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Recordings of our 2021 sessions are now available! Registered attendees can access the videos in our virtual event platform (go to the Agenda item on the home screen, find the session you want to watch, and click Watch Recording). If you did not register to attend Netroots Nation 2021 but want to access our recordings, click here to purchase a Recordings Access pass.

To view our panels, trainings and other content, you can browse our searchable agenda below. Note that the sessions and speakers are subject to change as we continue to confirm sessions. To view our overview schedule conference, click here.

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Digital Door Knocking: How to Begin a 1:1 through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Starting personal DM conversations—on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram—can be an entry point to more meaningful organizing conversations in person or over the phone. Come learn from labor organizers who have worked on Amazon, child care and with retail workers about the best practices we’ve learned on how to avoid being flagged as spam, ending up in that “other” inbox and getting a good response rate from conversations you start with a private message.

Led by: Bianka Nora, Eric Schlein

Campaign Comms From A to Tweet

Candidates and organizations, especially if they’re just getting started, must craft and master their messages — in plain language and in all media. This can mean the difference between success and failure. We’ll discuss tips for doing this, and also how to keep your digital and communications teams playing well with each other! This session will be a useful referesher for experienced communications pros and a good introduction for people new to the field.

Led by: Aimee Castenell, AJ Springer

Creating Compelling Social Content for Your Campaign or Organization

You know how your boss keeps saying you should just make that thing go viral? “Going viral” on today’s internet is a herculean task that requires strategy, timing and tremendous amounts of luck. And even if it doesn’t succeed in going viral, you want your post to be effective in building your online community of supporters and activists. So, what kind of social media content will help you do that? Where do you find great content, how often should you post, and what should you be posting? With all the knowledge and testing we’ve accumulated from working at places like Upworthy, Vice, and Versa News, we’ll walk you through some basic strategy to make sure your message has the best chance possible to be effective and maybe even viral. SPOILER: Good storytelling is the most important ingredient.

Led by: Adam Mordecai, Laura Packard

YouTube Best Practices for Civics

Learn how to capitalize on the rapid growth of the digital video using YouTube. Join this session for a dive into emerging trends on the platform, as well as the latest features and best practices that can take your video content to the next level.

This session is sponsored by YouTube.

Led by: Emily Keller, John Ruxton

Women and Other Targeted Groups Safety & Security Master Class

Join us for a safety and security masterclass on the latest tools and resources for a safe and impactful presence on Facebook and Instagram. We will cover an overview of our community standards that are meant to help keep you and your communities safe and discuss safety tips and tools built for government officials and public figures and features to protect women and other targeted groups against online harassment. We’ll also go over our updated comment management tools; how to report abusive behavior toward you, fellow staff, or a principle; and our #SheLeads guide, which aims to equip women leaders with the tools they need to use Facebook effectively and safely. We recognize how important it is for Facebook to be a place where people feel empowered to communicate, and we take our role seriously in keeping abuse off our platforms.

Led by: Jen Nedeau Helm, Tracy Rohrbach

Beyond Fundraising: How to Build a Robust Texting Program

With high read rates and relatively low cost, texting is becoming integral to nearly every fundraising program. Good news: texting can do so much more! Join us to learn how you can use your texting platform to benefit other aspects of your organization including direct voter contact, organizing, advocacy, voter protection and more.

This session is sponsored by Prompt.io.

Led by: Brenna Cully

Is this a Crisis? How to Decide and Respond

We work in a highly-engaged, easily-enraged communications environment. We are surrounded by crisis all the time; poverty, racism, inequity and injustice are all clear and present dangers. Should we react to everything we see? Are there some situations where that might not be helpful? If we are going to do sustainable work we must have sustained and sustainable strategies for responding to crises. We’ll offer a rubric for folks to determine when to react and how.

Led by: Anna Castro, Amanda Cooper

Your Voice is Doing a Lot of Talking! How You Say Things Really Matters

What is it about the great speakers like President Obama and Amanda Gorman? It’s not the great speech writing; It’s the WAY that they speak that draws you in. This session goes beyond your words/content to use your voice to best communicate your ideas. Join us for techniques and skill for using your voice, and tips for taking good care of that instrument.

