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 2019 agenda will include:

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

You can browse our interactive agenda below. We’ll be adding more sessions and speakers over the next month, so check back often!

Order by:

How Primaries Build Power and Transform What is Possible

Join campaigners who are supporting grassroots movements engaged in primary work across the country. Let’s talk about some lessons learned in 2018 and talk through the opportunities we should expand upon during this major cycle—up and down the ballot. Hear these organizers share learnings about primaries, power and gains made across races in Florida, Georgia, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and New York. The panelists represent a mix of primary engagement efforts on different levels of the ballot and all types of primaries, challengers and open, national, local and statewide efforts that were and are important to re-shifting power in ways that decenter whiteness and money.

Led by: María Urbina

Panelists: Dwight Bullard, Alexandra "Alex" Rojas, Natalia Salgado, Nelini Stamp, Tania Unzenta

Democracy is Dying: How Do We Right the Ship of Democracy?

No greater modern threat exists to modern American democracy than the administration of Donald Trump. Daily chips and cracks are evident in our democracy—suppression of the vote; appointments of lower court and Supreme Court judges with little to no regard to the law—evident the slow death of the laws that guide and undergird our republic. We aren’t laying down during this moment—progressive patriots are championing the ideals that present an America that is just and good and provides equitable opportunity for all. That fight is evident in the push for impeachment, the lawsuits against unfair elections and the movement to restore the vote to returning citizens.

Led by: Jamiah Adams

Panelists: Nathaly Arriola, Abed Ayoub, Aquene Freechild, Colin Hicks

Racism and the Struggle for Digital Rights

The struggle for the digital rights of communities of color is a central issue in the fight for racial justice. Large corporations and our government are using digital tools that further cement a white racial hierarchy in our society in the pursuit of profits and political power. Companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google are providing a megaphone for racists to spread hate speech and algorithms that discriminate against people of color. Government agencies are also using the tools of surveillance to criminalize communities of color. Panelists will discuss the actions they are taking to challenge these powerful institutions to ensure the digital sovereignty of communities of color—and what you can do to get involved.

Led by: Collette Watson

Panelists: Brandi Collins-Dexter, Gaurav Laroia, Cayden Mak, Erin Shields

Hijabi Power: The Badass Women Fighting Hate

Despite the global rise of Islamophobia, hijabi-wearing leaders like Linda Sarsour and Ilhan Omar have been fearless in their quest to create a more inclusive, representative democracy. Join us for a panel presentation and discussion on the barriers they’ve encountered and how each of them are creating long-lasting change in their community.

Led by: Zahra Billoo

Panelists: Raaheela Ahmed, Deqa Dhalac, Hodan Hassan

Philly in Charge: How Community Coalitions are Transforming Power Here and Nationwide

In the poorest big city in America, hundreds of thousands of people are separated by poverty, segregation, and many other forms of oppression. Community organizations that traditionally worked in separate spaces have been coming together to push a vision for a Philly that works for all us, not a few. Come hear the role of coalitions in the election of Larry Krasner and holding him accountable to progressive criminal justice reform, protecting our immigrant community from ICE, and how a group of over 30 organizations is creating a platform to wins demands from City Council ranging from fair funding of public schools to community control of land use.

Led by: Bryan Mercer

Panelists: Kendra Brooks, Rick Krajewski, Nancy Nguyen, Hannah Sassaman, arielle klagsbrun

Making the Green New Deal Real

A Green New Deal is needed to address the existential crises we face today: a rapidly degrading climate, accelerating economic inequality, the precipitous decline in global democracy—all caused by a global system of of racist oppression and environmental destruction for private gain. Panelists will discuss not only the transformative vision of a Green New Deal but what we all can and must do together to achieve a vibrant green society based on the principle that all people and places on our only planet have inherent value.

Led by: Brad Johnson

Panelists: Rhiana Gunn-Wright

Everyone Wants Maps: Understanding their Value in Organizing

There’s a reason it’s a cliche that a picture is worth a thousand words. Since we organize geographically, that picture should be a map.Unfortunately, most maps are one-off projects that take hours of work from a skilled staff member or volunteer. Come hear from our experienced panelists about how they’ve used maps to organize. We’ll discuss the multitude of ways your campaign can use maps to improve your organizing efforts. You’ll walk away with an understanding of how to think geographically when organizing, and the tools available to you to help your campaign get there.

Led by: Deepak Puri

Panelists: Rapi Castillo, Jenn Cervella, Dheeraj Chand, Julie Goldberg

Moving Forward: Repealing the Muslim Ban for Good

2019 marks two years since the first Muslim Ban Executive Order was signed. Since then the ban has separated thousands of families, leading to tragic outcomes in some cases including the recent death of young Abdullah in Oakland. A new Congress though presents new opportunities to repeal the Muslim Ban through legislative action. This session will recap the current status of the Muslim Ban and the campaign to end it, and look forward to next steps with an emphasis on legislative strategies through the new Congress. Participants will have the opportunity to break out in to regional groups and map plans to mobilize their members of Congress to champion the issue and legislation.

Led by: Zahra Billoo

Panelists: Mohammad Khan, Avideh Moussavian, Manar Waheed

2019 Latinx Power! El Poder de Las Latinas en Las Elecciones

Latinx voters have the power to change the vote and are highly influential at the national level. There are about 12 million Latinx people who are voting-age U.S. citizens. Many groups have been reaching out to these voters, but there remains a lot of opportunity to successfully organize in Latinx 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 in 2019 and beyond? Join us!

Led by: Xochitl Oseguera

Panelists: Maegan Llerena, Jasmine Rivera, María Urbina

The Role of the Movement in Native Political Power Building from an Indigenous Perspective

Across the country, Native communities are building political power, and taking their rightful place as elected officials against all odds. The first two Indigenous women were elected to Congress. In San Juan County, UT, several Native organizations and allies built a coordinated strategy around engaging first-time voters on the Navajo reservation to make history in electing the first ever Navajo-led County commission to help protect the cultural sites and natural beauty of the area. In North Dakota, Indigenous leaders fought and won against voter suppression, and are continuing to make progress towards representative leadership. Join us to learn more about these efforts, how to center Indigenous voices, and how to be a true ally in Native political power building in the 21st century.

