If you’re new to Netroots Nation, you can get a sense of what the conference is like by checking out our schedule overview. Each year our agenda includes:
- Engaging panels on a variety of topics
- Hands-on training sessions to improve your organizing
- Keynotes and special featured content
- A progressive film Screening Series
- Caucuses, networking opportunities, social events and more!
You can browse our interactive agenda from 2019 below.
Special Event; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 11:50am, 125
Mindfulness meditation to calm stress
Writer and meditation teacher Jeremy Mohler will lead a guided meditation to cultivate mindfulness, the ability to pay attention in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Neuroscientific research has shown that meditation can lower stress and anxiety, among other benefits. Mindfulness strengthens our ability to connect deeply with others as we fight for a more progressive and just society. Meditation will be followed by a brief Q&A about the practice. No experience or equipment necessary. Beginner’s more than welcome.
Led by: Jeremy Mohler
Screening Series; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 12:00pm, 117
On November 8, 2016, a young, hijab-wearing mother-of-three named Ilhan Omar made history, becoming the first Somali Muslim woman to be elected to state office in America. She was hailed by the New York Times as, “one of the bright lights in the post-election darkness,” and this film intimately chronicles her hard-fought campaign for State Representative in Minnesota’s Senate District 60B, home to the nation’s largest Somali community. A fresh take on the old story of the American Dream, “Time for Ilhan” offers an inspiring, stereotype-busting portrait of a rising political star as she begins a bold and powerful political career. With special guests Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Director Norah Shapiro.
Special Event; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 12:00pm, Town Square (Hall G)
Because too many people are still shocked about the avalanche of anti-abortion detritus snowballing across America (SPOILER ALERT: It ain’t just GA and AL), Lizz Winstead and her crew from Abortion Access Front (formerly Lady Parts Justice League) have created Operation Save Abortion, the AAF daily livestream recap of all the daily assaults on reproductive rights you’re not hearing in the mainstream media. Or any media. Or anywhere. AAF will be doing THREE supersized episodes live at Netroots! Each day, Lizz and other abortion rights activists will cover the latest affronts to our rights and tell us what we can do to fight back.
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 119A
State Legislatures: The Most Important Elections We're Not Talking About
Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019
State legislatures determine who can vote and who controls Congress for the next decade. In fact, the Republican state legislative victories of 2010 set the stage for today’s politics. State houses also impact millions of lives: healthcare, wages, climate, mass incarceration and more. Right-wing special interests have been focusing on state houses for decades. It’s time to catch up. Now more than ever, attention and resources should be directed to state legislatures. Not because they will help us win the White House and in Congress (though they will), but because they are the key to changing the direction of the entire country.
Led by: Daniel Squadron
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 118B
In a historic mid-term election in 2018, Florida residents voted in favor of state constitutional Amendment 4, which automatically restores voting rights to 1.6 million people with prior felony convictions. The ballot initiative received support from over 60% of Florida voters. The work now becomes moving those previously disenfranchised onto the voting rolls through voter education, engagement and registration. Participants of this panel will hear lessons learned from the Florida engagement table that accomplished the feat, and explore organizing strategies other states challenging felony disenfranchisement can employ ahead of the 2020 election.
Led by: Denise Lieberman
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 118C
There is no place in our criminal justice system where money more clearly buys justice than bail. Unaffordable cash bail undermines the presumption of innocence, criminalizes poverty, and perpetuates racial and economic disparities. While there is consensus among progressives to move towards the elimination of money bail, there is little agreement as to what should replace it. This panel seeks to discuss and inform a progressive vision for America’s pretrial justice system and the role (if any) that popular alternatives—such as risk assessments, electronic monitoring and probationary services—should hold in this space.
Led by: Robin Steinberg
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 118A
This panel explores the emerging digital culture of Indigenous participation and influence in the progressive landscape. Indigenous people have pioneered innovative uses of digital media for global connectivity and contestation. Digital and social media open up unprecedented opportunities for voice, and, in theory, participation in decision-making. There is limited understanding about how Indigenous voices are heard at times of major policy reform, and whether increased participation in digital media leads to increased democratic participation. Leading Indigenous influencers join the conversation with their experience. Three contemporary voices showcase Indigenous participatory media response to government policy initiatives.
Led by: Prairie Rose Seminole
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 116
Diversity is something we all want, but all to often when we look around the room progressive organizations and firms are coming up short. In this panel we’ll break down how small things like who we refer to informational interviews to expanding our social circles and writing job descriptions, as well as big systematic efforts, can impact how we increase diversity to improve our programs and put our values into action.
