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. Our agenda includes:

  • 90 engaging panels on a variety of topics
  • 70 hands-on training sessions (the most trainings we’ve ever hosted!)
  • 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 as sessions are announced.

Order by:

Digital Security for Organizers of Color, hosted by The Kairos Fellowship and Bex Hong Hurwitz (Tiny Gigantic)

Join us for a half-day workshop open to organizers of color who are using the internet to spread messages and amplify strategies. Good online organizing strategy includes safety and security strategies that consider impacts on organizers, participants, and those affected by the organizing. Strategy rooted in racial equity considers the relative impacts on people of color in experiencing safety and security issues. Participants will leave the day with an increased understanding of common and current risks in online organizing, tools for analyzing relationships between race and gender and safety, and hands-on experience developing personal, operational, and collective strategies for safer online organizing.
Ice cream and coffee will be provided.

“The Truth Has Changed,” a live solo performance by Josh Fox

“The Truth Has Changed” is a solo monologue that traces the arc of American political life from 9/11 to Trump from a frontline perspective. From his experience as a first responder during 9/11, to his groundbreaking reporting on fracking, to his eye opening eco-flights over the Gulf of Mexico during the BP oil spill, to Hurricane Sandy, to the massive rallies for Bernie Sanders during the 2016 election and the Democratic Convention to Standing Rock and beyond, Josh Fox has been an active eyewitness to history. In “The Truth Has Changed,” Fox tells the story of this terrifying progression of American history from a front row seat.

The project was commissioned by legendary documentary producer Sheila Nevins for HBO as a solo performance to inspire action on climate change, fracking and democracy. And in the face of the advance of fracking and fracked gas power plants across the USA, the work has become more relevant day by day. “The Truth Has Changed” offers both a warning and a way forward for our besieged democracy.

(DEMO) Accio Supporter Engagement! The Online Petition Wizarding Workshop

Volunteer. Donate. Volunteer. Donate… Do you keep asking your supporters to do the same things over and over again? Chances are, they’re tired of it and you’re burning them out. So the question becomes, how else can you creatively engage your supporters? Petitions to the rescue! Bring your creative thinking caps and join Care2 for an interactive writing workshop, where you’ll put pen to paper and learn how to create a compelling petition campaign and tap into the power of your supporters. This demo is offered by Care2.

Creative Digital Advertising for Advocacy and Politics

You know how to boost a Facebook post, but do you really know the many ways that digital ads can support your advocacy or political campaign? This training will cover topics they don’t talk about in Social Media 101: innovative targeting, testing and promotion strategies designed to reach the right people with the right messages at the right time. Need to connect with grasstops influencers? Convince decision makers that EVERYONE’s talking about your issue? Use social media to boost the effectiveness of your fundraising emails? Barrage reporters with your messaging? Reach the voters most important for your campaign? This training will show how advertising on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other channels can help you win in 2018.

Trainers: Colin Delany, Emily Gittleman

Beyond A/B Testing: Upping Your Digital Analytics Game

More and more organizations are adopting the fundamentals of analytics into their digital programs: tracking key metrics, A/B testing, and making data-informed decisions. But is there more you could be doing? This training will cover advanced digital analytics practices: best practice testing, multi-stage testing, multivariate testing, challenges with ad testing and effective test tracking.

Trainers: Sandhya Anantharaman, Jim Pugh

How to Grow Your List in 80 Days

When it began, Tom Steyer’s Need to Impeach campaign started with exactly zero names. Join the team that built the Need to Impeach community into a 5 million person strong movement for an interactive training on paid strategies to grow your email list. Efficiently adding new names to your list takes smart advertising strategies, thumb-stopping creative, smart targeting and a thoughtful approach to utilizing different acquisition platforms. But the result of a well-executed acquisition plan isn’t just a big list, it is a community ready to take action for your cause. With plenty of real-life examples, this training will show you how to grow your list in 80 days.

Trainers: Zuha Khan, Ross Nelson

Digital Organizing 101

Join us for a primer on digital organizing. We’ll focus on social media and cover what it means to conceptualize your own digital strategy, why social media fuels activism and how to find your digital voice. We’ll share tried and true best practices that are practical to the everyday comms worker—helping you juggle that press release and demanding social schedule and whatever else that might be on your plate.

Trainers: Jamila Brown, Meena Hussain

How Hyper-Local Organizing Can Leverage Youth Power

Hyper-local issue organizing creates new activist entry points that can lead to traditional civic engagement. This training will examine how the Planned Parenthood Generation Action program leverages hyper-local campus campaigns to build youth momentum in electoral cycles. The training will look deeply at program best practices including: leadership development, data accountability, and local to electoral pivoting.

Trainers: Kate Cartagena

Black Women Power: Investing in the Communities that Propelled Our Biggest Electoral Victories of 2017

Far too often, progressives in power only shows up in Black churches and community centers during election season. Virginia and Alabama proved once again that Black women are the most powerful political force in the progressive movement both in terms of grassroots organizing and voter turnout. It is well past the time for progressives to listen to and fight for the specific needs of Black communities. Bottom line: progressives need to be at the forefront of the fight against voter suppression. They need to run on anti-racist policies. And they need to drive resources not just towards turning out Black voters, but in supporting Black candidates running for office.

Led by: Beth Lynk

Panelists: Waikinya Clanton, Alencia Johnson, Kiara Pesante Haughton, Kiara Pesante Haughton, DeJuana Thompson

Empowering the Largest Minority Group: Diversity Outreach to People with Disabilities

Searing images of people in wheelchairs fighting for healthcare was an important force in the battle to protect the Affordable Care Act. Yet people with disabilities remain a mostly untapped population within the larger progressive movement, despite being the largest minority population. Too often progressive diversity outreach programs fail to sufficiently include strategies to reach those with disabilities and their families or caregivers. This training will provide strategies on how to build coalitions with people with disabilities and their caregivers, provide ideas on designing diversity outreach programs to include those with disabilities, and give tips on how to empower people with disabilities to fight for their rights.

Trainers: Rachna Heizer

Charting Your Path in the Progressive Movement: How to Give Back While Staying Employed, Valued and Paid

Sustaining a life in the movement is hard. Whether it’s finding a job in the first place, fighting the perils of impostor syndrome, staving off burnout or figuring out how to stay involved while paying off loans and bills, we’re faced with challenges at every turn. Veteran strategists and trainers Jay Carmona and John Brougher have worked in the movement for years now, through a variety of campaign, nonprofit and organizational positions. Jay and John will walk through techniques on how to be an effective political operative while also navigating a long-term professional and personal life in the movement.

Trainers: John Brougher, Jay Carmona

Building Relationships Where it Matters Most (Sponsored Panel)

As we all know, at the foundation of organizing is relationship building. But, with an overwhelming amount of channels used to communicate with folks, how can we actually cut through the noise and meaningfully engage our communities? Peer-to-peer texting has surfaced as an effective way to do just that.

At Hustle we’ve seen unions, advocacy organizations, and campaigns use peer-to-peer texting to engage members, supporters, and the broader community to take action on progressive issues.

