether these are explicit or just our standard operating assumptions. This training will focus on how we make the implicit explicit so we can organize and campaign for change more effectively. Corelab will use its original research on theories of change in campaigns to stimulate discussion about what theories of change are, and what implications they have for how we campaign. Secondly, participants will make their own theories of change explicit by identifying assumptions and preconditions for change. Participants can work individually or with others to build a theory of change for a current or future campaign.

Trainers: May Miller-Dawkins

Make your data talk (and understand what it says)

Salesforce, Salsa, Mobile Commons, Blue State Digital, Blackbaud … the list goes on. Your organization has a plethora of tools to contact supporters and manage their communications, actions, and activities, but it all lives in different places. You have no way to match your donors to your activists and heavy social media users, much less do effective ad retargeting to your high dollar donors. In this session we’ll run through how a well designed data system should work and talk through what you can do to get there.

Trainers: Austen Levihn-Coon

Low-Wage Workers Went on Strike. Now What?

More and more low-wage workers have started organizing and have gone on strike in the last few years. People who would never have considered themselves “labor activists” are now protesting outside their local Walmart or clicking “like” on the President’s call for a higher minimum wage. As alt-labor movements grow up, how do we measure their success? What does winning look like for these workers and their communities?

Led by: Nathan Henderson-James

Panelists: Bene’t Holmes, Dolly Martinez, Shyquetta McElroy, Lenore Palladino

Living Our Values: Building the Movement We Deserve

We’re great at preaching, but do we practice? It’s time for ALL progressive movement employers to commit to fair labor practices and gender and racial diversity. Come and learn how and why to build a movement that reflects our values.

Led by: Mikey Franklin

Panelists: Christopher Honey, Mariah Minigan, Angela Peoples, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman

Does God Love Women Who've Had Abortions?

For too long the abortion debate has been too far removed from thoughtful, or even respectful, conversation on the real lives and experiences of women. The tidal wave of overly intrusive and harmful anti-abortion legislation is often justified by religion, so much so that one might assume that to be religious is to be anti-choice—and conversely, that one cannot be both a person of faith and a supporter of abortion access. But the truth is, just like women’s own lives, the role religion plays in reproductive health and rights is complex, nuanced, and deserves to be heard. This panel is for anyone interested in the intersection between abortion access and spirituality.

Led by: Emma Akpan

Panelists: Michelle Martinez, Carolyn Meagher, Amber Phillips, Kashif Syed

Analyzing Ourselves: New Research on the Experience of Working in Politics

As a movement, we’ve used data, analytics, and research to optimize nearly every outward-facing aspect of campaigns. Now we’re turning the microscope on ourselves. What salary inequalities exist within the world of professional politics, and what should we do about it? Is there bias in who gets hired for particular roles? Are microaggressions creating a hostile work environment that causes disproportionate numbers of women and people of color to turn away from politics as a career? This panel will present quantitative and qualitative research about what it’s like to work in the progressive movement. We will discuss what the numbers mean, what we can do about them, and what further research is needed.

Led by: Amelia Showalter

Panelists: Kevin Collins, Julie Martinez Ortega, Ethan Roeder, Lena Tom

Reimagining the Possible: Organizing for Long-Term, Structural Transformation

The far right has a clear and powerful vision for the future of our country and of Michigan. Do we? For decades, the 1% has been advancing a long-term agenda for privatization, deep inequality, and voter disenfranchisement. Nowhere are the results of that agenda as clear as they are in Michigan and Detroit. For progressives to reclaim and rebuild this state and our nation, we will need to match the strategic depth of the corporate right. We will need to move from only addressing immediate crises in our communities to addressing the structures and landscape on which these crises are predicated. That means planning for the next 20-40 years even while we plan for the next 1-2. This panel will engage activists, organizers, and leaders in Michigan in a discussion about the left’s long-term vision for the state, and how taking the long view impacts our practice and strategy.

Led by: Bree Carlson

Panelists: Ryan Bates, Melanie McElroy, Christos Michilakis, Nadia Tenova

TransMilitary: The Path to Full Equality in the US Military

In spite of the perceived progress made by the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT), the military’s transgender service members are forced to continue to serve in silence. When the policy was in effect, DADT addressed sexual orientation, but not gender identity. Consequently, the repeal of DADT had no effect on transgender service members. It has and continues to be legal to “ask” if a person is transgender and then fire them. Today, it is outdated military policies—not the law—that ban transgender people from serving and forces their discharge if they are found out. Despite changes to the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), which removed “gender identity disorder” as a mental illness, the U.S. military has not updated their policies. In fact, service members today are still being discharged with documents that explicitly state this discredited diagnosis. While this is happening in America, at least 13 other countries, including some our closest military allies, allow open transgender service. Drawing on lessons learned from the campaign to repeal DADT, and the model for open transgender service in other countries, this session will explore the path forward toward equality in the US military.

Led by: Fiona Dawson

Panelists: Sue Fulton, Allyson Robinson, Kayla Williams, Landon Wilson

Test Screen Your Video, Online Media + Social Graphics

It’s tough to make political media that people want to tell their friends about. In a share-obsessed age where “virality” is increasingly the metric by which a piece of online media is judged, it can feel nigh-impossible to both make it good and get it seen. That’s why we’ve assembled a room of experts who eat, live and breathe this stuff, and won’t whisper to anyone a word of what happens inside the room. Got a video or graphics series you’re planning for after the conference? Test-screen it here, and we’ll give you our take on how to give it the best shot at spreading possible. Got something that flopped, but not sure why? We’ll help you dissect what went right, what went wrong, and what you can learn for next time. We’re here for you – come one, come all.

Led by: Josh Bolotsky

Panelists: Sarah Baker, Matt Ortega, Carli Stevenson

DailyKos Caucus

Come talk with other Kossacks and hear from some of the people behind the site.

Led by: Markos Moulitsas

Education Caucus

Educators, parents, and public education advocates across the country are pushing back against corporate schemes to privatize education. We rallying for more funding, for lower class sizes and more resources for our schools. We are fighting against the excessive and toxic testing of our students, the for-profit charter industry and attacks on basic rights for teachers. Join other public education advocates in this high-energy group discussion of the latest education issues.

Led by: Lily Eskelsen Garcia, Mary Cathryn Ricker

Historical Blackness: Movements as Models: What the History of Organizing Can Teach Today’s Organizers

From the pages of the New York Times to Politico controversies, people are talking about the role of public intellectuals in contemporary life. Missing from much of this discussion has been what role intellectuals should have in collaborating with activist communities, and what contribution the history of the black freedom movement should make today. The host of Historical Blackness Professor Blair LM Kelley, and her co-hosts Elon James White and Aaron Rand Freeman will discuss what lessons are at work in movements like Moral Mondays and the Dream Defenders, and what other lessons activists today learn from this history of past movements for racial justice before, during, and after the civil rights movement

Led by: Blair LM Kelley

Panelists: Aaron Freeman, Elon James White

TWiBPrime w/ Elon James White: Biden Introduction

Founder & CEO of TWiB! Elon James White and #TeamBlackness break down the news, race, politics and pop culture with his signature wit that has been displayed through out national media and at Netroots Nation for years. Featuring interviews, panel discussions (and possible wacky interactions w/ NN14 attendees: See last year’s show) and more, TWiB Prime is not to be missed.

Led by: Elon James White

Netroots Nation 2017