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You can browse our searchable agenda for 2020 below. To view our overview schedule for the conference, click here.

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Challenging Media Meta-Narratives

“White men are the safest political candidates because they’re the most electable.” “For the sake of public safety and order, people accused of crimes should be jailed before trial.” “People participating in sex work are vulnerable and victimized, and policies criminalizing sex work can help protect them.” Through coverage choices, story angles, headlines and more, the national media tells us stories about ourselves and our society—many of them inaccurate and toxic. Zeroing in on three dominant and timeworn media meta-narratives that need to be dismantled, hear from journalists on how they work to challenge those toxic narratives and lift up new ones.

Led by: Ashton Lattimore

Panelists: Anoa Changa, Tamar Sarai Davis, Tina Vasquez

The Next Fight: Combating the Ever-Rising Surveillance State

Surveillance technologies are growing and expanding their reach in both the private and public sectors. Despite moves toward ending mass incarceration and its harms, the systems of criminalization are evolving with the power of technology. This panel will bring organizers from different movements and communities together to talk about the growing impact of these technologies, the different sectors they effect, organizing and corporate campaign strategies to combat them for current and future fights, and the role of corporate power in how these technologies are distributed.

Led by: Alyxandra Goodwin

Panelists: Jelani Drew, Jacinta Gonzalez, Abdirahman Muse, PG Watkins

How Nonprofit, Cooperative Tech Can Help Us Win Up and Down the Ballot

While the progressive tech ecosystem has traditionally been dominated by a for-profit, vendor-based model of tech development, an alternative model has emerged that holds enormous potential to close the knowledge and resource gap for down-ballot campaigns in 2020. By embracing a nonprofit, cooperative model of tech development, Action Network, the DNC, ActBlue and others are working to deliver the tools necessary for local and state-level campaigns to run robust email fundraising campaigns to elect progressives up and down the ballot.

Led by: Mari Vangen

Panelists: Erin Hill, Clarke Humphrey, Jenn Kauffman, Michael Phelan

Give It Up Again: Direct Giving for Community-Building and Wealth Redistribution

At Netroots 2019, our panel “Give it Up” shared how direct giving can help move the most marginalized from crisis to stability. This year’s session will focus on the work of our successful online direct giving community, The Gumball Machine (TGM), which facilitates direct cash transfers to Black and brown mothers and people of marginalized genders. Presenters will share how TGM helps dismantle white cultural norms of resource hoarding by using fundraising and direct giving to secure housing, employment, healthcare, and food for families and people of marginalized genders.

Led by: Tanya Denise Fields

Panelists: Chanelle Helm, Creighton Leigh

Taxing the Patriarchy: Creating a More Equitable Financial System

Too many women and families around the country are set up to fail by stagnating wages, poor quality jobs, and huge barriers to building wealth—and the tax system is part of the problem. The Trump tax cuts overwhelmingly went to the top 1% and corporations at the expense of women and families of color. Our tax system is upside down, benefiting the wealthy and mega-corporations over working families. This panel will walk you through the ways our financial institutions and tax system perpetuate inequality for women and people of color and how we can reconfigure that system to be more equitable.

Led by: Janelle Jones

Panelists: Chye-Ching Huang, Amy Matsui, Elyssa Schmier

Taking on White Supremacy: The Charlottesville Case

Three years ago, neo-Nazis and white supremacists descended on Charlottesville. This October, they’ll be put on trial for the hate-fueled violence they orchestrated.

With white supremacist violence on the rise, Integrity First for America is leveraging one of the best tools at its disposal to take on the leadership of this violent movement: our justice system. IFA’s lawsuit details how these leaders and hate groups planned the Charlottesville violence for months in advance via social media – and it can bankrupt and dismantle the groups and leaders responsible (neo-Nazi Richard Spencer has already called the suit “financially crippling”).

Once in a generation, there’s a trial that fundamentally changes our nation. IFA’s Charlottesville suit will be that trial—laying bare the hate and violence at the core of this movement and making clear the severe legal and financial consequences for participating in these violent conspiracies.

Led by: Dove Kent, Amy Spitalnick

What Movement Politics Looks Like After Election Day

More grassroots leaders and organizers are running for office on bold, unapologetically progressive platforms than ever before. Yet, as candidates and elected officials, they face real challenges: pushing for liberation within oppressive structures, leveraging progressive power within a more moderate caucus, navigating their relationship to the movements they come from and surviving an avalanche of vicious attacks. We’ll hear from movement candidates and elected officials about their experiences and what they need from our movement to stay in office, stay sane and enact real change. We will explore how to better prepare candidates, build power together and reshape our democracy with an effective inside-outside strategy.

Led by: Brandy Brooks

Panelists: Ruth Buffalo, Elianne Farhat, Mitra Jalali, Juan Marcano

Achieving Energy Sovereignty through Renewable Energy

The ability to regulate and develop clean energy is an expression of energy sovereignty and self-determination for tribal communities. Yet, regulations, legal frameworks and access to capital are just a few challenges that tribal nations face to ensure equitable renewable energy access for their members. This panel will provide participants new understanding of the opportunities and barriers for renewable energy in tribal communities; share innovative renewable energy projects; and discuss how tribal communities, advocates, industry and government can work together to help tribal nations achieve their energy sovereignty and renewable energy goals.

Led by: Tanksi Clairmont

Panelists: Lizana Pierce, Dr. Suzanne Singer, Dr. Karin Wadsack, Tim Willink

Freedom to Prosper: Growing the National Movement to Cancel Student Debt

Five years ago, national student debt was a $1.1 trillion crisis, with no solution in sight. The idea of canceling student debt was unthinkable. Today it’s $1.7 trillion, impacting 46 million Americans and their families. Messaging, grassroots organizing, and economic research have changed the political landscape. There are now two bills in Congress to make full student debt cancellation a reality. Led by Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), our panel will focus on Freedom to Prosper and the Cancel Student Debt Movement as a case study to further progressive policies. From progressive idea to presidential platform, we’ll highlight the power of messaging and organizing to help you further your cause.