During this panel, we’ll explore the ways in which organizations are prioritizing relationship building with peer-to-peer texting in key moments at scale. Learn from a few peer-to-peer texting pros about how we can build relationships that last and leverage p2p technology with other organizing tools to win on our issues.

This panel is sponsored by Hustle.

Panelists: LaToia Jones, Jocelyn Strauss, Cliff Walker, Chrystian Woods, Sissi Yado

The Power Coalition: How Integrated Voter Engagement is Empowering Citizens in Louisiana

The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice has built an Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE) model to support community-driven activism and grassroots leadership development that empowers citizens to address classism, racism, and other marginalization in their own lives and communities instead of having their voices ignored in the traditional, top-down structures of power. Join us for a discussion on how to bridge and connect community organizing and advocacy that is people centered. We’ll also discuss how we have mobilized infrequent voters of color to chose elected leaders that understand their issues.

Led by: Ashley Shelton

Panelists: Norris Henderson, Andrenecia Morris, Minh Nguyen

Open Source Tech #FTW

The panel will consist of developers and organizers involved in open source progressive tech projects. We’ll focus on the decision to use open source tech, how it’s developed and why it’s important. This panel will also give space to attendees to ask questions about open source in general, about specific open source projects, and how open source tech helps the political tech ecosystem.

Led by: Shaka Lee

Panelists: Rapi Castillo, Schuyler Duveen, Pamela John

Sanctuary Restaurants: Feeding the Movement

Sanctuary restaurants have popped up in cities and towns throughout the U.S. as hubs of resistance against the racist, xenophobic, misogynist, anti-worker rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration. The Sanctuary Restaurants Movement was spearheaded by restaurateurs with support from ROC United and Presente.org. Restaurant owners, workers and consumers are provided training on their rights and responsibilities in relation to police and immigration encounters, workplace discrimination, harassment and hate crimes. More than 500 restaurant owners and 12,000+ diners have signed on to transform the service industry and political culture as a whole. Come hear from local activists in collaboration with national organizations who will share innovative movement building and culture shift strategies.

Led by: Elisa Batista

Panelists: Sheila Maddali, Matt Nelson

The Growing Power of the Equality Vote

The days of politicians attacking and demonizing the LGBTQ community to win elections are over. Increasing support for LGBTQ equality across demographic groups has led us to a tipping point evidenced by polling and recent election results in states like North Carolina, Alabama and Virginia. The panel will discuss how a new rising Equality Vote of 52 million Americans—self-identified LGBTQ individuals and their friends, family, and allies—is a voting bloc to be respected, sought-after, and feared by candidates on both sides of the aisle.

Led by: Emmy Ruiz

Panelists: Anna Greenberg, Justin Unga, Geoff Wetrosky, JoDee Winterhof

Igniting the Lit in Litmus Test: How Leading With Reproductive Justice Helps Us Win

For too long the Democratic Party has been compromising on reproductive freedom. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair said in 2017: “There will be no litmus test [on abortion] for Democratic candidates”. However, pro-choice candidates have been winning in purple and even red areas like Virginia, Alabama and Pennsylvania. How can we as a progressive community ensure that reproductive rights and justice are political victories in the progressive movement? Electing candidates with a reproductive justice lens ensures a more intersectional vision for America. Come discover how candidates and organizations are working together in new historic ways to get sh*t done.

Led by: Heidi Sieck

Panelists: Alison Dreith, Hayden J. Mora, Atima Omara, Nikema Williams

Progressive Parenting

Progressive while parenting. Parenting while progressive. Raising kids and doing progressive political work isn’t always easy, but it is critical to the success of our movement. In this panel, we’ll discuss a range of topics, including making activist spaces and progressive workspaces accessible to parents, and raising children with progressive values. If you’ve ever lugged a breast pump to a conference, received feedback that your 5 p.m. meeting times are a struggle for people you work with, or just want to talk about parenting in the progressive movement and meet other likeminded-people, this panel is for you.

Led by: Erin Matson

Panelists: Mary Alice Carter, Greg Greene, Rachel Perrone, Sabrina Stevens

Navigating Partnerships with a New Democratic Party and the New Grassroots

Everyone agrees that we must come together to form powerful coalitions and deep partnerships in order to win in 2018 and 2020 and build long-term power. This session goes beyond the tired tug-of-war arguments about the direction of the party, or whether the new grassroots is effective. Instead, this panel brings the party establishment together with the new grassroots for a frank conversation about navigating partnerships in the current political landscape. With an eye toward developing meaningful strategic alliances, we’ll discuss a range of topics, including how to navigate still-raw ideological rifts, practical concerns about new activist capacity and strategy, and nitty gritty compliance and legal considerations.

Led by: Irene Shin

Panelists: Rep. Graig Meyer, Jamie Perrapato, Lala Wu, Allison Zelman

(DEMO) Relay 101: How to Use Peer-to-Peer Texting For Progressive Change

Combining the mass scale of email and the intimacy of one-to-one conversations, P2P texting is changing the face of organizing. Come learn how P2P texting works and see what sets Relay apart from other texting tools. This demo is offered by Relay.

Getting Started with Facebook Live: How to Amplify Your Action and Bring More People into the Movement

Join us to learn how to use Facebook Live to reach hundreds of thousands of people with your action or protest and recruit them to join in your efforts. In this interactive workshop, we’ll break down the components to a successful Facebook Live broadcast: how to script your broadcast, how to build an audience, how to interact with viewers and how to move people from Facebook spectators to movement participants. You’ll also leave with a list of inexpensive gear to improve the quality of your broadcast.

Trainers: Nicole Carty, Thais Marques

Filmmaker Caucus

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

Visual Design 101: How Decisions YOU Make Affect Decisions THEY Make

Visual designers make decisions that affect your decisions every day. Why do you stop and look at some billboards, but not others? How can 2D lines make us feel layered emotion? Why did you decide to not recycle one of those political mailers you got? We’ll cover how humans process visual information and what movitates them to act. This training will cover the basics of photo-based design and help you improve your understanding of the many visual communications that surround you. We’ll end the session designing something together, live! This training is for both beginners/non-designers as well as intermediate designers/communication professionals who want to improve their design and communication skills.

Trainers: Candice Dayoan

Saving Millions with Earned Media: How to Organize Kick-Ass Press Events and Get Your Campaign Covered

Back by popular demand! Earned media can be one of the most important (free) resources on your campaign, especially when you are strapped for cash. Our exercise-based curriculum will help you learn hands-on how to plan and execute a great press event—and generate thousands of dollars in media for your campaign.

Trainers: Jasmine Carter-Gales, Lucy Olena

Birddog Nation: Tips for Tracking the Positions of Candidates and Electeds

The Birddog Nation is a national network of people tracking candidate events, attending candidate events and asking pointed questions to candidates in one of the most important election years in the past few decades. This training will teach the skill of birddogging—how to seek out candidates, pin them down with specific questions or information, and track their views and responses. You’ll learn how to engage with decision makers and track the positions of candidates and electeds.