Led by: Chrissie Castro

Panelists: Ruth Buffalo, Anathea Chino, Willie Grayeyes, Mellor Willie

The Resistance is DIY: How Creative Rapid Response and Digital Media are Shaping Culture through Activism

From the Daily Action app to shutting down streets in song and dance to DIY poster printing, get ready to uncover the ways in which creative and digital media is used to facilitate rapid response. This panel will be a crash course on what it looks like to use a variety of creative and digital media tools to effectively and efficiently respond to injustice. It will also cover the ways in which creative and digital media can facilitate and enrich intersectional approaches to organizing, specifically centering communities of color, women, femmes, and queer and trans folks. Lastly, it will serve as a space for participants to scheme up creative ways to protest the next time their communities are under attack.

Led by: Nasr Firas

Panelists: Carla Aronsohn, Bob Bland

Relational Organizing Insights from the Field: Scaling for the 2019/2020 Cycle

If you’re a progressive activist, you have likely heard about relational organizing—friends reaching out to friends to support a cause, organization or campaign. But what does it take to run a successful program? What are the best practices, and what pitfalls should you avoid? Learn from leading practitioners in the field who have successfully planned, launched and implemented both online and offline relational organizing programs around the country.

Led by: Sangeeth Peruri

Panelists: Sarah Black, Dylan Cate, Brandon A. Jessup, Kristee Paschall

Women Marched, Ran & Won: What's Next?

Women are the majority of consumers, educators, organizers, donors, and voters. So why do two Koch brothers still have more power than 166 million American women? Why are we the only developed country with no nationally mandated paid family leave? Why are two-thirds of minimum wage workers women? Why are American women today 50% more likely to die in childbirth than their own mothers? This session will bring together women leaders from across movements to reimagine a world where issues that impact our lives are no longer dismissed as “identity politics” but placed front and center. We’ll make a game plan that builds on our collective power and diversity, and works for women’s equality.

Panelists: Alicia Garza, Cecile Richards, Cortney Tunis

How to Win Back Blue-Collar Workers in 2020 (Sponsored panel)

Three long-time liberal radio personalities share their thoughts on how Democrats can reverse the 2016 trend that caused many blue-collar workers to side with President Trump so that workers across the nation can get paid more, have greater protections on the job and collectively bargain freely.

This panel is sponsored by the Teamsters.

Led by: Bret Caldwell

Panelists: James “Curb” Curbeam, Leslie Marshall, Bill Press, Rick Smith

Turning Small Money into Big Impact

In the fall of 2018, Mainers partnered with dying father Ady Barkan of Be a Hero to beg Senator Collins to vote “no” on Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Be A Hero spearheaded a groundbreaking campaign that captured the public narrative, raised almost $4 million dollars for Susan Collins’ future opponent, and pushed direct action from Portland, ME to the atrium of the Hart building. On this panel, we discuss the possibilities in “rage-donating”, lessons learned from the Kavanaugh fight and what the path forward is for powerful public action against vulnerable 2020 GOP Senators who continuously imperil America’s most vulnerable.

Led by: Sam Dryzmala

Panelists: Ana Maria Archila, Julia Barnes, Liz Jaff, Jesse Thomas

Take Away Our Poverty, Not Our Children: Campaigning for Welfare, a Living Wage and a More Caring World

Join us for a cross-movement approach to campaigning for economic, social and environmental justice. You’ll hear from those directly impacted by poverty, the punitive welfare and child welfare systems, and mass incarceration. Mothers and other caregivers will speak on the unjust removal of children by child welfare because of poverty, racism, sexism, being migrants or domestic violence victims or having disabilities; being treated as charity cases rather than as workers entitled to welfare and a living wage; poverty’s impact on women’s low-waged and unwaged workloads; and more. How can we change the narrative on welfare and who is a worker to move beyond the “point of production” to build a more collaborative and broader movement?

Led by: Phoebe Jones

Panelists: Karen Ali, Rev. Annie Charmbers, Carolyn Hill

The End of Gerrymandering: Drawing Fair Maps and Fighting Gerrymanders in Court

Gerrymandering is a critical threat to democracy that politicians have used to subvert the public will in countless elections. With the conservative majority on the Supreme Court increasingly hostile to efforts to limit gerrymandering, enacting reforms at the state level is key. Join us as national redistricting practitioners discuss what we’ve learned from our experiences with the legal process and how to apply that to the ongoing fight against gerrymandering at both the federal and state levels.

Led by: Carolyn Fiddler

Panelists: Maria Blanco, Christopher Lamar, Sam Wang, Stephen Wolf

Families Belong Together: What Is Next for Immigrant Families Across the U.S.

Just one year ago, the Trump Administration’s family separation policy toward parents and children seeking asylum in the U.S. via the southern border sparked public outrage and a nationwide response from immigrant rights advocates old and new. At this panel, learn from experts on the ground who have continued the fight to challenge this administration’s cruel and chaotic policies and practices towards migrant families. Find out what is working, what is on the horizon, and what you can do right now to change the anti-immigrant narrative, stand up against harmful policies and practices, and ensure that immigrant families who belong together, stay together.

 

#ProgressivesToo: Dealing with Sexual Violence in Our Movement

If Progressives hope to claim the moral authority to lead in taking on sexual harassment and assault, we cannot look the other way when it happens in the progressive movement. This panel will focus on why we must believe survivors no matter who they accuse and best practices for supporting them. We’ll discuss the balance between believing survivors and due process, the racialized history of believing survivors, as well as alternatives to the police/prison system, including models for justice that consider healing and growth, that progressives can put into practice internally and externally. This will be a space for progressives to have an honest conversation on the mistakes we’ve made and how we can, and must, do better.

Led by: Natalie Green

Panelists: Charlene Carruthers, Sandra Park, Shaunna Thomas

Is it Time for a General Strike?

“Start in the workplace and the politics will follow.” When working people feel empowered at work, they are empowered in our democracy as well. As bold visions like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal galvanize our politics, could a general strike be the vision we need to rally working people around a shared vision of what our economy and democracy can be? High-profile strikes have made headlines in recent years, but for millions of Americans the idea of workplace action is a radical departure. In the age of the internet, with labor resurgent and working people looking for a fair shake, could we pull off something we’ve never done before in the United States?