Led by: Richard (RJ) Eskow

Panelists: David A. Bergeron, Dr. Darrick Hamilton, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Dr. Stephanie Kelton

Digital Findings from the 2020 Presidential Campaign Trail

The 2020 presidential primary campaigns invested and relied on digital in a way we’ve never seen. The innovation required to breakthrough the noise, gain traction, and turn moments into boons for campaigns was remarkable. In this panel, digital innovators from several 2020 presidential campaigns will discuss their digital wins and share moments that helped shape their campaigns. Attendees will gain ideas they can take back to their own organizations to help bolster progressive causes.

Led by: Catherine Algeri

Panelists: Masha Anderson, Shelby Cole, Benjy Messner, Jose Nunez

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 this year? 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 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. If you want to know more about what’s happening in races around the country and what it will means for the nation at large, join us!

Led by: Jeff Singer

Panelists: Matthew Booker, Carolyn Fiddler, Stephen Wolf, Lala Wu

#NoWarWithIran and Building an Intersectional, Internationalist Movement

Donald Trump began 2020 by nearly starting another disastrous and unpopular war of choice with Iran. In this moment of crisis, people across the country showed up and took action to demand #NoWarWithIran. Meanwhile, Trump continues to ban Iranians from traveling to the U.S.; threaten the Iranian diaspora through detention, deportation and surveillance; and issue crushing sanctions that have created a humanitarian crisis in Iran. Why was January’s mobilization successful in interrupting the march to war and what did we learn from this moment? This panel will focus on how the lessons we’ve learned from the #NoWarWithIran campaign can inform future organizing to end endless war and build an intersectional internationalist movement.

Led by: Erica Fein

Panelists: Rahna Epting, Rep. Ro Khanna, Azadeh Shahshahani, Nahid Soltanzadeh

Using the Race Class Narrative and Deep Canvassing to Beat Trump and Save Our Democracy

It’s the election of our lives. We all want to know what it will take to beat Trump and lay a solid foundation for progressive governance. What kinds of tested narratives should we use this fall to break through, and how should we be talking with voters to both persuade and drive turn out? What does it take to innoculate conflicted voters on Trump, build support for our progressive agenda and motivate engagement from our ideological base? The organizers, researchers and thought leaders on this panel will unpack what the Race Class Narrative and Deep Canvassing are, what testing tells us about their efficacy, and demonstrate how to apply them on doors, phones, tweets, ads and everything in between to win in November. This session will include results from a multi-state experiment in battleground states.

Led by: Mehrdad Azemun

Panelists: Ella Barrett, David Broockman, Mahsima Hallaji, Anat Shenker-Osorio

Beyond the Trump Bump: Leveraging New Strategies to Build Power Sustainably

Over the past three years, groups of all sizes have seen tremendous growth in visibility and influence. This has allowed us to fight back against the worst elements of Trump’s agenda, and also creates an opportunity to build deeper relationships, especially with new supporters, for the long haul. Leaders from organizations that have combined fundraising efforts, communications strategies, and digital and in-person organizing will share what they’ve learned to build stronger, more sustainable organizations and movements. The panel will feature stories of successes and failures, along with takeaways for operating in a post-Covid context.

Led by: Rachel Baker

Panelists: Javier Hernandez, Juanita Monsalve, Tamara Toles O'Laughlin

Worker Safety in the Food Supply Chain

Teamsters represent nearly 500,000 workers at every level of the food chain—from meat and dairy processing, packing, transportation and delivery, to the country’s largest breweries, bakeries, soft drink companies and grocery chains. The union fears a resurgence of COVID-19 could put the food supply on the brink of collapse. In order to protect food workers, both union and nonunion, and the country’s food supply chain, the Teamsters are calling for enhanced safety measures at all food facilities and demanding protections. In this panel, we will look at what the government must do to ensure the country’s essential workforce can be kept safe and well.

This panel is sponsored by the Teamsters.

Led by: Elissa Laitin

Panelists: Matt Brown, James Jones, Keeve Nachman

Why Now? The Case for Climate Reparations

The global impact of climate change is already hitting the most vulnerable, marginalized communities. The fossil fuel industry has been lying and spreading misinformation about climate change for decades. Climate reparations is how we can center justice and equity and hold the industry accountable for this violent attack on people and the planet. Join us to hear about the vision and strategy emerging for climate reparations.

Led by: Tamara Toles O'Laughlin

Panelists: Maxine Burkett, Dr. Sandy Darity, Dr. Sonja Klinsky, ruth.miller Miller

Making an Organizer: Converting Clicks into Impact

What does it take to go from reading an email or text to taking action? Every year millions of volunteers help create change by taking action both on and offline. In this panel, speakers will discuss their takeaways and strategies for converting members to action. Topics will include: handling differences in originating channels and user intent, conducting experiments on user engagement, crafting authentic messaging, volunteer follow up, and building community online. In an era where online content can spread very quickly, we’re still learning how to best connect those moments with the organizing infrastructure that has been doing this great work for decades.

Led by: Jamie McGonnigal

Panelists: Sean Carlson, Michael Crawford, Naseem Makiya, Arianna Trujillo-Wesler

The DA Pipeline: Investing in District Attorney Races Across the Country

District attorneys wield tremendous power in local communities and impact the lives of millions of Americans. Progressive DAs seek justice in criminal cases, work to prevent crime and serve as leaders in the communities they represent. And DA positions serve as an important pipeline to higher offices across the country; Senator Kamala Harris started her elected career as San Francisco’s District Attorney. This panel will examine the recent and current work of district attorneys and how we can work to elect more progressive DAs nationwide.