Trainers: Tracey Corder, Jennifer Flynn

Be Bold! 501(c)(3) Election Year Advocacy

Election day will be here before you know it! Get a refresher on what a 501(c)(3) organization may do and say during an election season to avoid intervening in a campaign for or against a candidate. During this session, you’ll learn how to safely talk about your issues and elected officials during election season; how to conduct nonpartisan voter outreach efforts; how to educate voters about the candidates through debates, forums and questionnaires; and how to ensure that staff and volunteers’ election activities are not attributed to the organization.

Trainers: Nikhil Pillai

First-timer Meetup

First-time Netroots attendee? Want to find your crew of people to conquer the conference with? This session’s for you. Meet other first-timers and hear from long-time attendee Shayera Tangri as she gives tips for having a great convention and getting the most out of your time in NOLA.

Sexual Harassment Isn't a Progressive Value: How to End it in Your Organization

None of us should ever have to say #MeToo about our experiences at work—especially if we work for progressive organizations—but too many of us have stories about sexual harassment, assault and other inappropriate behaviors from our time in progressive organizations, companies and campaigns. In this training, learn how to speak up in the moment if you experience harassment. We’ll also talk about bystander intervention techniques and how to get your workplace to take this issue seriously.

Trainers: Robyn Swirling

The Darkest Web: What's Next on the Internet and How To Prepare

Many are still grappling the revelations stemming from Cambridge Analytica and the Internet Research Group’s nefarious activities online. Yet that’s now yesterday’s news—what fresh nightmares await us that are already emerging from the dark web? This training session will educate you beyond Black Mirror to understand the latest in research and trends so that you can begin to prepare for new manipulative techniques that use cutting edge artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to erode our shared concept of news and reality. We’ll cover topics like DeepFake, political botnets, automated laser phishing and more. You’ll leave this session armed with suggestions on how we can begin to fight back.

Trainers: Cheryl Contee

The Race Paper and other Secret Documents: How the FBI and DHS are Surveilling and Criminalizing Black Protest

In 2017, under court order, the Department of Homeland Security and FBI turned over hundreds of pages of emails, reports, policies and other documents to the Center for Constitutional Rights and Color Of Change. These documents reveal government surveillance of the Movement for Black Lives, and Black activists and organizers. They show how federal agencies characterized protesters as “Black Supremacist Extremists” and portrayed protected First Amendment protest activity as inciting violence to justify surveillance. These documents also reveal for the first time the existence of a report produced by the DHS Intelligence and Analysis office called the “Race Paper” and that is entirely blacked out in reliance on the National Security Act. We must refocus attention on law enforcement’s historic and current suspicion and targeting of Constitutionally-protected political speech and call for accountability.

Led by: Marbre Stahly-Butts

Panelists: Brandi Collins-Dexter, Omar Farah, Tabitha Mustafa

Hurricane Lessons: What We've Learned from Post-Katrina Disaster Capitalism in NOLA Schools

Following Hurricane Katrina, the state of Louisiana took more than 120 public schools in New Orleans in the name of “recovery.” A state-appointed board fired 7,500 unionized school employees (many of them black), and handed over most schools to charter school management companies. Under privately-operated rule, schools open and close frequently, routinely weed out more “difficult” students, and push kids out by inflicting harsh discipline—a pattern that’s being replicated across the country as school reform efforts take hold. Locals have little to no say in school governance and practices. Some are optimistic that the local school board will regain control of 52 state-run charter schools by summer 2018—but accountability and transparency are far from guaranteed. Our panel will discuss the evolving tactics of disaster capitalists and how communities can navigate these issues to push for progressive change.

Led by: Jeff Bryant

Panelists: Ashana Bigard, Karran Harper Royal, Andre Perry, Julian Vasquez Heilig

This Is What Democracy Should Look Like: 2018 & Beyond

After the 2014 elections, the US Congress was noted as the most diverse in American history. It was comprised of nearly 20 percent women and just over 17 percent of members of Congress were non-white. As of January 2017 with the latest Congress, those numbers barely moved. The New American Majority makes up communities of color, young people and women and they are marginally represented especially at the federal and state level in elected office, as campaign and elected official staff; and in leadership of progressive organizations that set movement agendas. Come learn about some of the work being done to ensure race and gender equity not only in elected office, but in politics and movement organization work.

Led by: Atima Omara

Panelists: A'shanti Gholar, Carol McDonald, Madalene Mielke, Carlos Mark Vera

The Trump Threat Level: Resisting Dangerous National Security and Foreign Policies

Trump’s national security and foreign policies are extensions of his racist and authoritarian domestic agenda. He is making us less safe. This panel will discuss how his warmongering and bigotry have isolated the United States in the international community, perpetuated the worst of Trumpism at home and abroad, and hurt our chances for peace and real security.

Led by: Elizabeth Beavers

Panelists: Bonnie Jenkins, Wardah Khalid, Stephen Miles, Manar Waheed

A Green and Brown Coalition: Fighting Trump's Wall with Diverse Partnerships

The proposed border wall has many negative impacts. There are already miles and miles of “fence” along New Mexico’s southern border that have impacted both human life and wildlife along this corridor and increased building will only create more harm. In Doña Ana County, activists working with conservation groups like the Southwest Environmental Center and the New Mexico Wildlife Federation have teamed up with faith-based organizers working on immigration issues through NM Comunidades en Acción y de Fé (CAFé) and built a truly diverse partnership to fight the wall from multiple angles. ProgressNow New Mexico has worked to help amplify the work on the ground to statewide and national audiences. Hear from these organizers on how they’re coming together to stop the wall.

Led by: Lucas Herndon

Panelists: Johana Bencomo, Kevin Bixby, Angelica Rubio, Gabe Vasquez

Handbills and Hashtags: Cross Generational Organizing in an Anti-Worker Climate

For over 30 years, our political climate has been steadily shifting towards an anti-union, anti-worker environment. From politicians placing privatization over public interest to a conservative Supreme Court allowing unlimited corporate money into elections and stripping away union rights, we have created the ideal foundation for an economy that benefits the top 1% while pitting new workers against their older colleagues. Join us as we offer strategies and tips on bridging the gap between young and more experienced workers in diverse fields to build long-term solidarity and win economic justice for all workers.

Led by: Christian Castro

Panelists: Emmelle Israel, Gabriella Landeros, Jocelyn Sherman

Keep Marching 2018: Connect Locally, Build Power and WIN!

We’re well over a year into a massive wave of energetic grassroots organizing. From marching to #MeToo, from local townhalls to massive online mobilizations, communities are recognizing and using their own power. Midterm elections are almost here; special elections are getting unprecedented media and organizer attention. How do we sustain this momentum to connect and lift voices locally? What wins can we celebrate at every level, from local to national? What’s the current climate for our local and national priorities like racial justice, health care, paid leave, mass incarceration and more? Join us for an energetic panel with practical steps you can use right now to organize in your community sustainably, intersectionally and effectively.