Led by: Kim Kelly

Panelists: Charles Khan, Jess Kutch, Jess Morales Rocketto, Sara Nelson, D. Taylor

Motivating Young Voters of Color: Racism, Hate and other Factors in the 2018 Midterms

Young voters are eager to see racism undone, and they see electoral politics as a means of achieving this goal. Join us to hear about how a coalition came together to turn solid research into a meaningful, effective campaign with language and concepts focused on voting as an act of individual and collective empowerment. Contrary to popular assumptions, messages of unity motivate voters more than messages of hate and division.

Led by: Rajneesh Aggarwal

Panelists: Elana Needle, Gregg Orton, Yvette Roubideaux, Dwayne Royster

More than Words: Using the Language of Imagery to Mobilize

From Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s iconic poster to the Sunrise Movement’s mediagenic expressions of urgency and discipline to the futurism of Black Panther going from theaters to the streets, visual strategy makes a clear difference in campaigns. It’s time to learn why art and culture is necessary to win. Our panel features examples of visual strategy making a difference in campaigns, from memes to banners, told by cultural workers operating at the cutting edge of visual production, meme-making and community organizing. How do we best apply these practices to the visually saturated world of social media and media? What do organizers need to know to integrate visual and narrative storytelling in to their work?

Led by: Elana Levin

Panelists: Felicia Perez, Ange Tran, Josh Yoder

Can We Evict the Bigots from Congress Once and for All?

The 2018 election showed that even some of the most entrenched bigots in Congress are weaker than ever. Members of Congress like Ted Cruz, Steve King, Duncan Hunter, Mark Harris and Dave Brat all ran on assertively anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-LGBTQ platforms and all barely squeaked by or outright lost. This will shed light on why notoriously bigoted politicians seem weaker than ever and lessons learned for evicting the bigots from Congress once and for all.

Led by: Scott Simpson

Panelists: Jessica Cobian, Mohamed Gula

Cooperatives as a Tool for Social Movements

Social movements have long used economic cooperation towards liberation. In 1970s Philadelphia, Movement for a New Society created affordable housing co-ops for activists. During the Civil Rights movement, black organizers used co-ops to support economic self-determination. Co-ops—food co-ops resisting the power and pollution of Big Agra or worker co-ops providing workplace safety and living wages for undocumented immigrants—have always been part of the solution. Today, politicians are grasping for cooperative solutions to build into progressive economic platforms. Come learn from those building and advocating for co-ops about how these solutions can be integrated into electoral campaigns, labor organizing and social movements.

Led by: Natalia Linares

Panelists: Maria Alexandra Garcia, Jamila Medley, Dominique Pearson, Lauren Taylor Hudson

What Philly Taught Us: How Philadelphia Activists Beat School Privatization to Restore Local Control

State control of Philadelphia’s schools came to an end in November 2017. This was an historic event, long in the making by a resistance campaign led by Philadelphians. State control had essentially stripped the city’s majority-black and brown residents of their democratic rights. The state agency emphasized cutting expenses and staff, closed neighborhood schools, and imposed various forms of “school choice.” Philly saw its core institutions ripped out and replaced with schools operated by private interests with no knowledge of community values and culture. But years of intense public opposition successfully pressured the mayor and governor to transfer state control to a People’s School Board representative of Philadelphians.

Led by: Jeff Bryant

Panelists: Kendra Brooks, Helen Gym, Domingo Morel, Horace Ryans

Fighting ALEC's Control of Lawmaking is a Fight Against Racism

Visionary leadership has led to progressives taking decisive action against the years-long corporate, right-wing take over of government. In this effort there is no better focus than the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC). This session will equip participants with a deep understanding of the racist dimensions of ALEC’s legacy, and leave participants with practical ideas for how to leave Netroots with a plan to join the fight against ALEC.

Led by: Dominic Renfrey

Panelists: Brandi Collins-Dexter, Cherri Foytlin, Meera Shah, Tara T.

New Sheriffs in Town: How Local Elections Can Help End Racist Mass Jailings and Deportations

Throughout U.S. history, county sheriffs have been at the forefront of police violence against people of color. As James Baldwin noted, the sheriff was “hired by the Republic to keep the Republic White.” Today, sheriffs are central to the “New Jim Crow,” as their jails feed mass incarceration and deportation machines of bigoted politicians who target communities of color and immigrants. Building off the legacies of civil rights leaders and those who defeated racist Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, organizers across the U.S. are issuing calls to action against bad sheriffs whose elections are down ballot and ignored. In 2018, voter mobilization, especially with young voters of color, brought new sheriffs to town, and 2020 promises new wins.

Led by: Nanci Palacios

Panelists: Angela Lang, Garry McFadden, Jonathan Paik, Max Rose

How Muslims are Shaping their Political Destiny

The 2018 midterm election cycle saw Muslim communities mobilizing at unprecedented levels around civic engagement. To build a national movement that wouldn’t undermine local work, the #MyMuslimVote campaign provided resources and best practices to empower local organizations to bolster their civic engagement work. In doing so, local organizing by Muslim communities was uplifted to an historic and unified scale. We’ll share the creative digital/field activities hosted, and the strategies that led to local victories. Looking ahead to 2020 and beyond, we will share how Muslim communities are building a policy platform informed by grassroots representation of Muslims nationwide and increasing overall civic engagement.

Led by: Ishraq Ali

Panelists: Reema Ahmad, Mohamed Gula, Wardah Khalid, Kifah Shah

Sparkle or Shade? Let's Get Real About Inclusive Politics

What does it look like to change our campaigns, organizations, coalitions, and institutions to center the people that are most impacted? What would it look like to remove barriers and inequities so that leaders within our communities can actually lead? Let’s get real about inclusive politics and what’s at stake. Learn from some of the most prominent leaders at the state and national level that can speak about this directly and share what we have to gain when we do this and do it right.