Led by: Parisa Deghani-Tafti

Panelists: Sherry Boston, Sarah George, Rachael Rollins, Kaitlin Turner

Maximizing Mail-In Ballot Systems for Increased Turnout and Equity

This panel will provide campaigners with tools to best leverage mail-in ballot election system to their campaign’s advantage as well as how to overcome potential obstacles. More and more states across the country are shifting toward election systems that provide voters with ballots via mail. This allows voters more time to research the issues and candidates and flexibility in when and how they cast their votes. However, this type of system has the potential to produce inequitable outcomes in turnout if not structured to maximize flexibility. This panel will equip you with best practices for designing mail (absentee) ballot campaigns.

Led by: Jiggy Athilingam

Panelists: Jack DeLapp, Salvador Hernandez, Urooj Mughal, Mindy Romero

Building a Better World by Building a Better Workplace

Isn’t it about time that progressive organizations practice what they preach? From supporting staff unions, to equitable hiring and management practices, to effective anti-harassment and discrimination programs, to good wages, to cultures that truly value everyone’s backgrounds and contributions, many of our organizations have a long way to go. Come discuss the strategies for creating change in your own workplace and movement spaces, and how doing so will help us build the world we want to see. Together we can build workplace cultures that work for ALL of us.

Led by: Robyn Swirling

Panelists: Keshia Allen Horner, Cayden Mak, Aisha Satterwhite, Sydney Scout

Gen Z: The First-Time Voters Who Could Transform America's Future

Millions of Americans born after 1996 (Generation Z) will cast ballots this year for the first time. It is estimated that Gen Z could comprise 10 percent of the electorate, exceeding the Silent Generation’s total vote, and youngest generations could total 37 percent of ballots combining Gen Z and Millenials. Gen Z is America’s most educated, urbane and diverse generation with a near-majority people of color, nearly one-quarter Latinx and more than twice the multi-racial population than other generations. This panel will address the potential impact of Gen Z in 2020 and beyond as well as effective strategies and tactics to reach them.

Led by: Dawn Boudwin

Panelists: Raven Douglas, Samantha Gladu, Dakota Hall

What's Next in 2021: Immigration at a Crossroads

Immigrants have faced unprecedented challenges and threats under the Trump Administration, making life even more difficult for the undocumented communities, TPS holders, Dreamers, asylum seekers, and refugees. Right now, our nation is at a crossroads—a lot of the values and ideals that many believed helped personify the United States of America are crumbling under dangerous immigration rule changes and executive orders from Donald Trump’s White House. With a presidential election just around the corner, immigrants and their allies will have to make difficult decisions about what policies or campaign strategies will need to be adopted to protect immigrants and their families. This panel will center on Donald Trump’s attacks on the DACA program, which shields young people from deportation, and how his allies constant meddling on immigration policy will impact all immigrants and their families in the years to come.

Led by: Juan Escalante

Panelists: Tony Choi, Patrice Lawrence

Climate President: Organizing for Climate Justice through Transformative Executive Action

The climate crisis, like police brutality and the COVID-19 pandemic, is inextricable from racial injustice. With Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities bearing the brunt of dirty energy extraction, pollution, and resulting climate impacts, there has never been a more urgent time for the next President to take immediate action for climate justice. The assumption that Congress alone holds the keys to climate action is a sabotage strategy peddled by fossil fuel executives and their allies on the political right. Over 500 leading climate, environmental, racial and economic justice, and youth organizations representing millions of people nationwide have backed a set of sweeping executive actions to advance climate justice. Together we will unpack the top executive actions the next President must take the moment they step in the oval office–without waiting for Congress.

Led by: Annie Leonard

Panelists: Michael Leon Guerrero, Anthony Rogers-Wright, Adrien Salazar, Jean Su, Tamara Toles O'Laughlin

Public Ownership: Understanding and Seizing the Momentum

The privatization of public services—whether historically private enterprises like electric utilities or recently created businesses to operate services ranging from water to prisons—has drawn a grassroots backlash as its unfulfilled promises and negative consequences become increasingly evident. Still, decades of anti-government rhetoric and framing of business as inherently more efficient still have a powerful sway over much of the general public and the officials they elect. With an economic crisis growing and a historic opening for an ambitious progressive agenda in Washington looming, this panel will bring together key activists and experts for a look at why public ownership matters.

Led by: Isaiah Poole

Panelists: Tara Raghuveer, Mari Rose Taruc, Trinity Tran

Dying for Healthcare: Medicare for All and Racial Justice

Medicare for All is, at its core, a racial justice issue. The color of your skin or the size of your bank account should not determine if you can get the healthcare you need and deserve—but unfortunately, it does. Fifty-nine percent of people without health insurance are people of color. From higher rates of heart disease and cancer to how often pain is treated, racial bias mars our healthcare system and costs people of color their health and their lives. We’ll explore the impact of racism within our healthcare system, the fight for Medicare for All and how this is a model for centering racial justice within a universal policy system.

Led by: Alan Barber

Panelists: Bonnie Castillo, Abdul El-Sayed, Jennifer Epps, SANJEEV SRIRAM

Rethink Trade: Why Progressives Must Reclaim the Trade Debate From Trump

Trump was elected by flipping Midwestern states with appeals to working-class voters on trade. After decades of corporate-rigged trade policies, the pain is real—but Trump’s agenda isn’t the fix. He has pushed trade policies benefiting Big Pharma, Big Data, Big Oil, and Wall Street. And as he makes trade a centerpiece of his administration, manufacturing and service job outsourcing continues. Worse, Trump’s agenda includes special interest handouts that could handcuff domestic progressive priorities for years to come. We must unite to call out Trump’s broken promises and failed policies and elevate our contrasting progressive trade alternatives that put people and the planet first.