Led by: Tim Lim
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 115A
The city of Philadelphia has historically been and continues to be a political haven for progressive Democrats. Due to this history, Philly can be studied as a microcosm of what is possible for the U.S. Democratic party, and can serve as a model when we envision future power-building among progressive, liberal, and grassroots movements. In this panel, participants will hear from an intergenerational, intersectional panel of grassroots organizers and activists born and raised in Philadelphia, sharing their experiences organizing within a progressive Democratic government. You’ll learn what worked, what didn’t, and how we can continue moving forward toward the progressive future we all deserve.
Led by: Anthony Smith
Training; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 121C
Mass mobilization and direct action have long helped movements win, but the way we build and communicate to our base has changed. Digital tools have democratized the way we tell stories and opened up opportunities for more personalized outreach and recruitment to help shift the balance of power in our favor. With step-by-step handouts and case studies from the People’s Climate March in NYC and APTP’s 96 hours of direct action in Oakland, this panel will prescribe how to easily create supporter engagement journies across channels before, during, and after mobilization that will help you get the numbers to win AND change hearts and minds.
This training is for anyone who is beginning to think about organizing and mobilizing online and for those who run events and want to engage new supporters.
Led by: Vanessa Tsimoyianis-Butterworth
Training; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 121A
This panel will offer suggestions about metric driven campaigns to better help organizers grasp the historical and contemporary ways that data can exploit black, indigenous and low-income communities. Data can reduce these communities to their most granular aspects. But organizers can push back by advocating for campaigns that are responsible and accountable with data collection and management.
Some organizing experience is preferred but not required. Data specialists/managers are encouraged to attend.
Led by: Ishmael Bishop
Caucus/Roundtable; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 123
Social media gave women the courage to speak up, report abuse, march & take down the powerful elite. What started as a Facebook event ballooned into the largest protest in human history, giving women a glimpse into the power they wield. Next came #MeToo and #TimesUp in which women shared their personal stories of sexual abuse and misconduct, taking out powerful men across politics, entertainment and business. Now, the #YouKnowMe is the latest phase of women coming together to share their most personal stories, but in a cathartic way intended to stand up for women’s reproductive freedoms. Join us to discuss how social media in the hands of women has literally changed our society—and hear about what this next chapter of change might look like.
Training; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 121B
It’s the biggest unrecognized opportunity on every website. While most website managers, brand managers, and content strategists spin their wheels every month on something new, they overlook what their existing content tells them. This session is equal parts art and science. We’ll improve your search rankings, attract more of your target audiences, and convert a higher percentage of them by finding the content that inspires visitors to take action.
This training is best suited for those with experience in website management, content creation, and digital analytics.
Led by: Eric Pratum
Training; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 122A
If your campaign or non-profit is thinking about building or rebuilding a website this year, it’s tough to know what will deliver results, and what will be the next <blink>. DON’T spend an arm and a leg, DON’T take all year for a mediocre site design, DON’T stress yourself out, DO deliver a great website that will get the job done. Come to this session and learn the latest trends for 2019 and the future including mobile-first, responsive design, flat design, parallax, scrolling versus non and more. We’ll share tips on when it makes sense to do it in-house versus hire out, and we’ll go over best practices to make sure your site stays current and relevant.
This is a beginner-level training.
Training; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 120C
The labor movement has fought for years to win justice for all working people by raising wages and improving families’ lives. It’s clear that we cannot achieve economic justice without racial justice. SEIU’s Racial Justice Center joined the Race-Class Narrative Project to find tested messages that rebut the right’s faux populism and white nationalism with a new story. This research shows that an integrated Race-Class Narrative outperforms a colorblind economic approach and beats the opposition’s divisive frames. Join us as we share how the research was implemented and practice strategies to help you connect race and class to win on the issues that matter to working people of all races.
The intended audience includes campaign leads and staff, as well as communicators and communication leads.
Training; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 120B
Join us for a fun, interactive session that will provide ideas for how your personal story is connected to the causes you care about, directions to help you navigate the online universe, and tools to understand the different audiences and pick the media with the highest potential. Whether you want to fundraise for a campaign, get people to turn out to an event, or encourage allies to take action, our goal is to help you develop concrete skills to shape your personal narratives and the stories familiar to you in ways that elevate progressive values and support good causes.
If you work in the social justice space, are familiar with the basics of social media, and are eager to step up your online game to support progressive causes, this training is for you!