Led by: Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner

Panelists: Monifa Bandele, Monica Roberts, Almas Sayeed

The New Digital Mercenaries: Harnessing the Power of Volunteers to Win Elections

The rise of effective online collaboration tools like Slack, peer-to-peer texting platforms, and an energized cadre of activists means that mass deployment of voter outreach operations can be organized and executed with lightning speed while “flattening” the information hierarchy of traditional campaigns. The effect of this is that meaningfully volunteering for an exciting election campaign, either near-to-home or far-flung, is more convenient and accessible than ever. Translating this energy into both online and offline actions can transform many races and mean the difference between win or lose. This panel will offer some ways to make meaningful impact in the electoral setting and offer some new experiments into the ways we can organize with volunteers leading the way toward engaging, large-scale, and creative ways to win.

Led by: Dylan Easterday

Panelists: Gabby Andrade, Elizabeth Haynes, Amanda Johnson

Turning 'High Times' into High Pay for Cannabis Workers (Sponsored Panel)

The legalization of marijuana for recreational use in nine states and Washington, D.C. has legitimized the sale of a much-desired product for millions of Americans. But it has also created an opportunity for workers. At a time when wages for most remain stagnate, unions are getting active and organizing to turn the fledgling cannabis industry into an economic powerhouse that can benefit hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers. This Teamsters-sponsored panel will discuss how we can create good-paying jobs that won’t harsh your buzz.

Led by: Kristin Heidelbach-Teramoto

Panelists: Ricardo Baca, Barry Broad, Ophelia Chong, Richard Rodriguez

Screening: "The Organizer"

THE ORGANIZER is a film about people who have dedicated their lives to the often hidden, usually messy and always controversial job of building power for the powerless. The film is a portrait of Wade Rathke, the controversial founder of ACORN, as well as an exploration of that much maligned and misunderstood occupation—community organizing. Before its infamous demise following several highly publicized scandals, ACORN had been the largest community organization in the U.S. Rathke, a former anti-war and welfare rights organizer, founded the organization in Little Rock in 1970 and over the next decades shepherded its growth into a national political powerhouse for the poor. Shot across four continents and with a wealth of archives and interviews with ACORN organizers and community leaders, along with renowned political figures like Noam Chomsky and Marshall Ganz, THE ORGANIZER shows us how, under the right leadership, a few driven and passionate individuals can create powerful and sustaining organizations that can transform lives and communities and inspire broad political movements.

Crack of Noon FAKE News Dump!

There’s no Lizz Winstead this year, but there’s still mornings and news! Join Chris Savage of Eclectablog, Vicki Roush, and some surprise guests for some bleary-eyed newsy-ness each day.

(DEMO) Maps: Do More With Data When You SEE Data

Come hear about the brand new CatalistEmpower.com! It allows you to look at snapshots of districts and to pull up maps of useful Catalist data in seconds. You can also click and color to make maps of anything you want to track. Learn how every field organizer can see maps of their own progress to goal, and hear how your campaign management team can save days of time on defining organizer turf. Everyone from the candidate to the volunteer loves to see maps of 1s and 2s that update every night. We will also demonstrate the core Empower Engine platform. Empower tools let you make and use awesome maps even if you have no tech or data background. This demo is offered by Empower Engine.

Do It Yourself! How to Build a Small-Dollar Fundraising Program for the Causes You Care About

Ever since the 2016 election, activists around the country have been calling their elected officials, marching, volunteering and donating. We’re even seeing people take the next step and ask their friends and family to contribute to the candidates and causes they care about—with huge success! We’ll show you how to create your own fundraising pages and give you tips on how to get interested friends to take out their wallet and give.

Trainers: Patrick Farace, Chelsea McDonnell

Get Tested: How to Run an Optimized Email Program

Every email list is a special unicorn. How do you know what messaging motivates your supporters? What subject lines grab their attention? Which layout will get them to click through? Are graphic emails really all that? The answers to all of those questions—and more—are a simple email test away. In this session, attendees will learn the basics of email testing, including what makes an effective test, what tools they need to start testing, testing best practices, how to analyze the results of a test and how to apply those lessons to future emails.

Trainers: Malinda Frevert, Damien Shirley

From Protest to Policy Change: Congressional Advocacy 101

Want to step up your Congressional advocacy game (even from the comfort of your own home)? Join us for a hands-on training with interactive simulation modules. The training includes a crash course on how Congress works, walk-throughs for engaging effectively with your members of Congress, case studies for how anyone’s voice can make a difference in today’s national policy debates, and the connection between electoral politics and policy advocacy. While the focus is on Congressional advocacy, the lessons and tactics shared are applicable to engagement at multiple levels of government.

Trainers: Wardah Khalid, Afif Rahman

Everything You Know about Voter Turnout is Wrong

Without effective intervention, 40 million people who voted in the 2016 election will won’t cast ballots in 2018. These 40 million voters are overwhelmingly progressive: they’re young, they’re people of color, they’re unmarried women, and they are the New American Majority. This situation is tragic, but it’s also preventable, as long as you’re willing to ignore conventional wisdom about increasing voter turnout. In this session you’ll unlearn some fundamental “truths” about voter turnout and hear about the latest research in what actually does increase voter turnout. You’ll leave ready to run hyper-effective GOTV campaigns in 2018 by targeting the 65% of Americans who are considered “low propensity” voters this year.

Trainers: Debra Cleaver, Daniel Gonzales

Ratf**ked: Protecting Your Org from Rightwing Infiltration

In this training you will learn how to protect yourself from getting ratf**ked by rightwing political operatives like James O’Keefe and Project Veritas. We will cover their operations and methodology, as well as suggested vetting protocols, tools and steps to take if infiltrated.

Trainers: Lauren Windsor

Pivoting from a Toxic Progressive Workplace

Whether you’ve had a #MeToo moment, find yourself suddenly unemployed or just dread going to work every day, you know the toll that being in a toxic workplace can have on your career, your self-esteem and your life. It can feel even more intense when you have to give up what you thought was your dream job in the movement and stop working on the cause or with the candidate you love. While it may feel like you’ll never escape, there are key strategies you can use to pivot and move forward in a positive way without torpedoing your career, selling out to the man or ruining your life. Let’s talk about what to do when the unthinkable happens at work.

Trainers: Paula Brantner

Student Debt Workshop: Training and Tools to Take Control of Your Student Loans

Student loan borrowers are at risk of losing vital repayment programs. Trump, DeVos and Congress are rolling back reforms and putting student loan companies over borrowers and students. Attendees may be unaware of free repayment options that could save them from financial distress. It doesn’t have to be this way. Join us to learn more about student loan repayment options, public service loan forgiveness and tips for getting out loan default. This session includes a 30-minute Q&A segment. We will be introducing a new online tool from our partners at Savi to assist borrowers in understanding and enrolling in federal student loan repayment programs, free of charge.

Led by: Natalia Abrams, Tobin Van Ostern

Building High Impact Communications for Advocacy

In this hands-on training, we’ll show you how to build personalized, high engagement advocacy tools with the Twilio communications platform (the same platform powering communications for Hustle, Relay, Phone2Action, MoveOn.org, the DNC, and many more).

You will embark on a TwilioQuest mission to build an advocacy campaign in real time. Using Twilio Studio visual editor and Airtable, developers and nondevelopers alike will level up their organizing skills and leave prepared to rally people at scale. During your quest, you’ll earn experience points and loot for your accomplishments. Are you ready to embark on your mission?