Led by: Lori Wallach

Panelists: Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Ro Khanna, Alex Lawson, Brenda Roberts

Building Effective Political Allyship with Women of Color

Women have demonstrated our collective power through recent political successes: the historic number of women elected to Congress, running for President, and Virginia’s ratification of the ERA. Yet in 2020, a large percentage of women will make political decisions that work against the interests of women as a whole. In contrast, women of color, particularly Black women, consistently support Democratic candidates and progressive causes. By building a multiracial coalition driven by women, where women of all races turn out for progressive causes at the same rate as WOC, the progressive movement would be unstoppable. This panel addresses the failures of cross-racial allyships among women, and how we can strengthen them.

Led by: Jennifer Taylor-Skinner

Panelists: Sayu Bhojwani, Sarah Myhre Ph.D., Tami Sawyer

What the Next Administration Can Do for the Labor Movement

Workplace rights and union membership have been eroding for decades, as the balance of power tips ever further toward employers and corporations. The Obama administration approached the problems with regulations like expanded overtime protection—which the Trump administration quickly reversed. If Democrats win control of the government in 2020, how can they achieve big gains for workers? This panel brings together some of labor’s most visionary thinkers and movement leaders and a rank-and-file worker to discuss where to focus efforts. Our panelists look at bold new ideas with growing support: a $15 minimum wage, a Green New Deal that guarantees good jobs, new labor standards like requiring a just cause for firings, and more.

Led by: Hamilton Nolan

Panelists: Adriana Alvarez, Stacy Davis Gates , Sara Nelson, Shaun Richman

Disaster Strategy So White: How a Lack of Inclusivity Harms Recovery Efforts

More often than not, mainstream efforts intended to support people impacted by natural events do not take into account how race, disability, and other manifestations of marginalization can impact both access to and effectiveness of disaster relief services. Panelists will discuss how centering an intersectional focus into disaster strategy results in positive longitudinal outcomes–and is a crucial component to social change.

Led by: Reyma McCoy McDeid

Panelists: Anita Cameron, Allilsa Fernandez, German Parodi, Shaylin Sluzalis

Grassroots Organizing in 2020: A New Era Begins

Small-dollar donors have proved that grassroots fundraising *is* organizing, and this movement is here to stay. In the midst of a momentous election cycle, small-dollar donors are making history, fueling campaigns and organizations at every level by already contributing more than $2 billion to the candidates and causes they care about. Hear from digital organizing practitioners and movement makers about how digital organizing is driving the progressive movement at an unprecedented level and creating lasting changes to how we organize. We’ll reflect on our successes as a movement and share case studies demonstrating why small-dollar donors are more essential than ever to building a people-powered movement. This panel is sponsored by ActBlue.

Led by: Rachael Junard

Panelists: Hillary Holley, Quentin James, Patrick Stevenson, Jocelyn Strauss

#AbortionIsEssential. Tell a friend, NOW!

A lot has changed across the country, but one thing remains the same: our opponents will use any moment—even a national crisis like this pandemic—to attack access to sexual and reproductive health, and talking to people who know us and trust us about these attacks has never been more important. This Spring, as states moved to lockdowns in the face of a pandemic, governors in several states moved to cut off access to abortion during the shutdown. Learn how state and national organizers pivoted into strong virtual organizing to protect access to reproductive health, hold governors accountable for their actions, and how Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Action Fund will leverage lessons learned from virtual relational organizing last spring to win elections this fall—and how you can help by talking to the people you know.

Led by: Heather Holdridge

Panelists: Jared DeLoof, Jenny Lawson, Amanda R. Matos

Ethical Email: How to Avoid the Tragedy of the Commons

Email is a vitally important communication channel for progressive activists. It’s not under the control of any one corporate entity, and when done right, can deepen subscribers’ engagement, increase turnout to events, and can raise incredible amounts of money. Unfortunately these days, we see a tragedy of the commons developing. Often driven by a consultant culture with a narrow focus on immediate numbers, spammy emails with deceptive tactics and alarming subject lines (Termination Notice! Account Delinquent!) have begun to poison the ecosystem. Where are the solutions and what role can we as organizers, email senders and comms professionals play in implementing them?

Led by: Will Easton

Panelists: Amy Chin-Lai, Lauren Miller, Murshed Zaheed

How to Build Trust and Reach the Unreachable through Relational Organizing Without Leaving Your Home

Times have never been tougher — or more complicated — in America. Voters are increasingly turning to friends, family and social networks to figure out who they can trust. Research has shown that by utilizing trusted messengers to break through the noise, Relational Organizing can have stronger impacts than conversations with impersonal strangers. And due to the inherent inequity in VAN data, traditional voter contact programs was leaving many voters out even when campaigns COULD canvass and utilize more traditional methods to reach potential voters. RO offers a path forward—it can be used to cut through the noise, build trust and reach those that may otherwise be unreachable, even from the safety of your own home. This session will focus on how organizations can use Relational Organizing to leverage the power of their activists to achieve change, without ever leaving the house.

Led by: Jasmine Gonzalez

Panelists: Dylan Carney, Emily Isaac, Saru Jayaraman, Jasmine Jones, Denicia Montford Williams

Protecting the Vote: Cybersecurity, Misinformation, and the Aftermath of Iowa

The evening of February 3, 2020, and the news of inaccurate results coming in from the Iowa Democratic caucuses struck a chord at the very heart of American democracy. It reverberated through every local, county and state registrar’s office and posed a very important question: Is America ready for voting in the age of the app? From Russian election interference to troll- and bot-infested social media to the debacle in Iowa, the integrity of our elections is on the ballot in 2020. Join chief elected officials, cybersecurity analysts, and experts in online information manipulation for a discussion of what steps can be taken to ensure Americans that they can trust the results of their elections.