Caucus/Roundtable; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 125
This open caucus is intended to provide space where members of Muslim, Arab, South Asian, Sikh and Middle Eastern (MASA) communities and allies can discuss how the progressive movement can support the fight against bigotry and attacks on the civil and human rights of Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim. Come connect with like-minded and affiliated folks. We’ll be engaging in conversation around upcoming issues for the MASA community and how we can work together to improve our movement and our country.
Training; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 120A
Conflict is universally present in interpersonal, organizational, intercommunal and structural settings. Some conflicts are easy to understand, while others seem overwhelmingly complex. In either case, conflict mapping is a versatile tool that can increase understanding of a given setting. This training will introduce various conflict mapping models that you can apply in a wide variety of settings, providing insight into the most effective and impactful areas for engagement and action. Through mapping a conflict setting, participants will gain strategic perspective into a conflict by examining actors, relationships and directions of influence in a conflict and how these insights can inform participants’ work.
This training is designed for activists and organizers of all skill levels.
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 115C
Since Parkland, it has become clear that we need new, bold policy gun reforms and that survivors—many of them Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples—must have a seat at the table. Join us as grassroots organizers and gun violence survivors provide strategies on how to effectively engage black and brown communities who remain the most affected by everyday gun violence. We cannot reduce all gun violence if we do not include those who are closest to the pain in our narratives.
Led by: Amber Goodwin
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 01:00pm, 119B
Freeing Us From the Student Debt Trap
Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019
This panel will explore the growing burden of student debt and student debt cancellation as a necessary counterpart to the tuition-free college movement. For decades, this country invested in young people—and in its future—by providing a low-cost or tuition-free college education. This investment was slashed. Instead, we trapped people into borrowing for their own education. Now 44 million people are imprisoned by deb that holds us all back, whether we attended college or not. The panel will feature a team of experts and lawmakers who will examine the student debt crisis, explore policy options, and make the moral case for complete student debt cancellation.
Led by: Rep. Ilhan Omar
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 119B
A Vision for Progressive Foreign Policy in the 2020 Elections and Beyond
Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019
The U.S. is at a pivotal point regarding how the country sees itself and relates to other countries on the global stage. Trump’s policies have invigorated social justice movements committed to resisting oppression at home and building solidarity with marginalized peoples’ abroad. This panel seeks to articulate a foreign policy vision that progressives can mobilize behind. The panel will be oriented around three core commitments of a progressive foreign policy framework: principled anti-interventionism, ending endless war, and solidarity with global anti-racist and anti-authoritarian movements. The panelists will discuss how grassroots organizing, policymaking, legislation and legal advocacy can work in tandem to create this vision.
Led by: Kate Kizer
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 115B
Overwhelming research has exposed the massive human and economic costs imposed by life without parole sentences and the use of solitary confinement. The voices behind the numbers tell staggering stories of pain and resilience that embody the urgency of taking action. The Coalition to Abolish Death by Incarceration, the Abolitionist Law Center, Reclaim Philadelphia Mass Liberation, and the Unlock the Box Campaign will join together to discuss the impact of these antiquated methods of social banishment that have ravaged communities of color across the country and normalized the treatment of human beings as disposable, hearing from directly impacted organizers on strategies locally and nationally to create pressure against these repressive systems of control.
Led by: Jasiri X
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 118C
The Double Down: Discussions of Black and Disability Identity
Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019
There is a unique history between the disability and African American Community. Issues related to slavery, Jim Crow, and the modern prison industrial complex are linked with institutionalization, asylums, seclusion and restraint and exploitation from the medical community. Unfortunately these shared issues are rarely discussed in clear relief in either community. This panel will explore the unique issues that lie at the intersection of race and disability with a specific emphasis on the African American disability experience. The panel will discuss historical connections between the communities, as well as explore current issues of race and disability that need to be addressed as a whole by each group.
Led by: Patrick Cokley
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 118A
Data on current attitudes toward Native communities is almost non-existent. Reclaiming Native Truth was a two-year project that collected data, expert insights, and created a collaborative space which engaged grassroots, tribal and community leaders about what people think about Native communities and issues. Changing public perceptions is fundamental to creating a new narrative to advance social and policy change for racial justice and the achievement of tribal sovereignty. The workshop will examine the results of the report and explore the impact on building racial justice movements with strong ties to Native Nations and communities.