Trainers: Charlie Weems

Polling Technology and Public Opinion in 2018

Political polling is changing rapidly in response to shifting patterns of communication and new technological opportunities. Meanwhile, public opinion itself is in flux heading into the midterm elections. This panel brings together leading political pollsters and polling innovators to talk about where the public stands on the issues in 2018, what issues matter—and which don’t!—and how pollsters are going about measuring and projecting attitudes in the current political environment.

Led by: Drew Linzer

Panelists: Masa Aida, Albert Morales, Emily Norman, Alan Rosenblatt, Alissa Stollwerk

Facing Anti-Muslim Campaigns Head On—and Winning

Anti-Muslim political campaigns have been on the rise in the 2018 and 2017 elections, but they have been losing. These campaigns are inflaming bigotry and hate violence nationwide, but the unpopularity of this hateful rhetoric, the extreme nature of these candidates and the unified rejection from communities of all types has led to many more losses than wins. This panel brings together American Muslim candidates and activists who have faced threats and bigotry head on in rural, suburban and urban communities, a Republican pollster who has conducted an analysis of anti-Muslim messages and a national civil rights group to discuss how to blunt the impact of this rhetoric in communities and make it a loser at the ballot box.

Led by: Scott Simpson

Panelists: Jamiah Adams, Taneeza Islam, Adam Probolsky

Beyond Fake News: Opposition Research in a Digital World

Progressive opposition researchers make sure that our organizations are armed with the knowledge and messages they need to fight back on the ground and online, but 2018 is a complicated year for research. At a time when scandals play out in the public eye, bots leverage fake news to sway elections, and personal data is increasingly less secure—what is the role of opposition research in digital campaigning and how can we break through?

Led by: Patrick McHugh

Panelists: Jenna Kruse, Ellie Langford, Dorothy Scheeline, Shirpal Shah

The FCC's War on the Poor

The FCC chairman and the Republican majority have been axing our communications rights for the past year. And those who will suffer the most from their policies are people living below the poverty line and people of color. It’s our job to intervene and make sure that—instead of being thrown to the wolves—vulnerable communities are centered in the policies that dictate how we communicate with one another. This panel is designed to sound the alarm about the FCC’s disastrous policies and provide useful guidance for progressive organizers and communities seeking to resist. The session will include a conversation between activists and advocates integral to the fight for #DigitalCivilRights.

Led by: Carmen Scurato

Panelists: Brandi Collins-Dexter, Laura Li, Erin Shields, Joseph Torres

DO Read the Comments: How to Build Genuine Facebook Communities

As digital organizers, we hear time and again that building a sense of community and a relationship with our supporters online is critical to transitioning our online community to offline organizers. And we know that Facebook is one of the best tools we have to foster meaningful online communities that advance our progressive goals. But how do you actually go about building a community on Facebook? And how do you ensure that you are having meaningful interactions with your supporters—and that your supporters are connecting with each other in genuine ways? In this panel, we’ll explore the use of tools like Facebook Groups, Events, and—you heard us right—comment threads.

Led by: Olivia Noble

Panelists: Grace Caldara, Christine Hanna

The Black and Brown Wave: What's with All These Candidates of Color Winning Elections?

Over the past year, Trump blowback has hit every city, town and community with a force. Marchers who never marched and protesters who have never protested are using their first amendment rights to speak out. People are speaking out, using their voice and most importantly their vote to send a message that what is happening to our country is not OK. The biggest wave of wins is bigger than just its blueness, it’s also fueled by people of color and candidates of color who are deciding not just to vote, but to run so they can take control of the fates of their cities and communities. This panel will focus on what has been working and how these candidates are getting back to basics and not shying from controversial issues.

Led by: Camille Rivera

Panelists: Cristobal Alex, Carol McDonald, Colin Rogero

What’s a Strike and How Can I Help?

Over the last few years there’s been renewed interest in striking. With inequality on the rise and the Supreme Court poised to strike a blow to public sector labor unions, workplace actions are becoming more common. But why strike? And when? What are the upsides and downsides? Could it do more harm than good? Will it get me everything I want? When there’s a strike near me, how can I help?From the 2012 Chicago teachers strike to the 2016 Verizon strike to the 2017 West Virginia teacher’s strike, public interest and support in workplace actions has been growing.

Led by: Mary Cathryn Ricker

Panelists: Rebecca Diamond, Sarah Jaffe

Electoralizing Our Resistance Strategy Lab

A blue wave may come, but don’t take it for granted. Real change demands we find an electoral expression of our movements, not just vote blindly for the “not Trump” candidate. This interactive “strategy lab” focuses movement energy on supporting bold ideas centered in racial and economic justice rather than a return to status quo liberalism. Participants will collaborate with panelists to build an open-source digital toolkit for electoralizing our resistance and winning progressive change. Panelists will facilitate four “Strategy Deep Dives,” and a team of scribes will assist in capturing notes and developing a toolkit in real time on an accessible platform.

Led by: Jennifer Epps

Panelists: Grecia Lima, Nelini Stamp, DeJuana Thompson

No Superpac? No Problem! How to Define a Candidate with Grassroots Actions

With the Koch brothers set to spend millions in elections and advocacy campaigns across the country, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to match their spending power. The good news is that we have grassroots momentum on our side. The even better news? By getting creative, you can match the power of big spending. This panel will explore what makes grassroots tactics successful versus why they can fall flat, how to use news coverage to compete with paid advertising, and how to make sure that you’re channelling your energy into actions that will stick.

Led by: Erica Sackin

Panelists: Amber Goodwin, Graeme Joeck, Dawn Lee, Eddie Vale

Cold drinks & NOLA treats sponsored by Raw Story & Alternet

Come by the lounge in the Town Square for a refreshing beverage and some local favorite snacks. Sponsored by Raw Story & Alternet.

Using SEO for Social Change, Profit and Fame

SEO is straight-up magical. It’s free, easy and can drive millions of visitors to your website. We’ll show you how we used SEO to secure top Google placement for almost any voting-related search, allowing us to run the largest—and cheapest—voter engagement program in America. During the training, you’ll learn five things you can immediately do to your website to improve your search engine ranking and reach more visitors without spending money. This is an intermediate to advanced level training for people who love the internet, love user-generated content, know HTML and have administrative access to at least one website. Bring your laptop so you can get under the hood of your website and start making changes.

Trainers: Debra Cleaver, Jim Pugh

Screening: "Healing Justice"

“Healing Justice” explores the causes and consequences of the current North American justice system and its effect on marginalized communities. The film walks back through the history of violence that has led to our current system, bringing into focus the histories of trauma—on a personal, interpersonal, community, and generational level. This powerful documentary addresses the school-to-prison pipeline, the need for comprehensive criminal justice reform, and the importance of healing and restorative practices.