Led by: Adam Bonin

Panelists: Katie Hobbs, Patrick Murphy, Alex Padilla, Melissa Ryan

What Matters to Native Voters and Why the Presidential Candidate Must Listen

As we organize to get out the vote in this historic 2020 election, we need to elevate what matters to Native and Indigenous voters. As the often forgotten and disenfranchised minority in their own lands, Indigenous people comprise a critical component to the 2020 election, especially in seven states where their votes can make a real difference. Progressive politics center around the notion of social equality, yet Indigenous people continue to fall to the margins of society. This panel will explain why Indigenous people and Tribal Nations matter especially to this upcoming election, and provide effective strategies for engaging the Native vote.

Led by: Michael Johnson

Panelists: Chrissie Castro, Judith LeBlanc, Julian Noisecat

The Alt-Right’s Anti-Transgender Backlash

The political and legislative anti-trans backlash has exploded this year with more than 18 states and localities across the country considering the penalization of people for their gender identity. But these seemingly separate actions are actually united and pushed by an organized movement of think tanks, non profits and legal-writing organizations like ALEC to push anti-trans law during this highly volatile year. Join us as we explore this toxic mix of gender identity and right-wing politics.

Led by: Imara Jones

Panelists: Heron Greenesmith, Chase Strangio, Brennan Suen

Remote Activism: Harnessing Progressive Power from Afar

How can we harness the energy in extreme blue states like California and New York to impact elections in red or purple states? Many politically passionate Americans live in states without truly competitive races for federal offices. The anti-democratic structural distortions of the electoral college and the Senate lead many residents of the bluest (and reddest) states to doubt the significance of their own ballots. But their energy and enthusiasm can be channeled to impact elections in the most competitive states. In this panel, we’ll discuss innovative tactics for harnessing volunteer energy from afar.

Led by: Ashlei Blue

Panelists: Ruby Anaya, Scott Forman, María Urbina, Lala Wu

How Progressive News Creators are Using YouTube to Have Their Voices Heard

The internet is increasingly becoming digital video first. In fact, on YouTube, people watch over a billion hours of video every day. During this session, you’ll hear from independent news creators that are using YouTube and digital video to share their views on progressive policies and issues, with broad and diverse audiences. They’ll share what makes for compelling digital content, lessons they’ve learned, and how—using the power of digital video—they’ve helped impact public policy and opinion. You’ll leave with insight on how you can use digital video to voice your perspective on the issues and topics you care about.

Led by: Alex Sanchez

Panelists: Ana Kasparian, Roland Martin, Robert Reich, Brian Tyler Cohen

How Progressives Can Shape the Democrats' 2021 Climate Agenda

The next President and Congress present our last, best shot at passing bold, aggressive climate legislation that will not only give us a shot at survival, but also create millions of high-quality jobs, confront environmental racism and correct structural economic inequality. To succeed, this effort must be investment-led, standards-based, and grounded in justice and equity. This panel will explore how progressives can beat the fossil fuel industry and shape the contours of debate to ensure we prioritize and achieve a Green New Deal.

Led by: Julian Noisecat

Panelists: Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Lauren Maunus, Sam Ricketts, Anthony Rogers-Wright

Guarantees for a Good Life: Income, Housing, Jobs and Family Care

As people struggle with rising child care, housing, and other costs while wages stagnate or fall, we know we deserve better. In communities across the country, people are demanding more from policymakers, and political momentum is building to demand that everyone is guaranteed the foundations for a good life. This panel will discuss four campaigns built on guarantees: housing, jobs, family care, and income. We will learn from pilot sites amd successful campaigns, and focus on what we can do together to elevate the idea of guarantees.

Led by: Solana Rice

Panelists: Mia Birdsong, Jess Morales Rocketto, Tara Raghuveer, Sarah Treuhaft

Reviving Regulation: The Key to the Next President’s Success

In the wake of the Trump administration’s attacks on consumer, worker, health and environmental safeguards, it’s crucial that we revive our system of public protections. The next Democratic White House will face substantial political and procedural obstacles to legislation—from skittish red-state lawmakers to the filibuster. Executive orders, cabinet appointments, strong regulation and tough enforcement hold the key to implementing a new agenda. This panel will focus on how activists can push the next administration for bold, progressive reforms through agency actions—and take the fight directly to big corporations and big money interests.

Led by: Robert Weissman Weissman

Panelists: David Dayen, Celinda Lake, Rajesh Nayak

Building a Multiracial Democracy: A Narrative to Mobilize All Voters

Donald Trump and others have made the election season a referendum on Muslims, refugees, voter fraud and the urban-rural divide. But, progressives and advocates across the Midwest were ready to answer every charge—and move their communities toward a more inclusive future—with an updated and thoroughly vetted, campaign-tested, strategic communicatios plan known as the Midwest Race Class Narrative Project. Hear from leaders across the Midwest on how they are implementing the Race Class Narrative to mobilize the base, persuade the middle, and alienate the opposition to enact a bold policy agenda in 2020 and beyond.

Led by: Anika Fassia

Panelists: JaNae Bates, Prentiss Haney, Art Reyes, Tinselyn Simms

Drawing a Decade: Why State Legislatures are Our Last Chance to Stop GOP Gerrymandering

State legislators elected this year will draw the next set of Congressional and state legislative maps in most states. These maps will have a massive impact on partisan power in Congress and in states through 2030. This is our last chance to avoid another un-democratic decade of Republican gerrymandering, which silences voters, subverts elections and corrupts our government. This all-women panel of state legislative politics and campaign experts will discuss why state legislatures are the gateway to ending gerrymandering, analyze the state of play in 2020 state legislative races, and provide ideas for how we can work together to win big in 2020.