Led by: Arshad Hasan, Vicki Roush

Illusions of Ubiquity: Creative Digital Advertising for Campaigns and Advocacy

Political and advocacy campaigns use digital advertising in a range of creative ways. We’ll examine how ads can help with testing, fundraising, persuasion, recruiting, mobilization, GOTV and more. We’ll dig into questions including: What is addressable advertising and what are its limits? How can digital ads help a fundraising email perform better? How can they help you build a messaging strategy, or turn out the right voters? What options lie beyond Facebook and Google? How can careful targeting help stretch a thin budget? And, how do you create an “illusion of ubiquity”? We’ll dive into these topics and more, inviting participants to share their own creative digital advertising experiments.

Led by: Colin Delany

The Intersection of Social Impact, Inclusion, and Digital Accessibility

61M Americans live with a disability. If we want to bring about real, widespread change, we need to include all activists who want to join in the fight, including those with disabilities. We cannot afford even unintentionally to create barriers to participation. Ensuring that your work is fully inclusive across your digital channels is key. Right from the first interaction with your organization, every person should be able to learn, sign up, and get involved with ease. Come to this session to learn more about the fundamentals of digital accessibility and why and how your organization can do what it takes to ensure we bring everyone along in the movement for social change.

Led by: Jen Frazier

Writing Powerful Email Blasts

The backbone of online communications is still writing powerful email that your list will want to open, read and take action on. This training will teach best practices in email writing including subject lines and A/B testing (even if your list is “too small to test”).

Led by: Reuben "Tihi" Hayslett

Digital Fundraising 101: Building People Power with Small-dollar Donors

Folks all over the country have banded together to fight the impact of the pandemic, combat racism and systems of oppression, and protect our democracy. Small-dollar donors are an important part of this work, forming a powerful base of supporters who are ready to get involved and become agents for progressive change. Digital fundraising experts from ActBlue will show you how to reach these donors by building horizontal relationships, using the theory of change, crafting a strong fundraising ask, and employing cutting-edge digital fundraising tools.

This session is sponsored by ActBlue.

Led by: Ruby Sarron

Insights from Deep Canvassing: Proven Scripts for Transformational Outreach

Deep canvassing is the only field methodology that has been found, through extensive study, to shift voter attitudes and behavior long-term, in person and on the phones. Join us to learn about new research from the field of deep canvassing and receive training on how to apply this grassroots learning to your own power-building and persuasion work. We’ll share takeaways on how to construct outreach scripts that bridge divides and move people powerfully, with practical examples from advocacy campaigns on the ground.

Led by: Drew Frye, Ash Overton

Distributed Organizing A-Z: How to Build Strong, Flexible Campaigns

Distributed organizing — where supporters lead their own efforts, with support from a centralized staff or committee, rather than the other way around — is a critical way to grow power, develop leadership from supporters and leaders across geographies, and build winning campaigns. Join us for the ABCs of running successful distributed organizing campaigns. You’ll learn how to frontload complex policy information, create straightforward toolkits and trainings, build programs that allow for flexibility according to local conditions, and measure and track distributed organizing efforts.

Led by: Geovaira Hernández, Xaver Kandler, Arielle Swernoff

Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First: Self Care Tools for Activists and Operatives

Movements are sustainable only if the people who power them intentionally care for themselves. If you were driving your car and the check engine and fuel gauge lights came on, you’d surely pull over. So why do we ignore the warnings our own bodies are sending us? There are simple techniques and strategies to calm our minds, heal our bodies and bring us to a deeper level of health and presence. Activists and operatives can use these techniques to find peace and balance while working in the intense environment of progressive politics. Everyone is welcome.

Led by: Lacey Connelly, Reggie Hubbard

Securing Your Digital Organizing Operations

Activists and organizers, especially those in high profile campaigns or marginalized communities, face an ever-increasing threat of external security compromise. While cloud technologies have made digital operations cheaper and more accessible, these tools must be properly secured in order to avoid potentially devastating or catastrophic security breaches. Our training will teach you the top-10 things your campaign team needs to do to secure their digital assets and get you started on the road to digital success.

Led by: Rusty Pickens

Google Best Practices for Civics

Learn how to use Google tools to effectively and securely pivot your efforts online. Join this session for a deep dive into Google’s suite of products and the latest best practices for developing your online presence using Google Search, Analytics, Trends, and much more.