Led by: Jennifer Pae

Panelists: Chris Melody Fields Figueredo, Alicia Garza, Alejandra Gomez, Nse Ufot, Alice Wong

Addressing Sexual Harassment and Discrimination in Philadelphia Restaurants: A Case Study

What can we learn from examining sexual harassment in a celebrated restaurant scene thriving in a poverty-stricken city? With low wages, majority female workers, rampant wage theft, and a large immigrant workforce, it’s little wonder most EEOC sexual harassment complaints come from restaurants. On this panel, we’ll discuss the challenges of addressing sexual harassment in restaurants and highlight local innovative advocacy efforts including mobilizing workers, promoting a multi-faceted policy agenda including One Fair Wage, and a new coalition of anti-rape advocates, city officials, and public interest lawyers working directly with restaurant owners and workers.

Led by: Amal Bass

Panelists: Nadia Hewka, Samuel Jones, Jenn Oliver

Never Give Up: Lessons from the MOVE Family

“Because when something is worth fighting for you fight for it until you reach it.” –Mike Africa, Jr.

Described as a “Black Back to Nature Group,” MOVE is a human rights, environmentalist and animal rights group formed in Philadelphia under the guidance of John Africa. They were/are advocates for self-defense protests, civil disobedience, composting, unschooling, food sovereignty and land sovereignty decades before these words entered the progressive and radical political space. Due to their revolutionary views,  they have faced state-sanctioned violence and police brutality, culminating in the bombing of their West Philadelphia home, killing 11 MOVE members including five children. Nine members were also framed for the shooting of a police officer, resulting in over 40 years of wrongful imprisonment. Despite the wealth of state-sanctioned violence perpetrated against them, MOVE persisted. In the past year, they celebrated four of the MOVE 9 being released home from their wrongful imprisonment, and recently celebrated the birthday of Ramona Africa, one of two survivors of the MOVE bombing. In this panel, participants will have the opportunity to learn about the MOVE family and their 50+ year sustained fight for justice, and will also hear from other local activists working at the intersections of human rights, animal rights and environmentalism.

The 100% Clean Energy Revolution: Paths to Victory in the States

Since 2016, the federal government has been an inevitable impediment to a necessary and just transition to 100% renewable energy. But fear not, as equal parts success and courage are alive and well in our cities and states. With decades worth of combined experience and expertise, our panel will provide diverse, critical, historical perspectives on how constellations of once disparate environmental ideals became a contagion of triumphant state policies from Hawaii to California to Pennsylvania and beyond, offering attendees an opportunity to peel away the often arcane layers of energy policy and hear directly from movement leaders about how heartbreak and victory inspire them and the movement.

Led by: Susan Rakov

Panelists: Gregory Holston, David Masur, Rep. Chris Rabb

Field-Centric Data: Building Feedback Loops

Data and analytics can help us build winning strategies, allocate resources effectively and peer into the trends we can bend to shape a more progressive future. This panel will cover real-world case studies and practical ideas for creating feedback loops, as well as how building these communication channels in a deliberate way leads to better questions and reports. If you’re a field person, we’ll be talking about how data can and should support your work. And if you’re back in HQ, we’ll talk strategies for lifting up voices of folks on the ground.

Led by: Martha Grant

Panelists: Angelica Morales, Michelle Penson

No Guns, No Police: What Safe Schools Actually Look Like for Students of Color

How do we create safe schools? In the wake of seemingly nonstop mass shootings, there’s a renewed sense of energy around this question. But, more often than not, the answer is reserved for an adult. Not Black and Brown students, girls of color, survivors of violence, immigrant youth, or LGBTQ students, who already face threats to their safety and well being in school. Worse still, our Secretary of Education is advancing a school safety agenda that expands the school-to-prison pipeline and adds more guns and police officers to schools, which not only fails to decrease school violence but also actively harms students. Join youth activists for a conversation about what students of color actually need to feel safe in 2019.

Led by: Nia Evans

Panelists: Sage Dolan-Sandrino, Ceon Dubose, Da'Shaun Harrison, Mei-Ling Ho-Shing, Yesenia Rodriguez

Why Winning = Running on Reproductive Justice

For too long Democrats and the entire progressive movement have compromised on reproductive freedom believing discussion will doom most candidates. Since 2016 state, local and federal campaigns have proved that myth false in red, purple and blue areas across the country. ‘Nontraditional’ candidates from the New American Majority: communities of color, LGBTQ+ and young people are running reproductive freedom and winning.Hear from these newly elected officials and strategists about key approaches to electing this new wave of leaders and why running on a reproductive justice platform should be implemented everywhere.

Led by: Atima Omara

Panelists: Jennifer Carroll-Foy, Delia Garcia, Brianna Titone

How We Fight Anti-semitism

These things are all true at the same time: anti-semitic violence is increasing in the U.S.; the Right is using antisemitism as a tool to retain power and destroy Black and Brown-led movements; and the threat of antisemitism is tearing apart the Left. Antisemitism has been used as a wedge to break up social movements for generations. The progressive movement must deepen our understanding of how antisemitism works and how it is wielded politically in order to effectively fight back. In this moment, we must work to defeat antisemitism along with anti-Black racism, xenophobia, and misogyny, as part of our collective project to build a truly inclusive multiracial democracy where we can all be safe. But it’s going to take some work, together.

Led by: Ginna Green

Panelists: Leo Ferguson, Dove Kent, Dania Rajendra, Tarso Ramos

Manager Confessions: Somehow We Manage

Progressives need to treat managing staff as a skill—the same way we do email, web development, organizing, and everything else. As progressive managers, we sit at a critical intersection of enacting the values of our movement: How do we protect our staff from burnout? How do we be emotionally supportive when their friends, family, and even they are under attack? How do we teach all these fresh faces in the movement how to successfully organize without passing down our bad habits?Both a confessional and group-help session, we’ll try to figure out some of the answers to these questions together.

Led by: Jill Raney

Panelists: Sean Carlson, Malinda Frevert, Rachael Junard, Adrian Reyna

Cripping the Movement: How Disability Inclusion Can Save Progressives

Disabled people, both those with visible conditions and those with hidden ones (mental health, learning disabilities, chronic illness) are already within our movement. In this session, we’ll discuss how our issues and agendas overlap, incorporating best practices and strategies to recognize and combat ableism to strengthen our agenda, buttress our grassroots, and sustain us for the long road ahead.