Led by: Carolyn Fiddler

Panelists: Gaby Goldstein, Leslie Martes, Johanna Silva Waki, Emilia Sykes

Pride Outside Cities: How LGBTQ+ Candidates Are Running and Winning Everywhere

Conventional wisdom often leads us to believe that LGBTQ+ candidates can only run successfully for seats in certain areas. However, with the recent surge of candidates of all backgrounds stepping up to run, a trend has started to emerge. A growing number of LGBTQ+ candidates are running for and winning seats in rural and traditionally purple areas. Women like Delegate Danica Roem, who flipped a seat in rural Virginia that had previously been held by a man who referred to himself as the state’s ‘chief homophobe and became the first openly transgender state legislator in the country. This panel will examine what took place in these races and position them as a roadmap for what could be done nationwide.

Led by: Lisa Turner

Panelists: Shontel Lewis, Danica Roem, Brianna Titone, Senator Claire Wilson

Campaign in Color: A Conversation with Presidential Campaign Managers of Color

In the 2020 Democratic primary, the pool of presidential candidates went from being one of the most diverse slates in history to a slate with no persons of color on the debate stage. Communities of color must take this experience as an opportunity to have candid conversations about these challenges, and to propose solutions for the next generation of presidential candidates of color. If we are truly going to elect governments that are reflective of our nation’s rich diversity, candidates of color must have the knowledge, tools and resources to overcome unique challenges and structural barriers. Join us for a real and raw conversation about overcoming the challenges of being a person of color running for President of the United States.

Led by: Mayra Macias

Panelists: Roger Lau, Juan Rodriguez, Maya Rupert

Progressives on the Hill: What They Do and Why it Matters

From organizing to social activism to policy, the progressive movement is fighting to ensure the voices of underrepresented and underserved communities have a seat at the table. So what happens when you take the movement to the Hill? During this session we’ll hear from special guest progressive congressional staff as they share their experiences, challenges and lessons learned and provide a unique window into how policy change works. They will share their perspectives on the power of the progressive movement, providing examples from their own experience.

Led by: Hebah Kassem

Panelists: Ryan Anderson, Marissa Barrera, Afton Cissell

Rebalancing the Supreme Court: How Do Progressives Take Back the (Stolen) Court?

Despite a handful of critical progressive rulings, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority remains a co-conspirator in a scheme to sabotage democracy for partisan reasons. While Chief Justice Roberts gives SCOTUS proceedings the appearance of an honest competition, the fix is in. The Roberts Court has issued 80 split decisions in civil cases involving GOP donor interests and his majority has ruled 80-0 in favor of GOP donors. Rebalancing the Supreme Court—which Mitch McConnell stole from the rest of America—through addition of seats is emerging as a top advocacy issue as prominent writers such as Jamelle Bouie, Brian Beuler, and Moira Donegan have recently spoken out in favor of it. Aaron Belkin, who has been leading the charge on this fight via Take Back the Court will host this panel underscoring how the issue of the Supreme Court and courts in general are no longer just a topic of interest for the extreme right, but also a key advocacy flash point for the progressive movement.

Led by: Aaron Belkin

Panelists: Mondaire Jones, Dan Pfeiffer, Tamara Toles O'Laughlin

Democracy No Longer Deferred: Why Following the Most Impacted is a Winning Strategy

The most oppressed, lead the best. In our current democracy, wealthy interests disenfranchise, disregard and exploit groups that have historically been labeled as “other.” Our efforts to achieve a fair, inclusive democracy cannot happen without leadership from the most impacted communities. Hear from activists fighting for workers, mothers, immigrants, LGBTQ+ and differently-abled folks—and against racism, the climate crisis, and poverty—on how they are fighting for their communities to be represented in our democracy. This will be a high-level strategy conversation about the present state of democracy and our shared vision for the democracy we are fighting to build, from the perspective of those most impacted.

Led by: Marilyn Carpintyero

Panelists: Maya Berry, Jonathan Butler, Bill Cobb, Brisa Johnson

The Great Political Puzzle: How Muslims are Organizing in 2020

Islamophobic attacks, smear campaigns and other propaganda tactics have long been used by special interest groups through well-funded, coordinated transnational networks, using social media and other powerful digital tools to create division—especially during sensitive political times. This has led to an increase in intergroup conflict that targets vulnerable audiences, for instance the revelation that Russian trolls orchestrated a clash outside of a Houston mosque during the 2016 elections. We’re prepared for an upcoming 2020 election cycle that is similarly contentious and divisive. Join a collective of leading, national Muslim organizations to learn more how we can prepare to combat the challenge ahead. The panelists will present the results of an internal policy survey and provide toolkits for action.

Led by: Kifah Shah

Panelists: Abbas Barzegar, Mohamed Gula, Wardah Khalid, Mohammed Missouri

Why She Ran: A Conversation with Progressive Womxn of Color in Politics

Women, particularly women of color, have a hard time finding role models when it comes to running for office. And once we’re in office and elected, governing with integrity becomes that much harder as we’re plagued by challenges that others don’t encounter. Our panel brings together progressive womxn of color who have run for office and lets them talk in depth about what motivated them to run for office, the challenges they encountered in their race, and the intersectionality of many of the challenges encountered by women and POC civic leaders.

Led by: Aimee Castenell, Britney Whaley

Panelists: Kendra Brooks, Tiffany Caban

Winning is Easy, Governing is Harder: Moving from Electoral Victory to Policy Change

Virginia has been at the center of the national conversation for its shifting political landscape. After a series of election victories, Democrats entered 2020 with a governing trifecta in Virginia for the first time since 1993. But electoral victories don’t automatically translate into policy victories that transform people’s lives. To win significant policy battles, especially ones that center race and gender equity, we need to channel the values and aspirations of a broad coalition of progressive organizations, allies and policymakers into a multi-issue policy agenda.

Led by: Tram Nguyen

Panelists: Maya Castillo, Jennifer McClellan, Marcia Price, Anna Scholl

Get Out The (Virus)

Progressives make the difference in close races on the doors. That’s been how the left has won and maintained power in Colorado and many swing states throughout the country. Turnout is going to be the main factor in 2020, and conservatives are doing everything they can to distort the facts about multi-option voting and mail ballots. With the coronavirus changing the way we campaign, how can progressives ensure strong turnout in 2020 without putting our coalition members at risk on both sides of the door?