This session is sponsored by Google.

Led by: Javier Hernandez

How to Survive a Facebook Ads Blackout

When Facebook banned political and social issue ads in 2020, organizers and campaigns were faced with an unsettling reality: Digital communicators rely too much on Facebook ads. We’ll explore the many alternative tools and platforms available to digital advertisers. How do I approach an ad exchange? How can our organization make the most of native advertising? We’ll also cover how to test these new platforms and work them into your programs.

Led by: Jenn Colton, John Padua

Intersections of Our Lives: Shaping the Narrative

Communities of women of color—Black women, AAPI women and Latinas—share certain interests about reproductive justice. We’ll share data we’ve gathered about their political priorities and engage you in a discussion about how this information can help us develop advocacy strategies and shape effective media narratives that shift power and culture, mobilize communities, and influence policymaking.

Led by: Emily Champlin, Jennifer Wang, Lexi White

Winning Messaging on Antisemitism: New Message Guide and Tools

We must be more effective in confronting antisemitism–when the Right embraces it and when Republicans use it as a tool to divide us. Our response to antisemitism is an important part of work toward liberation for us all. Together with Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, in deep collaboration with Jewish organizing partners around the country, we have developed powerful new messaging and a framework for talking about antisemitism. We’ll share what we’ve learned to persuasively tell the story of politicized antisemitism, and to analyze why commonly-used messages fall short. We’ll offer tools participants can use to fight bad faith accusations of antisemitism, including the new Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism.

Led by: Sharon Goldtzvik, Dove Kent

Enhance Your Field Program by Implementing a Clear Structure

Learn how to structure and implement a field team. We’ll guide you in creating a clear implementation and quality controlled field program structure that defines roles, sets goals, field team schedules, reporting plans, timelines, a communication protocol, and healthy feedback loops. You will learn how these elements tie into your program prior to a program’s start date, during the implementation phase, and after completion. You’ll will learn about the basic technology your organization needs to carry out a successful and efficient field program and the processes for setting it up and running it.

Led by: Cassandra Gutierrez, Samantha Valadez

Power Mapping: How to Target with Intention and Make an Impact

What is power mapping? It’s not just about mailing lists and data points. It’s campaign work to build community power and effect real systemic change. We’ll give you practical, useful instructions to target with intention. You must ask the right questions at the right time in your campaign planning. This training will show you how to power map, to effectively reach and influence your targets. This workshop is designed for those newer to organizing.

Led by: Nikki Koutsochilis, Abbey Piazza

Intro to Digital Analytics: What Analytics Can Do for You

The more you know about the ongoing performance of your campaign, the better you’ll be able to to develop insights, identify patterns and make improvements to your program. For Our Future’s Pennsylvania chapter has tested innovative ways to track and measure digital data and use these analytics to optimize campaign success. They’ll show you how they did it!

 

Led by: Britt Bischoff

Organizers are Workers Too: Live Your Values, Manage Humanely and Win Campaigns

In the progressive movement, we talk a big game about workers’ rights and healthy, humane work environments. But let’s be honest. We often don’t live up to our own values, especially when we move into management. We’ll discuss ways to center your values and still be an effective manager. We will provide concrete, useful tips on how to lead and train organizers — without bullying them or burning them out. We can win and win the right way!

Led by: Josh Rodriguez, Carli Stevenson

Did You Get My Message? Changing Texting Compliance and Deliverability in 2021

The rules for texting change a lot. The carriers (TMobile, AT&T & Verizon) released some major updates in 2020 and 2021 that will affect how campaigns and nonprofit organizations use both broadcast and peer-to-peer texting. If your texting program is not in compliance (with 10DLC, Toll-Free, and Shortcode), your messages won’t get delivered. Is this a risk you’re willing to take? Find out what you need to know to make sure your messages are delivered to your target audiences.

Led by: Sandi Fox

Presenting for Impact (on Camera and IRL!)

How do you come across when you communicate—and how could you be more effective? We’ll introduce presentation practices and principles that will help with a range of scenarios: doing media interviews, shooting direct-to-camera video, presenting slide decks, knocking on doors, even working in the ubiquitous zoomscape. We’ll cover body language basics and some choice rhetorical techniques. More importantly, we’ll help you recognize subtle things that sway audience judgements—and help you present yourself authentically. You will never give a boring slide presentation or shoot a mortifying direct-to-camera video again.