Led by: Rebecca Cokley

Panelists: Sarah Blahovec, Patrick Cokley, Reyma McCoy McDeid, Alice Wong

Racial Justice and Climate Change: Building a Multiracial Environmental Justice Movement

The Green New Deal has breathed new life into the climate debate and positioned climate change as a top Democratic priority heading into the primaries. The resolution elucidated that climate change is a justice issue and that Democratic responses to the crisis must center center jobs, infrastructure and equity. The environmental movement in the U.S. has been historically rooted in histories of racism and exclusion. Despite momentum behind the proposal, significant work remains to build a multiracial climate and environmental justice movement.

Led by: Julian Noisecat

Panelists: Jade Begay, Alexa Ross, Thanu Yakupitiyage

The U.S. Right and the Rise of Authoritarianism Around the World

The rise of the far right in America is well known. But the cross-pollination between right-wing forces on both sides of the Atlantic, throughout the Western hemisphere and in the global South is often missed. Social media (and data collection) has created new bonds between right-wing forces around the world, and U.S. law governing both political donations and the rules of corporate governance allow unknown amounts of dark money to flow through the global financial system to fund them. This panel will explore the links between the U.S. and right-wing movements around the world, as well as how social media strategies have allowed these movements to manipulate public opinion and exploit the data of everyday people.

Led by: Melissa Ryan

Panelists: Nick Lowles, Cristina López G., Thenmozhi Soundararajan, Adele M. Stan

Building Community Power: Media-Based Organizing as Resistance

Media-based organizing has brought down corporations, stopped deportations, and moved hundreds of thousands of young people to take action together. In today’s digitally driven landscape, communities of color are using media-based organizing to build communities online and off, shift narratives and disrupt structures of power. In this participatory panel, activists of color will discuss their successes and failures with utilizing media ecosystems, art and design, storytelling, and creative technologies to fuel community organizing, rapid response interventions and political education. Attendees will participate in a group exercise and leave with a “mini zine” outlining strategies, takeaways and additional learning resources.

Led by: Laura Li

Panelists: Amanda Chavez Barnes, Chelsea Fuller, Bryan Mercer, Areerat Worawongwasu, bianca nozaki-nasser

Engaging on the Economy: How to Fight and Win the Economic Debate

Speakers will set the tone for “unlearning” faulty economic paradigms and centering a worldview that addresses inequality, and speaks to animating progressive values like equity and justice. The session will make it clear that we didn’t get to the current, and dominant, neoliberal economic worldview by accident or overnight. Panelists will provide connection between opinion polling and public messaging research on the economy, progressive economic issues, etc. Importantly, we will highlight that there is no way to think about how the economy should serve society without addressing structural power dynamics—and how these play out across race and class, and affect democracy and democratic access.

Led by: Angela Peoples

Panelists: Demond Drummer, Connie Razza, Samantha Sanders, Vanessa Williamson

Tech for the Movement, Not the Billionaires

Sometimes, the incentives of investor-driven, for profit technology are exactly counter to the long-term interests of our movement. Recently, a new generation of technology has been built using different, innovative models that put our movement first and sustainably fund themselves (and their organizations). Come hear from people building the technology backbone of our movement, using innovative new approaches to create tools that are built to amplify your work, not “disrupt” vulnerable industries for financial gain. And you’ll get a glimpse of what’s coming next.

Led by: Brian Young

Panelists: Catherine Huang, Ann Lewis, Josh Nussbaum, Palak Shah

Elections Q&A with Daily Kos Elections!

Join the editors of Daily Kos Elections and some of our smartest colleagues in the business for an in-depth Q&A about all things election-related. Will Democrats hold the House in 2020? Can they take back the Senate? And the big one: What’s going to happen with redistricting? Ask us anything that’s on your mind: We skip all the PowerPoints and presentations and go straight to YOUR questions on any race in the nation you care about. Progressives need to be well-informed about the elections that matter most so we can deploy our limited resources effectively. So if you want to know more about what’s happening in races around the country and what it will means for Democrats, Republicans, and the nation at large, join us!

Led by: Jeff Singer

Panelists: Arjun Jaikumar, Claire Low, Stephen Wolf, Lala Wu

Triple Threat: Young Women of Color Winning Elections

Young, elected women of color speak to the role that racism and sexism played throughout their campaigns. Each panelist will tell her story about personal and systemic challenges they faced as they mounted successful, grassroots-driven bids for public office and share potential solutions, including how activists can support individual candidates as well as the broader movement to help more women of color win their first elections, reelections, and runs for higher office. Panelists will bring diverse perspectives from across the country on how they dealt with the intersectionality of racism and sexism in every aspect of their campaigns, from the decision to run for office to raising money and dealing with institutional supporters and allies.

Led by: Lizet Ocampo

Panelists: Sammi Brown, Anna Eskamani, Summer Lee

Sanctuary Cities: From the Dirty Wars to the War against Immigrants and Black Bodies

What does a sanctuary movement, policy, and advocacy look at when it is grounded in liberation for us all? What are the challenges and pitfalls? This panel will delve into the history of the sanctuary movement in the U.S. as well as the recent sanctuary movement in response to mass deportations and the current administration’s hostile policies towards immigrants, Muslims and people of color. Panelists will discuss the history of the movement providing sanctuary to those fleeing US-supported dictatorships in Latin America and provide an overview of the current landscape of sanctuary work.

Led by: Elica Vafaie

Panelists: Carl Hamad-Lipscombe, Avideh Moussavian, Azadeh Shahshahani

Beyond the Voter File: How Relational Organizing Can Expand the Electorate & Help Us Win

At its core, relational organizing is friends, family, and neighbors reaching out to people they know to vote. When applied well, relational organizing can help turn out low propensity voters and people who are not on the voter file. What does it take to run a successful program? What are the best practices and tricks to reaching scale? What pitfalls should you avoid? Come learn from people who have launched and implemented both online and offline relational organizing programs around the country.