Led by: Ian Silverii

Panelists: Manuel Lopez del Rio, Elena Nunez, Peg Perl, Martha Tierney

#DignidadLiteraria: Writers and Organizers Unite: Our Stories, Our Power!

In light of systemic racism and anti-immigrant narratives in U.S. publishing, #DignidadLiteraria founders will discuss how to lead powerful campaigns seeking literary dignity for Latinx communities. Latinx people working in publishing amount to a dismal 6%, and only around 1% of books published each year are written by Latinx authors. After securing an unprecedented commitment from Macmillan USA (publishers of American Dirt) to transform publishing its practices and include substantial increases in Latinx titles and staff, the #DignidadLiteraria movement keeps building momentum to take on the “Big 5” largest publishing conglomerates in the U.S.. Join the conversation to see how Latinx people and allies can drive national/translocal offline and digital organizing campaigns to combat major players in the culture sphere, and win!

Led by: Nancy Trevino

Panelists: David Bowles, Myriam Gurba, Roberto Lovato, Matt Nelson

Driving Digital Division: Race and Gender in the Fight Against Disinformation

Digital disinformation is a cloud hanging over the 2020 elections, but the forces behind it have been building for a long time. This panel will explore the white surpremacist and misogynistic underpinnings that created this perfect storm for our current digital environment. We will focus on the role that digital platforms like Google, Twitter, and Facebook play in creating and perpetuating this, and discuss what activists around the country can do about it.

Led by: Bridget Todd

Panelists: Madihha Ahussain, Candace Clement, Sharon Kann, Kristina Wilfore

Let’s Get Digital: Mapping Our Way to Electoral Victory

Districts are based on geography, so maps and addresses should be the foundation off of which you build your strategy, right? Unfortunately this isn’t the case for many campaigns. While most critical campaign activities have gone digital, the data and tooling to support rapid mapping efforts has not caught up. In this session, experts will help you transform maps from a campaign office decoration to the center of your digital universe. You’ll learn about tools available to better visualize voters, volunteers, donors, events and more.

Led by: Josh Hendler

Panelists: Karthik Balasubramanian, James Denny, Alex Niemczewski, Arianna Trujillo-Wesler

Building an Inclusive Internet: A Challenge Borne of Necessity

For our work, the Internet is critical and, on many fronts, its effectiveness and independence is under attack. In struggling to find a way to defend it, our movements are hampered by the under-representation in Internet decision-making of women and people of color. To save the Internet as a useful communications and organizing network in our quest to build a just and sustainable society, we need to change that. Representatives of major national organizations that are leading the work of inclusion will discuss how to combat the racism and sexism crippling Internet decision-making by excluding people of color and women and alienating them by seeping into the content of social media.

Led by: Alfredo Lopez

Panelists: Alice Aguilar, Teresa Basilio Gaztambide, Brandi Collins-Dexter

Combating Trump's Targeting of Men of Color

As people of color make up a significant portion of the Rising American Electorate, earning their vote will be critical to electing a Democrat to the White House in November. Trump’s campaign realizes this, and as a result, has started targeting men of color by talking about issues like the economy. With many younger Millennial men of color, Trump and his team are using the approach of convincing them to vote third party. This panel will discuss the extent of this problem in the upcoming general election and what can be done to combat these actions by the Trump campaign.

Led by: joshua ulibarri

Panelists: Duy Nguyen, W. Mondale Robinson, Tomas Robles, Terrance Woodbury

Disrupting Nationalist Narratives: Understanding and Mobilizing Military Veterans

When people think about the American military or veterans, very specific stories, images, and tropes come to mind. While veterans are not a monolith, this community is often ceded to the right or exploited by corporate politicians to build political capital and shield themselves from accountability. Progressives are not immune from treating this community in linear binaries, and often overlook the plurality and dynamism of this force-multiplying, vital base that is sorely needed in the fight to dismantle militarism, white supremacy, jingoism, corruption and neo-fascism. This session features progressive and leftist veteran leaders who have worked in movements, campaigns, policy, or run for office. They will offer needed analysis and tools for movement builders to deconstruct antiquated notions of the military/veteran base in order to identify, engage and mobilize veterans without forcing them to leave their diverse identities and power behind.


Led by: Pam Campos-Palma

Panelists: Shaniyat Chowdhury, Kerri Evelyn Harris, Arti Walker-Peddakotla

Say 'No' to Burnout Culture: Executing Sustainable, Winning Campaigns

Learn from a badass team of women of how to execute sustainable campaigns based on progressive values. Why should you listen to what we had to say? We won the DLCC’s #1 targeted race in the 2018 general election cycle by 13% in a four-way race in a swing district. The candidate, campaign manager, and field organizers did not work more than 40 hours a week until GOTV. Then join us in a discussion in how we can take sustainable campaigns to the next level by sharing your ideas on the actions we can take in taking these ideas to new campaigns and community organizations.

Led by: Leslie Herod

Panelists: Emilia Delgado Heinz, Sheena Kadi, Jordan Smith, Sen. Faith Winter

Who’s the Boss Now? Building Worker Power in an Age of Apps and Insecure Work

Workers not only should earn a livable wage, but they should be able to work collectively with security and dignity. To pad their bottom line, however, corporations have eroded that social contract and invented a fiction where all workers are their own boss, removed from labor rights and protections. In doing so, employers leave millions of workers nationwide, particularly those of color, vulnerable and atomized. This panel will explore how progressives can stand with workers to fight for a system where they are treated fairly and employers are held accountable. Building on lessons learned in 2019 and 2020, this panel will encourage progressives to organize and fight strategic battles at the local, state, and federal level.