Led by: Crystal Echo Hawk
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 116
The City of Philadelphia has made good strides in passing local labor laws that fill the gaps in worker protection that are unfilled by state and federal labor law. However, the City currently has a very small operation for enforcing these laws, and basically no plan at all to educate low-wage workers in the city about their rights under these new laws. Hear from workers and organizers with Make the Road PA, the Restaurant Opportunities Center, and One Pennsylvania who are working to beef up the city’s enforcement and education operation.
Led by: Kati Sipp
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 118B
As we saw during the 2018 midterms, progressives still have a lot of work to do in small towns and rural communities. And with Donald Trump on the ballot in 2020, Democrats will have to invest in rural voters across the country to take back the White House. During our panel, we’ll hear from organizers working on the front lines in small towns and rural areas about how women, people of color, and millennials are reshaping politics in their communities and discuss strategies for progressive engagement in non-metro areas.
Led by: Francys Johnson
Caucus/Roundtable; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 125
Steven Shafarman is a long-time member of the Basic Income Earth Network, BIEN, and the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network, USBIG. His new book on basic income will be published this fall by RealClearBooks. He lives in Washington DC.
Led by: Steven Shafarman
Caucus/Roundtable; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 122B
A closed space for communities of color to come together and support surviviors
Training; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 122A
What if I told you that boosted posts only reach 16% of Facebook users? Many campaigns, causes and organizations are constantly looking for ways to reach more voters online through paid channels. For many, their first step is boosting posts and it’s easy to see why. For $20, you can see thousands of impressions and reach tens of thousands of people. But, boosted posts are best used as a small part of a much larger social media advertising strategy that, with the right knowhow, will help your campaign be more strategic, reach more voters, and turn more people out to vote. Move beyond the boosted post with this session.
This training is ideal for first-time candidates, new campaign staffers, as well as advocates, activists and grassroots organizers.
Training; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 121B
Love it, like it or hate it, the need to use Facebook in our organizing work isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. From pages to groups to advertising, there are constant changes which means we need to adjust our strategies in order to maximize our impact on Facebook. Join us for this survey of the big changes over the last year and some strategy tips for how to make Facebook work for you.
This is an intermediate-level training.
Led by: Beth Becker
Training; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 121C
Powerful online communities are key to successful field and digital organizing. With online communities, volunteer fervor does not disappear after a single election or fundraising cycle. Instead, these organized networks serve as structures for long-term progressive power-building. Through relational organizing, these communities expand supporter networks and activate hard to reach supporters, increasing democratic participation – especially amongst young people and communities of color. Our session gives seasoned and first-time field organizers clear takeaways on building long-term relationships with supporters, creating action-producing content, and using tracked data to refine communication and facilitate rapid message experimentation.
This session is valuable for those interested in forming digital communities and using relational organizing to better engage volunteers. Both seasoned and first-time field organizers will learn clear takeaways on how they can activate their supporters online and keep those supporters engaged.
Training; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 120C
Join Faith Cheltenham, @thefayth, in learning to communicate your true intent as white accomplices interested in providing relevant support for Black people. This training combine elements of stand-up comedy, large action role playing and decades of Black advocacy experience into a training designed to reduce and eliminate anti-Blackness from Netroots Nation! All Of Us in one room, invested in one idea … teaching YOU how to shut it down, so we don’t always have to.
This training is intended for ALL white people, people of color, Black people, and individuals interested in increasing the positive experiences of Black people at this conference, in this country, and in this world. We welcome attendees of all backgrounds, disciplines and skill levels—anti-Blackness exists at every level.
Led by: Faith Cheltenham
Screening Series; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 117
Film showcases present several films in one session by showing multiple short films or clips, then inviting a presenter from each film to participate in a moderated discussion. “Let My People Go” is a 30-minute documentary detailing a David and Goliath battle fought by the people of South Dakota against the predatory lending industry. It follows the 2016 ballot measure campaign to cap interest at 36%, which had been up to 574%—all in a red state, led by co-chairs on opposing political sides. Interviews include First Nations community development lenders and their clients who had gotten caught up in payday lending, as well as a charismatic nun who helped lead the campaign. In the short documentary “Calling for Change: Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline,” Philly youth explore the impact of the school to prison pipeline and the local organizing fighting to disrupt it. What do you do when your school feels like a prison?
Caucus/Roundtable; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 123
Join us for the LGBTQ Caucus. Meet fellow LGBTQ leaders and activists from across the progressive spectrum. Part meet & greet, part brainstorming, this gathering will connect Netroots Nation attendees interested in the LGBTQ movement and and activists supportive of LGBTQ causes.