Led by: Austen Levihn-Coon

Panelists: Debra Cleaver, Mike Griffin

The Role of Progressive Media in 2018 and 2020

What role did progressive media play in helping to deliver huge electoral victories in 2018? And what lessons can be learned for the 2020 election? Progressive values were front and center in the 2018 election—from protecting and expanding access to health care to taking on the NRA’s stronghold on elections and promoting gun safety legislation. And it worked with voters! So what can progressive media do to ensure that kind of success in 2020? What is still missing from the progressive media landscape? What does progressive media need to do to win the digital media fight in 2020 and motivate people to take action?

Led by: Kaili Joy Gray

Panelists: Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza, Greg Greene, Zerlina Maxwell, Christina Reynolds

Communicating Climate Action at the Intersections: Perspectives in Storytelling and Narrative

The impacts of the climate crisis are being felt far and wide—and yet, the reality is that those who will be most affected are those who have had the least to do with the problem. When communicating the effects of the climate crisis and what we must do to stop it, it’s critical that we tell the stories of those most impacted and that we uplift intersectional narratives to show how the need for climate action intersects with many issues from racial justice to migrant justice; from narratives of decolonization to indigenous rights. In this panel, communicators from the traditional media, multimedia and digital realms will discuss how to effectively and creatively tell stories about the many impacts of climate change and advocate for climate action across movements for justice.

Led by: Thanu Yakupitiyage

Panelists: Jade Begay, Bartees Cox, Jr., Sonia Guinansaca, Sabelo Narasimhan

Whose Courts? How Progressives Can Transform the Courts (and Win in 2020)

Kavanaugh’s confirmation fight and the response of progressive voters in 2018 shattered the notion that the courts are a losing issue for our side. With the Senate and White House up for grabs, 2020 is a pivotal year for the future of our judiciary. It’s no overstatement that our rights and our very democracy are at stake as the courts weigh in on the Muslim Ban, abortion access, the Russia investigation, environmental protections, civil rights, LGBTQ equality and more. Progressive candidates must share their vision for the courts—and progressive voters must raise the issue at every turn. Join us to discuss strategies to leverage the momentum of recent confirmation fights to make the courts a central and winning issue in 2020.

Led by: Keith Thirion

Panelists: Diallo Brooks, Reggie Hubbard, Kadida Kenner

Give It Up: Direct Giving as a Critical Engagement and Base Building Strategy

Poverty and lack of access to the means to exit from poverty disproportionately impacts Black and Latinx folks, LGBT and gender non-confirming folks, those with disabilities and single parents. Seventy percent of the country believes that redistribution of wealth should be part of our tax and social policy. While we should support these policies, we needn’t wait to act on the local level. Join us to hear strategies for developing a donor base, coordinating direct giving and demonstrating how everyday people with an internet connection can help provide for their communities on small and large scales. The panelists will share how they have fed thousands, housed hundreds, bailed out many and continue to use their voices and platforms to help the most marginalized.

Led by: Amy Jones

Panelists: Simone Gordon, Chanelle Helm, Creighton Leigh, Leslie Mac

Building Collective Power Through a Coalition: How we beat Amazon in NYC

The Amazon HQ2 deal was stopped by a powerful movement of grassroots organizations and unions who organized and won against the wealthiest corporation in the world. Learn about the strategies and tactics these organizations used to win this fight, and the lessons they learned from this experience.

Led by: Josh Eidelson

Panelists: Myriam Hernandez, Camille Rivera, Maritza Silva-Farrell, Angeles Solis

Different Math: Candidates and Campaigns that Changed the Voter Landscape

In the 2018 election cycle, there were a record number of women candidates and candidates of color running for office from local to federal. Many built new coalitions out of previously disenfranchised and disengaged residents. How did they do it and what are replicable tactics and strategies for voter outreach and mobilization in 2020 and beyond? Hear from candidates and high-profile activists who broke down barriers of language, access, enthusiasm, and information to help change the demographics of the electoral landscape. Win or lose, they have valuable lessons needed to win the future of progressive politics. The session will be moderated by former Rep. Kesha Ram, the first woman of color to receive double digits in a statewide race in Vermont.

Led by: Kesha Ram

Panelists: Sri Preston Kulkarni, Sheena Meade

Equality at the Ballot Box: Lessons from Standing Rock

Four people who were on the ground in North Dakota during the 2018 Midterm cycle will take a deep dive into their experience at Standing Rock and Turtle Mountain Indian Reservations. This panel will walk you step-by-step on the specific challenges faced at each critical point in the North Dakota Court Battle and the resulting solutions to turn out Native American voters in record numbers.

Led by: Libero Della Piana

Panelists: Judith LeBlanc, Donna Semans, Oliver Semans, Monique Teal

Keep that Same Energy: How We Build Power in Black and Brown Communities

Join us for a conversation between social justice advocates, influencers and millennials of color to unpack issues that are detrimentally impacting black and brown communities in 2019. We’ll discuss the significance of defining, building and maintaining power in our communities (beyond voting), and how we can ensure we keep that same energy in 2020 and beyond. Attendees of this panel should leave with a better understanding about issues that young black and brown people know to be detrimental in their communities and better informed about the big and small ways we can build and maintain power together in 2020 and beyond.

Led by: Shanae Bass

Panelists: Rodney McKenzie, Rapheal Randall, Aditi Varshneya

Racial Justice Has No Borders: Embedding Palestinian Rights in the 2020 Agenda

Grassroots activists with shared experiences facing racial profiling, mass incarceration, and repression taught us that racial justice has no borders: at Black Lives Matter protests, activists call for freedom from Ferguson to Palestine, and at rallies to end family separation, participants have even raised their voices for an end to racist walls, from Palestine to Mexico. In response to the global rise of the authoritarian right, activists are calling on institutions of power—from the mainstream media to Congress—to support freedom, justice, and equality for all people, including the Palestinian people. Learn how activists in the progressive movement are building power for racial justice that extends beyond and across borders.