Led by: Danielle Moodie, John Neffinger

Women Run Campaigns: Digital/Comms Advanced Training

Campaigns too often see women, trans, and non-binary folks in a role limited to taking assignments. It’s time to start seeing their potential for campaign leadership and setting strategy. If you are a woman/trans/non-binary, please join us for a deep dive into digital and communications strategy, including crisis comms and rapid response moments inspired by real world experience. This is an advanced level training—participants should be familiar with most of the fundamentals of communications and/or digital departments, such as how to write press releases/advisories, pitching, emails, list segmentation and social media strategy.

Led by: Biola Jeje, Ericka Persson

Millennial Freedom Fighters: Direct Action Training

Learn how to remain non-violent and powerful if/when arrest comes your way! Work with folks who’ve been through it: the GA state lawmaker who recently made national headlines when she was unlawfully arrested and removed from the Georgia Capitol; and the Black Futurists Group CEO, who was unlawfully detained in 2018 at the same Capitol. Every move and moment counts so attend this training to be READY.

Led by: Devin Barrington Ward, Rep. Park Cannon

Working Together: How c3s and c4s Can Build a Campaign Together

There are ways 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations can engage in advocacy and lobbying and work in coalition to achieve their policy goals, without endangering their tax status. We’ll show you how to maximize your advocacy, the kinds of advocacy activities 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4)s can engage in, and when a communication is considered lobbying. We’ve also got tips on how affiliated organizations (or those working in coalition) can share digital assets, campaign materials, and people-power when working together on a campaign.

Led by: Jen Powis, Natalie Roetzel

Survey Says! Better Storytelling and Deeper Engagement Through Surveys

Your members and supporters are powerful storytellers. They’re the ones who know first-hand how the issues you work on affect our communities–and those stories need to be heard. But how do you find them? Parents Together has developed an effective method of identifying and cultivating powerful spokespeople and storytellers through surveying our members, using free or inexpensive tools everyone has access to. Through these surveys, we’ve identified members who have met with members of Congress, been quoted by the New York Times and CNN, and recorded powerful videos. Learn how we do this—as well as how to use surveys to get important member feedback, understand your membership better, and drive earned media narratives.

Led by: PaKou Her, Raz Pollex

Avoid Building While Flying: Developing Your Personal Circle Before, During and After Your Campaign

During this session we will share a variety of approaches on how you can be proactive and empowered when it comes to networking, relationship building, and engaging your personal circle and running for office. We will discuss specific strategies on how to grow and expand beyond your current network, how to nurture and maintain authentic relationships, and how to leverage your personal network when it comes time to run any campaign.

Led by: Kristy Pagan

Political Graphic Design for Non-Designers

Uh oh, you’ve somehow become the designer for your org or campaign. You want to make this work, but you know that your designs show you’re an amateur. Want to learn how to step up your game? We’ll show you how your work can be more eye-catching — like the billboards you stop to look at, not the ones you simply pass by. We’ll discuss how humans pocess visual information and what motivates us to act. This training will cover the basics of photo-based design and help you analyze the many visual communications that surround you. This new understanding will help you to produce more polished work.

Led by: Candice Dayoan

Stop the Press Conference Facepalm!

Organizers, candidates, and org members are the faces and the voices of our movements, and keeping them focused can be a challenge. We’ll look at examples of mistakes I’ve seen (and made) and draw lessons for doing better in the future. You may be doing this communication yourself or coaching your colleagues. Either way, let’s all avoid missteps, so we to keep organizations and campaigns on track — and ready for swift damage control.

 

Led by: Ashleigh Strange

Strategic Advocacy: Congressional Advocacy to Build Power

If you want to engage your Members of Congress, influence policy, and take your advocacy efforts to the next level, you must have the necessary tools and knowledge to do so. Learn to track legislation and policy changes; understand the various advocacy vehicles and strategies (digital organizing, coalition building, and education tools, like Congressional briefings and hearing). This session is an intermediate hands-on Congressional Advocacy training and interactive simulation developed by Poligon Education Fund, a national nonpartisan organization that works towards increasing American Muslim participation on Capitol Hill.