Led by: Brian Chen

Panelists: Veena Dubal, Diego Gerena-Quiñones, Asm. Lorena Gonzalez, E. Tammy Kim

They Said WHAT? Black Disabled Women Discuss the Cultural Shift in White-dominated Social Justice Spaces

The murder of George Floyd spearheaded a worldwide movement that has brought the issue of racism to the forefront of everyone’s minds–especially within spaces that are mission-driven to advocate for marginalized people that are, nevertheless, dominated by white people. In this panel, Black disabled women and allies discuss working and collaborating with a community that has a long history of being racist and oppressive to racially marginalized people. Our intent is to invite critical thinking from people who work in progressive spaces that have histories of being racist but are similarly experiencing “awakenings.”

Led by: Andraéa LaVant

Panelists: Allie Cannington, Reyma McCoy McDeid, Dr. Angel Miles, Odunola Ojewumi

Game Changer: Tech Workers Organizing for Justice

Over the past few years, tech and game workers have been joining together to question the role that their companies are playing in covering up sexual harassment and gender inequity, enabling white supremacy, promoting economic inequality, advancing surveillance capitalism, suppressing free speech, and accelerating climate change. They are demanding a voice in the workplace and debating the best way to create lasting change. At the same time, there has been a renewed focus on the concentration of power in the industry among a few tech giants. On this panel, workers will discuss the tactics they’ve used to gain power, and the next steps for their movement. This panel is sponsored by the Communication Workers of America.

Led by: Emma Kinema

Panelists: Parul Koul, Cherri Murphy, Devan Soyka

Doing It for the Planet, not for the 'Gram: Leveraging Social Media for Climate Justice

No one can deny the power of social media or the role that it plays in sharing information. This panel features queer, brown, youth environmental media creators who are using social platforms to educate and inspire people around the world about taking action on the climate crisis. Social media is helping put climate justice on the map, and it’s allowing new voices to have a seat at the table. We’ll discuss how social media serves as a bridge for audiences to learn about ongoing campaigns, news, and resources to live more sustainably and advance climate justice in their communities.

Led by: Kristy Drutman

Panelists: Gia Chinchilla, Kaitlin Grable, Isaias Hernandez, Ariel Maldonado

Designs on Democracy: Using Graphic Design to Reframe the Story and Win

As graphic designers and media makers, how can we use creative tools to reframe a story, subvert dominant narratives, and win campaigns? Join creative directors and campaign leaders for a panel on best practices with successful case studies on issues of immigrant rights, climate justice, and electoral politics. As people of color, women and immigrants, we will reflect on opportunities and challenges we face in doing this work.

Led by: Tanzila Ahmed

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

Later Abortions: Why Progressives Must Talk About Them in 2020

Anti-abortion extremists have enormously influenced how Americans talk about abortions later in pregnancy. Manipulative, inaccurate terms like partial-birth abortion distort how even pro-choice progressives perceive the procedure, creating ambivalence and even support for restrictions that have a devastating impact on those seeking this care, particularly poor women and people of color. With abortion bans sweeping across states and the most significant abortion case soon to be decided by the Kavanaugh Supreme Court, 2020 is a critical moment to examine what later abortion is, what the impact of barriers to care have on patients, and how we can most effectively fight for access for all.

Led by: Gena Ozols

Panelists: Karla Gonzales Garcia, Dr. Warren M. Hern, Justine Sandoval, Lauren Smith

Healing and Joy as Power

Audre Lorde said: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Working to change the world while neglecting ourselves and our immediate communities depletes us and replicates patterns of trauma, harm, and extraction. We need a radical, ongoing investment in our own healing. The panelists will share and explore their commitments to cultivating a culture of self and community care in order to build power and increase sustainability in social justice work.

Led by: Briana Simmons

Panelists: Jonathan Lykes, Johnaé Strong Doe, JeNae Taylor

Building Progressive Infrastructure Beyond Elections

How do we build infrastructure—tech, staffing and more—that takes us beyond election day? How do we leverage election work for direct action, local lobbying, and building our base? This superstar panel will share best practices and current projects.

Led by: Rose Espinola

Panelists: Jamarr Brown, Barb Cardell, Gabriela Lemus, Ejike Obineme

Racist Data: Is Your Work Inclusive, POC-centered, or Truly Anti-racist?

Come to this panel of women and people of color technical practitioners who are currently fighting to revolutionize biased technical processes. They will explore how data can inform organizing and mobilizing models to move toward true anti-racist work that will lead to victories in November and beyond.

Led by: Jessica Yanez

Panelists: Fryda Guedes, Kareem Jones, Fred Oaxaca, Arianna Trujillo-Wesler

Best Practices and Challenges of Working Remotely

As more organizations allow for remote workers, it’s important to build cultures and use tools to support staff, enable strong communication, and ensure equitable and inclusive work environments. This panel will have representatives from several organizations that are either fully or partially remote. They’ll share best practices and learnings, tips and tools, as well as challenges of working remotely.

Led by: Lisa Changadveja

Panelists: Libby Buechler, Jake Levine, Maria Tchijov, Veronica Young

Solidarity for Good: How Workers Across the Movement are Organizing

Do you work for a progressive nonprofit, political campaign, consulting firm, or tech company? Unions are for you too! Over the past few years, thousands of workers have been a part of organizing new unions in the progressive movement. Join union organizers and members as they share the actions they’ve taken to democratize progressive workplaces, win more sustainable working conditions, and grow the labor movement. From forming their unions to enacting pay transparency, building wage floors, and implementing racial equity principles—panelists will discuss some of the common challenges and successes in workplace organizing and explain what they have learned as they continue to build power in their workplaces and beyond.

Led by: Kim Kelly

Panelists: Kayla Blado, Amy Chin-Lai, Lilly Daigle, Sydney Scout