Panelists: Wendi Moore-O'Neal

The Millennials are on Instagram: Why Social Media is the Foundation of Organizing At-Scale

#BlackLivesMatter. #NeverAgain. #55Strong. What do these all have in common? An expert use of social media. Movements throughout history have always mastered new technology to advance their cause. In the civil rights movement, this meant knowing how to use television to broadcast the movement; today it means using social media. Join us to learn how social media has been instrumental in movement building from Occupy Wall Street to the present; successful case studies of organizing at-scale by harnessing social media; and hard skills to help organizers start integrating social media in their work.

Trainers: Nicole Carty, Thais Marques

Phenomenal Policy Knowledge, Itty Bitty Twitter Space: Using Digital Media to Communicate Complex Ideas Simply

You don’t need a JD to understand the importance of our federal courts, and you don’t need an MBA to see how tax reform is being used to attack the middle class. Every day activists and groups across the nation face a challenging task: distill the complex ins and outs of policies into a simple, engaging public message. But simplifying your message is more than cutting words—it’s about making content that moves people to act. From Tweets to podcasts, infographics to videos, digital media makes it possible to educate and motivate people in unique ways. This session will cover identifying your audience, where they are, and how best to reach them; finding the message that speaks to their values; and translating big ideas into visual products.

Trainers: Megan Simons, Bradley Williams

Lock It Up: How to Secure Yourself and Your Team Against the Internet's Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy

Ransomware. Viruses. Data breaches. Phishing emails. Website defacement. Ad network hijacking. These are just some of the cyber threats that every progressive organizer, campaign and nonprofit needs to be aware of and on guard against. This training will cover best practices for securing websites, personal computers and mobile devices that everyone should know. Learn how to protect yourself and your organization against the hive of scum and villainy on the Internet that would do you harm. As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Trainers: Andrew Villeneuve

Action Network: A Training for Digital Organizers (Sponsored Training)

The Action Network is an intuitive, full-featured online mobilization toolset. In this training, we’ll walk through some of our top features to help organizers get the most from Action Network, including our new drip emailer, the distributed events campaign tool and our sophisticated email testing tool. We’ll also dissect some of the most creative campaigns run on Action Network in the last year to identify tips and best practices that can be applied to your next campaign. This training is ideal for folks who are interested in exploring new tools to run their digital programs and existing partners that want to take their campaigning to the next level. To learn more about our toolset before the session, visit www.actionnetwork.org/toolset. This training is sponsored by Action Network.

Trainers: Mari Vangen

Live Tweet Your Way to Success

Live tweeting protests, panels, elections days, conferences (like the one we’re at today!) and even TV shows are some of the most effective ways to grow an engaged Twitter following for yourself and/or your organization. We’ll share strategies for live tweeting that you can use right away so that your being at #NN18 will grow your Twitter account. We’ll show the value of leveraging personal and organizational Twitter accounts together. Learn how popular culture moments like award shows and TV twitter present opportunities for Twitter engagement beyond your existing base. Skill level: If you or your organization has a Twitter account and use it, even occasionally and poorly, you’ll be good to go. If you’ve never seen Twitter before, this may not be a fit.

Trainers: Elana Levin

(DEMO) Let's Get Downballot! Digital Tools to Inform and Turn Out Voters for Every Race, Measure, and Election

BallotReady builds digital voter guides, slate cards, and make a plan to vote tools to help voters show up for candidates all the way downballot, powered by the most comprehensive database to local politics. Come learn about our tools to mobilize voters for every race and every election, nationwide. This demo is presented by BallotReady.

Led by: Alex Niemczewski, Ben Quam

The Role of Progressive Media in Mobilizing the Resistance

How is progressive media amplifying the voice of the grassroots and the resistance to bring about electoral change? As we move closer to 2018, there is a question of persuasion vs. mobilization. This is a false choice: Progressives must both persuade through emotionally resonant content and mobilize the resistance to turn-out for the 2018 election. In order to win in 2018 and beyond, we need content that creates a community, draws on the work happening both to resist Trump and support progressive candidates, and also motivates people to take action.

Led by: Kaili Joy Gray

Panelists: Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza, Nicole Cairns, Daniel Koessler, Gabriela Melendez Olivera, Anne Thompson

Robots with Canvass Packets: The Future of Digital Organizing

For the past decade, Democratic campaigns and progressive advocacy groups have largely kept their “digital” and “organizing” strategies separate. With the rise of new digital organizing technologies and their increasingly widespread utilization among smaller campaigns and organizations, 2018 is the year that digital can meet field organizing in a meaningful way. From automated workflows to volunteer recruitment, event follow-ups, and GOTV, this panel will discuss what they’re seeing on the ground in 2018, and what is possible heading into 2020 and beyond.

Led by: Amanda Coulombe

Panelists: Clarke Humphrey, Mallory Long, Lauren Miller, Tessa Simonds

Local Victories Reveal a Path to Climate Equity

Can you envision policies that simultaneously center racial and economic equity, tackle climate change, and create good union jobs? It’s not a utopia. It’s already happening. From New York to New Orleans, local movements across the country are leading the way in pushing for policies to support a just transition to a clean energy economy. By building on local victories, progressives have an opportunity to build cross-sector, multiracial movement power behind a federal platform for good jobs and climate equity. Come hear local leaders from across the country offer concrete ideas for this policy platform, spotlight local successes, and offer grounded lessons for the national fight that lies ahead.

Led by: Anthony Torres

Panelists: Annel Hernandez, Colette Pichon Battle

Empowering Communities to End Mass Incarceration

The United States is the incarceration capital of the world, and Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country. Louisiana’s incarceration rate is nearly five times Iran’s, 13 times China’s and 20 times Germany’s. But Louisianans are not taking this lightly. In 2017, community members—including those directly impacted by the criminal justice system—organized to advocate to reduce the number of people in prisons. People flooded the capitol and contacted their legislators demanding change. In 2018, bills passed that enfranchised a larger portion of the formerly incarcerated and sought to bring fairness to a unjust justice system. We’ll talk about how others can do the same.

Led by: Jamila Johnson

Panelists: John Burkhart, Kia Hall Hayes, Norris Henderson

The Kids are More than Alright: How Youth Will Save Us from Gun Violence

Standing in solidarity with the Parkland students and young people across the United States, the 50 Miles More, Team Enough and March for Our Lives teams are keeping the national spotlight on gun reform in hopes that no child will live in fear of gun violence. The voices and fresh ideas of our youth are building intersectional coalitions of new and experienced organizations. What can we learn from the past? How do we support our young leaders to achieve true policy reform? And how do we sustain the momentum in light of continued tragedies and diversion tactics?

Led by: Kris Brown

Panelists: Shannon Carlson, Katie Eder, Tatiana Washington

Brown Is the New White: 2018 and the New American Majority

Democrats have a tremendous opportunity to win big in 2018. But they will need to abandon the myth of the “white swing-voter” and build transformative campaigns capable of expanding the electorate and tapping the New American Majority: the multiracial, multicultural, and progressive coalition of voters consisting of people of color and progressive whites. This panel will discuss strategies for 2018 and feature candidates whose campaigns have demonstrated the power of mobilizing this majority and building a truly reflective democracy.