Led by: Yousef Munayyer

Panelists: Noura Erakat, Marc Lamont Hill, Sandra Tamari, Vincent Warren

Combatting Fake Clinics: Local, State and National Efforts to Fight Back

Billboards line the highways—”Pregnant? Scared?”—luring pregnant people to anti-abortion centers that pretend to provide care but instead peddle misinformation and shame. Targeting patients of color, people who are low income and young people, these centers dangle “free pregnancy testing” and position themselves nearby legitimate clinics in order to confuse and scam people in need of full reproductive health information and counseling. Numbering in the thousands nationwide, with dozens in Pennsylvania, many are funded by tax dollars. Panelists are utilizing multiple avenues to combat these so-called crisis pregnancy centers and ensure patients get the care they are seeking.

Led by: Jen Moore Conrow

Panelists: Mary Alice Carter, Elicia Gonzales, Helen Gym, Seneca Joyner, Abigail McElroy

Not Just for Presidential Candidates: Bringing the Power of Small-dollar Donors to the Local Level (Sponsored Panel)

The 2018 elections made it clear that investing in small-dollar donors is more than a feel-good idea—it’s a winning strategy. This is especially true in state and local races that don’t cost as much as federal races and are not always in the spotlight. A few dollars can go a long way toward resources at the local level, and a passionate grassroots supporter base will spread the word about your campaign more enthusiastically than any reporter. Learn from fundraising practitioners and a local candidate how online grassroots fundraising at the state and local level has evolved thanks to technology and what you can do to start building a strong small-dollar donor program today, no matter the size of your campaign!

This panel is sponsored by ActBlue

Led by: Rachael Junard

Panelists: Genny Castillo, Ivan Cheung, Helen Gym, Catherine Vaughn

Don't Put Digital in the Corner: Why Every Department Should be Using Digital Tools and Tactics

Politics in the modern age has taught us that digital tools and tactics are no longer the the singular resource of a “digital team.” From comms to development to field staff, everyone will fail to reach their full potential if they don’t include digital tactics in their work. This panel will take a deep dive into how digital tools and tactics like email, SMS, social media organizing and more can and should be used to support the work of an entire organization.

Led by: Olivia Noble

Panelists: Gerard Niemira, James Servino, Alexandria Witt

Fix the Damn Healthcare: Sorting out ACA 2.0, MFA, Med4Am and More!

The healthcare landscape is confusing and exciting in 2019. Reining in Big Pharma, strengthening the ACA, adding public options, “Medicare for America” or “Medicare for All”… the alphabet soup of plans can be confusing. Can improvements be implemented before 2021 at the federal level or is it all up to the states? And what about the latest lawsuit looming over everything? We’ll go beyond the slogans and into the details: How are the proposals similar and different, and what do patients, caregivers and other invested parties think.

Led by: Laura Packard

Panelists: Matthew Cortland, Charles Gaba, Elena Hung, SANJEEV SRIRAM

New Tech City? Smart Cities, Tech-Driven Development and Creating the Communities We Want

The tech sector is expanding its influence over the built environments of our cities large and small and far beyond Silicon Valley with major implications for democracy, privacy, racial justice and safety for communities of color, public goods, and economic equity. Communities, advocates, and policymakers are responding by building new coalitions and developing new strategies. In this conversation, organizers, advocates, and technologists will examine Google’s Sidewalk Labs project in Toronto, Amazon’s HQ2 project, and the mega-campuses of multiple firms in Silicon Valley to share insights about how we can seize opportunities in the face of change to expand democracy, secure accountability and win shared prosperity for all of our communities.

Led by: Mariah Montgomery

Panelists: Nasma Ahmed, Kumsa Baker, Maria Noel Fernandez, Marley Pulido

Emerging Federal Consensus: How and When We Will Legalize Marijuana

Join us for a conversation on the emerging agreements and fault lines amongs the various proposals to end federal marijuana prohibition. With so many aspects of policy needing to be addressed, spanning criminal justice to immigration to industry diversity and inclusion issues, these panelists are the ones who are “in the weeds” working with lawmakers and their offices on Capitol Hill and around the states every day.

Led by: Justin Strekal

Panelists: Queen Adesuyi, Chris Goldstein , Shanita Penny, Shaleen Title

Election Security is the Single Most Important Issue in Our Elections Today

What is the ultimate form of voter suppression? Not having your vote count. What did we learn from the 2016 election? We learned that the risk of election manipulation is a real risk. How can voters, activists, election officials and legislators face this challenge? By understanding how our election systems are vulnerable and what needs to be done to protect them. By learning how the agenda of large corporate voting machine vendors could be affecting who represents us. Join our panel to find out how one county changed its entire slate of elected officials by focusing on election security—and the techniques that you need to take back home to your local elections to ensure that your vote gets counted as you intended.

Led by: Lulu Friesdat

Panelists: Rich Demillo, Marilyn Marks, Virginia Martin, Stephanie Singer, Bennie Smith

Building the Bench: Racial Equity and Diversity at the State and Local Level

The 2018 midterms swept in a welcome wave of diverse elected officials, especially at the state and local levels, which is the bench for future national leaders. But the election itself is just one moment in the broader political lifecycle. Well before the election, organizations work to recruit, train and support the candidates and after the election, organizations are in place to help newly elected officials govern. This panel brings together leaders from different parts of pipeline for an integrated look at how they incorporated racial equity and diversity into their state and local work in 2018, what gaps remain unfilled, and a discussion of challenges and opportunities as we look to 2019 and 2020.

Led by: Krithika Harish

Panelists: Gaby Goldstein, Helen Gym, Quentin James, Johanna Silva Waki

How Progressives Changed the Game on Yemen and How We Can Win on Foreign Policy

In 2015, Saudi Arabia and the UAE with the direct support of the United States, launched a military intervention into Yemen that has helped create the largest humanitarian crisis on the planet. In Washington, U.S. support was seen as “essential” and was backed up by some of the most powerful DC lobbyists and special interests. But a funny thing happened, working together, Yemeni American and progressive activists changed the game and have systematically ended U.S. support for the war. The story of how a small band of dedicated activists and allies did the unthinkable and made history isn’t just a story about Yemen, it’s a story about how progressives and frontline communities can take on the most pressing challenges we face—and win!