Led by: Nadia Mozaffar, Johanna Mustafa

Creating Community through Livestreaming

COVID-19 taught us how to use our digital platforms to their fullest potential and connected people with their communities. Livestreaming became the new frontier. A portal offered by multiple platforms made it a prime community-building tool. Come develop your understanding with trustworthy organizers that have managed and orchestrated video streaming around housing caravans, childcare actions, and political education.

Led by: Monica Mahecha

Who, How & Why: Revitalizing your website for 2022

Revitalize your site and make it work for your mission with expert technologist Jennifer O’Reilly Mott of Do Big Things. She’ll coach you on what’s needed to ensure your site feels modern in this new era. Learn how you can ensure your site constantly evolves to stay ahead of the newest advances in fundraising, advocacy, GOTV, community engagement and more.

Led by: Jennifer O'Reilly Mott

Train the Trainer: Managing Effective Breakout Groups

Improve results and increase engagement with this secret to turning your training from passive to interactive. You’ll learn the what, why, how, and when of breakout groups. We’ll show you how to incorporate community based learning into your training, how to recognize how and when to make breakout groups impactful additions to the training, and how to facilitate an engaging breakout group.

Led by: Anna Carlson-Ziegler

Community Safety Reimagined: Tools for Talking About Defunding the Police

Police in the U.S. killed 7,666 people between 2013 and 2019, according to data compiled by research group Mapping Police Violence. Despite making up 13 percent of the country’s population, Black Americans are 2.5 times more likely than whites to be killed by police. For years, we’ve asked public administrators and elected officials to consider defunding the police and investing in alternative solutions for community safety. We’ll offer tools on how to engage with leaders on building a defunded budget that is community-centered. We’ll also discuss how to explain what defunding the police means, how to use heart-centered leadership strategies to build bridges between elected leaders and the community, and how to write a budget that shows what defunding the police could look like in practice.

Led by: Felicia Arriaga, Brandi Williams

People Before Polar Bears: Climate Messaging that Resonates in BIPOC Communities

Let’s talk about climate change in a way that humanizes frontline communities and the folks who are the most impacted. We’ll evaluate several national campaigns, discuss their messaging tactics and intended audiences. We’ll look at arctic campaigns and consider whether there are takeaways for BIPOC in urban preservation/environmental justice contexts. Together we’ll examine organizing standards for how to humanize people directly impacted by climate in our cities and counties. You’ll leave with a better understanding of what type of messaging resonates around climate in BIPOC communities.

Led by: Stephanie E. Bowman, Kim Sudderth

Twitter: Best Practices and Strategy

Twitter is an essential piece of most organizations’ online strategy. Your Twitter presence should be driven by strategic goals–or else you’ll end up in a giant time suck or just talking to yourself. This training will get you up to speed on Twitter best practices while helping you use the platform to meet your goals as an organizer or communicator. This training is for anyone who already has a Twitter account and has an agenda to make the world a better place. 

Led by: Elana Levin

How to TikTok

Don’t be afraid of TikTok—jump in! It’s a great platform for activists and candidates. We’ll explain the magic of the TikTok algorithm; the power of micro and macro TikTok influencers; finding your niche; best practices for content creation; community building; making the most of TikTok’s collaborative spirit; and overcoming the challenges of TikTok’s political ad ban.

Led by: Sandi Behrns, Jocelyn Mackurdy Keatts

GOP Racist Attack Ads Are Coming (Again): How to Track and Respond

Since 2017, Republicans at all levels have made attacks on immigrants a key message in their campaigns. Those efforts have backfired but immigration was the tip of the spear. These attacks not only continue, they’ve expanded their ugly messaging to include race and lgbtq issues. We’ll present solid and extensive research on the GOP ads and advice on what works in response.

Led by: Beatriz Lopez, Zachary Mueller

Breaking it Down: Translating Complex Policy Issues to Build Our Movement

Too much wonky policy talk will turn your audience off—and keep you from building the future you want. Sure, we need to care about the details but we also need to keep in mind that effective communication must be clear and streamlined. Join us for tips for breaking through the noise with a simpler message.