Training; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 121A
Without corporate money, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign relied on people power and grassroots energy. To harness that energy as effectively as possible, we invented a mobile app called Reach. By giving volunteers the ability to capture valuable data from every voter interaction (no matter when or where it happened), this tool enabled new options of canvassing that simply weren’t possible before. This session will explore those new tactics and methods. We’ll work through the mechanics of the tools and the ideas behind the broader strategies, drawing lessons from two dozen campaigns which have been implementing them so you can apply them to your next field program and truly meet voters where they are.
This session is intended for campaign managers, directors and organizers for both issue-based and electoral campaigns.
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 115A
The concept of a Green New Deal has become a salient variable of the climate movement’s lexicon. Yet many still are unaware of the roots of this moment, the perspectives of frontline communities or the solutions including Just Transition, Energy Democracy and Food Sovereignty that have been exercised for decades. It will take a principled and radical vision, along with an ecosystem of approaches, an understanding of the plurality of roles, and alignment of powerful tactics to tackle the environmental and social challenges of our time. This means centering frontline and marginalized communities in an effort to avoid mistakes of the past associated with Waxman/Markey. How we approach and democratize political engagement from now and beyond 2020 will be a reflection of grassroots organizing and can present either incredible opportunities for profound change or reproduce long standing inequities and power dynamics in our movement that ultimately, will not address the flaws in our political system.
Led by: Anthony Rogers-Wright
Training; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 120B
Whether it’s an election campaign or a longer-term issue campaign, dedicated campaign staff and volunteers put in long hours and sometimes practically live at campaign headquarters. It’s easy to fall into the fast food trap, leading to poor nutrition, low energy, sick staff and resultant absenteeism, lower productivity and avoidable mistakes. This training will provide a model for establishing healthy campaign environments, including the rationale, sample materials, checklists and templates for how candidates, campaign managers and staff/volunteers can easily and affordably create an environment which elevates an ethic of self-care by making it easy to stock what’s needed to prepare quick and easy healthy meals and snacks.
This training is open to everyone.
Training; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 120A
Every email list is a special unicorn—so how do you know what messaging motivates your supporters? What subject lines grab their attention? How do you write the most engaging copy? And are graphic emails really all that? The answers to all of those questions—and more—are an email test away. In this session, attendees will learn the basics of email writing and testing, including crafting copy and testing its effectiveness, what makes an effective email test, what tools they need to start testing, best practices, how to analyze the results of a test, and how to apply those lessons to future emails.
This training is for those who may be relatively new to email but want to improve their game and launch an effective testing program.
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 115C
As graphic designers and media makers, how can we best develop strategic visual communication to win campaigns and stay accountable to the leadership of community organizers? How does our work fit into the grander strategy of change? Join us for a panel discussion on best practices and case studies. As people of color, women and immigrants, we will reflect on opportunities and challenges we face as media makers doing this work.
Led by: Tanzila Ahmed
An Early, Inclusive and Targeted Ground Operation: How the Democratic Party is Building for 2019, 2020 and Beyond (Sponsored Panel)
Panel; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 02:15pm, 119A
An Early, Inclusive and Targeted Ground Operation: How the Democratic Party is Building for 2019, 2020 and Beyond
Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019
In 2016, primary campaigns spent 10 times more time in the first four “early states” than the 10 biggest general election battlegrounds, and that’s likely to happen again this cycle. With limited time to pivot from the primary and ramp up for the general election, our eventual Democratic nominee will need the tools and resources to grow quickly and effectively. Join us to discuss what we learned from 2016 and how the DNC, state parties, and coordinated side groups are applying that to our general election readiness efforts in 2019-2020. This panel is sponsored by the DNC.
Led by: Cheyenne Davis
Panelists: Mansoor Abdul Khadir
Keynote; Sat, 07/13/2019 - 03:30pm
Saturday Afternoon Keynote Netroots Nation 2019
Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019
This is your chance to hear from some of the 2020 Democratic primary candidates about some of the most important and pressing issues we face, from poverty and economic opportunity to criminal justice and abortion access. Netroots Nation Board of Directors Chair Cheryl Contee and Markos Moulitsas, founder and publisher of Daily Kos, will moderate. Before the Forum begins, you’ll hear from Philadelphia City Councilmember Helen Gym and Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Special Event; Sun, 07/14/2019 - 09:00am
Please join us Sunday morning for our annual interfaith service. People of all faiths and no faith are welcome. We use readings from many faith traditions contributed by past attendees and others who cannot attend themselves, as well as additions from those gathered.