Led by: Stephen Miles

Panelists: Iram Ali , Jehan Hakim, Layla Picard

Tearing Down Cages: How We Divest from the ICE Police State and Invest in Thriving Communities

The devastating human toll of immigration raids, detentions and deportations have gained long overdue attention in the Trump era. While immigration enforcement has grown dramatically under this administration, the concept of a police force for the targeting and jailing of immigrants for civil offenses is a relatively new one that has boomed over the past 15 years. We’ll explore the ways in which current and past administrations have pitted communities against each other to justify the mass incarceration of immigrants and how we can reverse course by sharing a just—and achievable—vision to divest the billions of dollars that go into policing and criminalizing immigrants and invest in fully integrating all of our community members.

Led by: Angel Padilla

Panelists: Juan Guzman, Mary Small

This All Used to be Chinatown: Building Grassroots Power

As Philadelphia becomes a more “desirable” place to live, we erase and push out the communities that have long called the city home. From the rapid gentrification in Chinatown to the unjust and cruel deportations of Southeast Asian refugees, Asian American communities in Philadelphia are taking matters into our own hands. We’ll share how imagining new ways of being for our communities has rooted our organizing in multi-media activism, inter-generational learning, community-based design, and alternative, sustainable economies. We’ll discuss histories of resistance, how Asian American communities are organizing today and our vision for the future.

Led by: Laura Li

Panelists: Dave Kyu, Samip Mallick, Nancy Nguyen, Neeta Patel

Black People are Not a Monolith: Engaging and Organizing the Communities Within the Diaspora

Progressive organizations have long maintained transactional relationships with communities of color that have further traumatized already marginalized communities. There is an immediate need to shift our strategies on the left towards a more culturally considerate, community driven way of organizing, mobilizing and healing in order for us to achieve deeper trust and longterm victories. Join us to discuss how allies and advocates should engage and develop genuine relationships and nuanced strategy that is intentional and culturally appropriate.

Led by: Brittny Baxter

Panelists: Joanne Antoine, Candis Castillo, Abena McAllister, W. Mondale Robinson

Why Abortion Isn't a Wedge Issue

This panel will provide an in-depth look at what current influencers including activists, reporters, voters and politicians, say—or don’t say—about abortion. Progressives often deepen the stigma around abortion by claiming it a “wedge” issue that is disentangled and siloed from every other issue area. This could not be farther from the truth. Join us for a conversation about how progressives should be talking about abortion leading up to the 2020 election.

Led by: Lizz Winstead

Panelists: Jessica González-Rojas, Sebastian Pelaez, Roxanne Sutocky, Maysoon Zayid

Going the Distance: Lessons from Winning the Largest Grassroots Campaign for Trans Rights

After years of sustained attacks in state legislatures and by the Trump Administration, trans-led campaigns decisively won trans rights at the ballot box in 2018 in Anchorage, Alaska (53-47%) and Massachusetts (68-32%), in the process building the largest grassroots campaign for trans rights in U.S. history. Join veterans of the nationwide push for trans rights to discuss how the deployment of heart-forward, story-based, values-centric campaigns grounded in multidisciplinary, evidence-based strategies succeeded not only in changing minds, winning hearts, and generating momentum on trans rights, but also surfaced strategies for healing our country’s divisions and securing the progressive solutions we seek in this moment of deep polarization.

Led by: Kasey Suffredini

Panelists: Mason Dunn, Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, Krina Patel, David Topping

State Legislatures: The Most Important Elections We're Not Talking About

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

Panelists: Sydney Batch, David Daley, Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, Sarah Horvitz

Let My People Vote: How Florida Took on Felony Disenfranchisement and won

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

Panelists: Dwight Bullard

After Cash Bail

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

Panelists: Chesa Boudin, Karthik Dinakar, Lawrence Krasner, Shameka Parrish-Wright, Rachael Rollins

Indigenous Voices Rising in the Progressive Landscape

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

Panelists: Ryan McMahon, Mark Trahant

Building an LGBTQ+ Movement for Economic Justice

For too long, despite growing poverty rates among LGBTQ people, large mainstream LGBTQ organizations have not yet prioritized economic justice issues. Similarly, economic justice organizations have historically not prioritized LGBTQ issues. In both sectors, a radical intersectional lens that includes the people of color they are serving has often had to be hard won if won at all. Meanwhile, economic inequality is growing in the United States. Join us to discuss the economic justice movement building that needs to happen and is happening in the LGBTQ community.

Panelists: Andy Bowen, Jerame Davis, Tyrone Hanley, Joan Jones

Diversity Doesn't Just Happen: Here's How to Work for It

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

Panelists: Catherine Algeri, Eric Lundy

Welcome to Philadelphia: Today's Example of the Progressive Democratic Future

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.

Black People Have the Answer to Reducing Gun Violence

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

Panelists: Erica Atwood, Erica Ford, Kheperah Kearse, Mike de la Rocha

Freeing Us From the Student Debt Trap

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

Panelists: Richard (RJ) Eskow, Dr. Darrick Hamilton, Stephanie Kelton

A Vision for Progressive Foreign Policy in the 2020 Elections and Beyond

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

Panelists: Iram Ali , Rep. Ilhan Omar, Vincent Warren, Noor Zafar

Prison Organizing Led by the Directly Impacted

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

Panelists: Madusa Carter, Lorraine Haw, Robert Saleem Holbrook, Jessica Sandoval

The Double Down: Discussions of Black and Disability Identity

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

Panelists: Azza Altiraifi, Neal Carter, Keri Gray, Reyma McCoy McDeid

Reclaiming Native Truth to Change the Narrative

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

Panelists: Judith LeBlanc, Sarah Sunshine Manning, Mark Trahant

Getting it Passed is Only the First Step: Enacting and Enforcing Local Labor Laws

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

Panelists: Cecily Harwitt, Samuel Jones, Katia Perez

How Women, People of Color, and Millennials are Reshaping Rural Politics

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: Matt Hildreth

Panelists: Jeremy Blake, Ruby Elbasha, Susan Kroger

Align Left: Why Designers are Integral to the Resistance

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

Panelists: Sabiha Basrai, Candice Dayoan, Yash Mori, Anthony Rogers-Wright

An Early, Inclusive and Targeted Ground Operation: How the Democratic Party is Building for 2019, 2020 and Beyond (Sponsored Panel)

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.