Led by: Andrea Sosa, Megan Weaver

Unions are the Future: Digital Labor Organizing 101

Union-supporting millennials have become the largest generation in the labor force. Thousands of low-wage gig and Amazon workers are rising up. President Biden voices support for unions! Now’s the time for labor to harness digital engagement to empower and unite these workers. There’s also an opportunity for organizers to strategize around Apple’s new privacy rules. During our session, we’ll use case studies and best practices to help you establish your union digital presence, grow union membership, organize more effectively, build efficient digital backend infrastructure, and ensure all workers have a bigger voice in the media. BONUS: We’ll set up an online chat for digital union organizers to join after Netroots.

Led by: Vanessa Butterworth, Caleb-Michael Files

It Couldn’t Happen Here: Harassment and Discrimination in Progressive Spaces

Remember the infamous spreadsheet? IYKYK. Sexual harassment and identity-based discrimination happen everywhere, even in progressive campaigns and organizations. What do you do when perpetrators consider themselves feminist, anti-racist, and/or allies? We’re not here to just spill the tea on our experiences but to envision creating safer workspaces. As people working for social change, we can start in our own organizations.

Led by: Lily Adams, Tony Choi

Broke to Woke Data: Using Data to Advance Your Organizing

For many activist organizations, the data is unreliable, incomplete — let’s call it broke. As a consequence, we spin our wheels because we don’t have the information we need to be effective; we rely on “vanity metrics” that don’t truly offer any insights about our work; we focus on quantity at the expense of quality. It’s not great. So let’s take your data from broke …to woke. With better data, organizers can understand what is working, improve skills and tactics over time, bring more resources to the campaign, make smarter strategic decisions, and lead more effective teams. We will break down key metrics you need to move members up your leadership ladder and build a data-informed campaign plan.

Led by: Katie Lyon-Hart

Building Progressive Infrastructure Through Powerful Partnerships

Effective partnerships are often the cornerstones of successful progressive infrastructure. Learn the secrets to build powerful, productive partnerships from the ground up. We’ll talk about how to understand qualities of an effective political partner, how to manage partnerships and relationships with consultants, and how to handle difficult conversations with consultants.

Led by: Brittny Baxter

From the Brain to the Ballot Box: Three Principles of Effective Messaging

Knowing how to talk to voters about critical issues like race, health care and health inequities, taxes, abortion, and immigration begins with an accurate understanding of how the mind and brain work. Join us for a messaging training that’s grounded in cutting edge psychology and neuroscience, as well as 15+ years of message testing on a range of issues. We’ll talk about how to avoid using linguistic constructions such as “the unemployed,” which turn real people into abstractions. To elicit empathy or concern, use “people who …” constructions. For example: “People who’ve lost their jobs through no fault of their own.” We’ll dig into the language of race talk about how many of the words, phrases, and narratives we use are playing into the hands of the right.

Led by: Drew Westen

How to Mobilize Millennials and Gen Z to Save Democracy

Young people in the state of Georgia, especially young Black people, saved democracy in ’20 and ’21. They turned out to vote in an extremely politicized environment, and in the midst of ongoing global pandemic and racial justice uprisings. How do you recruit, train, and deepen relationships with youth to move them from registered voters, to activists? This training will explore ways to actively recruit and develop young people and the role that relational organizing plays in reaching Millennials, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha.

Led by: Mishara Davis, Michelle Wilson

Building Your Path to Public Office

Your run for office requires strategic planning. We’ll help you navigate your local political landscape, grow and solidify your networks, help you to determine your goals and show you how to lay the groundwork to take on this challenge.

Led by: Ryanne Olsen, Melissa Watson Ward

Equitable Best Hiring Practices

Congrats, you get to hire someone, or even better, a whole bunch of someones! Finding the right person for the job isn’t as simple as posting a job to Indeed and waiting for the candidates to show up. You know that unconscious bias is an issue. You know that you need someone yesterday in the role. So, what does it look like to run a hiring process that centers equity, manages biases, and gives everyone a fair shot, so you can bring the right person or people onto your teams? I’ve been hiring people for years in the progressive movement, and I have a set of principles and practices that I have found work exceptionally well which I’d like to share so we all can hire better.

Led by: Kaytee Ray-Riek