Led by: Aimee Allison

Panelists: Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, Annie Weinberg

Harnessing the Political Power of Black Immigrants

Despite accounting for nearly 10 percent of the nation’s Black population, Black immigrants and refugees have yet to coalesce as a voting bloc and exercise their electoral power in the political arena. Lower levels of civic engagement lead not only to a lack of representation of Black immigrants in elected and appointed positions but also to disparate life outcomes including lower household income, higher unemployment, and disproportionate contact with criminal justice and immigration systems. This panel will explore recent electoral and organizing successes in the emerging Black immigrant community and why their latent potential to be politically powerful must be realized for the benefit of their communities and the country.

Led by: William Jawando

Panelists: Francesca Menes, ramla sahid

Latinx Voting Power! El Poder de las Latinas en las Elecciones

Latina/x voters have the power to change the vote and are highly influential at the national level. There are about 12 million Latina/x people who are voting-age U.S. citizens. Many groups have been reaching out to these voters, but there’s still a lot of opportunity to organize in these communities. Want to know where the openings are, what works and doesn’t, and how we can move the needle on Latinx voting in the US? Join us!

Led by: Xochitl Oseguera

Panelists: Lucy Flores, Leticia Salcedo, Maria Urbina

Interfaith 2.0: Harnessing the Power of Interfaith Advocacy for Progress

Progressive grassroots advocacy and organizing requires that we promote values of inclusion, equality and justice—and that means recognizing the often overlooked role that communities of faith and conscience play in pushing for progressive change. Join us for a diverse panel of experienced advocates from the Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Sikh faith traditions. We’ll discuss the indelible impact and power of interfaith coalitions in policy advocacy, implications of religious demographic trends on the progressive advocacy space, and ways for new and experienced activists to engage with and establish multifaith coalitions to achieve inclusive, intersectional progress and strengthen our social fabric.

Led by: Afif Rahman

Panelists: Bilal Askaryar, Josh Protas, Sim Singh

Digital Advertising for Campaigners (Sponsored Training)

Over the past few cycles, progressives have fallen behind on digital advertising—even as voters are increasingly spending their time online. In previous election cycles, Republican campaigns have outspent Democrats online, allowing the right to seize the online conversation and define progressive candidates on their own terms. At the same time, many progressive campaigners have kept their distance from online advertising, relying on consultants and outside advisers instead of building in-house teams of digital staffers and building a larger digital infrastructure. To start reclaiming the internet, join Priorities USA for this introductory look at digital advertising and learn how to apply these best practices to your work. This training is sponsored by Priorities USA.

Trainers: Elyssa Feder, Madeline V. Twomey

Opening Reception sponsored by Working Families Party

Join us before our opening plenary for a reception to kick off Netroots 2018—complete with a second line performance! After a busy day of panels and training sessions, power up with appetizers provided by Working Families Party and connect with old and new friends before the keynote begins. Sponsored by Working Families Party.

Opening Keynote with Cory Booker, Chokwe Lumumba and more

Join us as we kick off Netroots Nation 2018 with our opening keynote! You’ll hear from progressive leaders including Sen. Cory Booker; Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba; Aimee Allison of Democracy in Color; John Fetterman, candidate for Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor; the Hip Hop Caucus’ Mustafa Santiago Ali; Colette Pichon Battle of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy; and NextGen America founder Tom Steyer.

Panelists: Mustafa Ali, Aimee Allison, Sen. Cory Booker, John Fetterman, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, Colette Pichon Battle, Tom Steyer

Freedom to Prosper Salon

Join us for an evening of community, conversation—and cancelling student debt. Sponsored by Freedom to Prosper.

Laughing Liberally Jam (Offsite: World of Beer)

Let comedy cut through the chaos and may laughter trump hate. Join a performance of progressive political comedians and commentators at the annual Laughing Liberally Jam at Netroots Nation. Join us at World of Beer for some comedy, then stay for karaoke! For 15 years, Laughing Liberally has been giving comedians a stage to pursue their political passions, audiences a comedic catharsis, and progressive partners the chance to laugh to keep from crying.

Netroots After Dark: Sex, Politics and Karaoke Sponsored by Planned Parenthood Action Fund (Offsite: World of Beer)

Join us for what’s become an annual tradition at Netroots Nation! Whether you can’t hold a tune or have ambitions to be on The Voice, we want you on that stage. Join us at the World of Beer for a fun night to kick off the conference. Sponsored by Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Morning Yoga

As activists we often get caught up in the perception of progress through busy-ness and neglect the necessity of focus and calm. Our morning flow will ground your day in peace and clarity before diving into the business/busy-ness of the conference. We’ll do light stretching, joint mobility enhancements, breathing and relaxation exercises.

Early Morning FAKE News Dump!

There’s no Lizz Winstead this year, but there’s still mornings and news! Join Chris Savage of Eclectablog, Vicki Roush, and some surprise guests for some bleary-eyed newsy-ness each day.

Coffee Break

Need a quick pick-me-up? Come by the Town Square for coffee and pastries to get your day started.

Fight Pipelines, Fight Racism: Louisiana’s #NoBayouBridge Fight is About More than a Pipeline

The #NoBayouBridge short-film series and panel discussion will detail how a fight to stop a 162-mile oil pipeline is about more than resisting the oil industry in Louisiana. It’s also about more than just stopping ETP/Sunoco—pipeline companies with some of the worst environmental records in the U.S.—from endangering 700 waterways and 50 miles of the Atchafalaya Basin. It’s even more than a fight to stop private and public security forces from repressing activists. While it’s all of these, #NoBayouBridge continues the struggle against economic and political elites in Louisiana—whose decisions perpetuate racial and environmental injustice, and land and cultural dispossession—that links back to white settler colonization and slavery.

Led by: Pamela Spees

Panelists: Cherri Foytlin, Pastor Harry Joseph, Anne Rolfes

Digital Organizing Tools Overview

Since 2016, many new organizing tools have been created—but which ones actually work and how will they change how we organize in 2018? We ran the digital organizing program for the VA Coordinated Campaign last fall and have spent 2018 digging in even further, assessing 100+ digital organizing tools (ranging from SMS tools like Hustle, Relay, and Groundgame; relational organizing tools like Team App, Outvote, VoterCircle, and MyRVP; and events tools like Mobilize and Grove AI). This training will give an overview of these tools and how they fit in with organic digital organizing strategies like Facebook groups, Twitter and email programs.

Trainers: Dan Bram, Greta Carnes

Snap the Vote

In this training, we’ll cover Snapchat 101 and best practices for using the platform. Plus, we’ll provide some advanced tips for how to use Snapchat for organizing, campaigning and civic engagement.

Trainers: Sofia Gross

Progressive Donors: What Motivates Them and How to Reach Them

In the era of Trump and bad news overload, how do you create a conversation with a potential donor so they care about your key issue? What can you say to them that will convince them to support your work? In this workshop, we’ll review and update results from the 2017 Progressive Donor Survey, which reached online and offline donors across the country. We’ll then do an exercise to identify who these donors are and what makes them tick. With these potential supporters in mind, we’ll explore the channels and messages to best reach them where they are. The session will finish with some tactics to keep them involved with your cause beyond that first donation or even that first Retweet or Facebook Like.

Trainers: Margaret Whiteley

The Muslims Are Coming: Organizing the Muslim Community in the Age of Hate

The increase of hate crimes, Islamophobia, and discriminatory rhetoric by candidates running across the nation has awakened a wave of Muslims that have become driven to make change. However, the Muslim community is a very diverse community, a very cultured community, and one that has been victim to scrutiny for more than 17 years. Although Muslims make up just one percent of the US population, they have significant communities in swing states like Florida, Ohio, Michigan and Virginia. Join us for a session that will help your organization build or strengthen your collaborative relationship with your local Muslim community, and help you organize/mobilize your Muslim allies.

Trainers: Mohamed Gula, Vetnah Yemen Monessar

Dare to Compete! How to Run for Office for Women Leaders

Are you a woman interested in running for office, but don’t know where to start? Let Emerge America point you in the right direction during our Dare to Compete! training. Learn the basics of starting your run for elected office or support women who are running. Women are stepping up to run in record numbers, and we know America desperately needs the unique perspectives and skills women can bring to the table. Emerge America and the Emerge affiliates share one mission: to increase the number of Democratic women leaders from diverse backgrounds in public office through recruitment, training, and providing a powerful network. We have trained over 3,000 women to run for elected office.

Trainers: A'shanti Gholar

Transcending Diversity

Let’s face it, “diversity and inclusion” efforts in this country, and in the progressive movement, have been dismal. The reasons for this are deep and complex, but one of them is that we treat our differences like something that can be boxed and put in a corner, and pulled out when we need to address tension or conflict. What we are proposing is that we understand that who we are permeates every single aspect of our work and interactions, and by training ourselves in the practice of remembering this and responding accordingly, we can transcend the need for “diversity training” and begin relating in ways that account for difference, create powerful organizational cultures and deliver the best results for our work.

Trainers: Maritza Schafer, Akaya Windwood

Organizing Walmart: How OUR Walmart has Moved Walmart Employees from Online Engagement to Offline Action

Too often online tools are being used as solely communication tools and not as opportunities to move people into offline action. Come learn about OUR’s online to offline pathway and learn about their best practices on their pathway from initial conversation to leader.

Trainers: Eric Schlein

Rebrand the Democrats: Crowdsourcing the New Progressive Narrative

Traditional party and political boundaries are being actively, dynamically redefined, and Democrats are without a clear brand, vision or narrative. We can no longer rely on old rules. We need a platform and narrative strategy that are transcendent—that rise above old campaigns and driven by people most impacted by harmful policies—to unite an irrefutable majority against the real threats we face and toward a co-created vision of democracy. This session will be interactive, drawing upon the wisdom and experiences of all present through inclusively-facilitated activities. Our goal, by the end of the session, is to emerge with two or three clear, visionary, testable brand/narrative directions for the Democratic party.

Panelists: Vanice Dunn, Ellen Roche

Turning a Sprint into a Marathon: The Muslim Ban Organizing Efforts as a Model on Sustaining a Movement

On January 27, 2017, diverse communities of activists from across the country descended upon airports. Elected officials, families, people of all backgrounds showed up in droves to protest President Trump’s Executive Order commonly known as the Muslim Ban. As the months passed and new variations of the Executive Order conveyed the same Islamophobia, advocates—often from the most impacted communities—continued fighting in the airports, in the courtrooms and on the streets. How does a movement born quickly on a Friday afternoon harness the energy of the thousands compelled to action and engage them in long-term work?

Led by: Zahra Billoo

Panelists: Gadeir Abbas, Almas Haider, Mohammad Khan, Subha Varadarajan

Digital Sanctuary: Engineering Tools and Models for Racial Justice

As racial justice techies and campaigners, we have been talking about the problematic values that underpin the internet ecosystem, developing new advocacy models for racial justice, and defining our own narratives. We need to strategize to overcome algorithmic bias, problems with digital security, and how for-profit tech increases inequality and contributes to injustice. This panel will dig deeply into legacy online campaigning and how old organizing models are being replaced by grassroots tech solutions; how voter suppression in the digital age is inextricably tied to our fight for Net Neutrality; how we can transform campaigning by integrating digital security at every step; and how we are building new toolkits for digital sanctuary.

Led by: Mariana Ruiz Firmat

Panelists: Bex Hurwitz, Cayden Mak, Jess Morales Rocketto, Steven Renderos

It Takes Everyone: Building Power to Advance Ambitious Equitable Climate Change Solutions

In order to meaningfully address climate change, the solutions we build must engage a diverse set of stakeholders across issues—from health, to housing, to immigration, to others. Confronting climate change also demands centering economic and racial inequity. Ambitious climate campaigns today are building power through cross-sectoral coalitions, electoral engagement, and the leadership of people of color, low-income communities, and young people. In this panel, you’ll hear from groups advancing equitable climate change solutions, building new governing coalitions through democratic organizing, and advancing electoral strategies to win policy that confronts climate change and paves the way for a just economy for all people.

Led by: Adrien Salazar

Panelists: Annel Hernandez, Tiffany Mendoza, Andrea Cristina Mercado, Varshini Prakash

The West Virginia Teacher Strike: Sparking a National Movement for Public Education

February 23 through March 6, West Virginia teachers and service personnel united in a historic statewide strike to demand better healthcare, competitive wages, and respect for the public education system. Faced with ongoing benefit cuts, increased premiums, and ranked 48th in pay, teachers and service personnel began organizing using a secret Facebook group in November 2017 that grew to over 24,000 members. By providing a space for open dialogue and planning, and discussing escalation tactics, a movement was created that ignited the grassroots in not only WV but across the country. This panel will discuss some of the background of the strike organizing, the results, and how it has spread to multiple localities and states.

Led by: Ryan Frankenberry

Panelists: Erica Newsome, Brianne Solomon, Zanetta Stallworth

Guns Don’t Discriminate, People Do: Equitable Organizing in the Gun Safety Space

Recent school shootings are sparking an incredible movement around ending gun violence this country, but youth in Chicago and New York in predominately black and brown communities have been organizing around these issues for years. How can we build a movement for gun safety that is truly equitable and recognizes the participation of youth of color and allied communities to make an inclusive, diverse movement?

Led by: Jamiah Adams

Panelists: Amber Goodwin, Michelle Nealy, Qudsia Raja

Housing Touches Everything Progressives Care About. So Why Aren’t We Talking About It?

A growing body of evidence demonstrates that safe, affordable housing contributes to increased educational attainment, improved health care outcomes, stronger economic mobility and productivity, less homelessness, and greater equity and civil rights. Yet despite this demonstrable impact, only a handful of progressive advocates have embraced housing as a key political and organizing imperative. That needs to change. And it’s starting to change. This session will make the case for why all progressives should be involved in housing issues, introduce federal and state opportunities to get involved, and provide an opportunity for questions that dive deep into the intersection between housing and why it should matter to all progressives.

Led by: Chantelle Wilkinson

Panelists: Allison Bovell-Ammon, Mike Koprowski, Lisa Bland Malone, Andrenecia Morris, Agatha So