Search Sessions

Our 2020 sessions have not yet been developed and selected. To get an idea of what types of sessions you can expect, browse our interactive agenda from 2019 below.

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Saturday Morning Yoga

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

Led by: Reggie Hubbard

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, Vanessa Maria Graber, 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, Ronnie Martin, Virginia Martin, Stephanie Singer, Bennie Smith

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

Sat 9am: Building the Bench: Racial Equity and Diversity at the State and Local Level

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

Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019

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

Sat 9am: Black People are Not a Monolith: Engaging and Organizing the Communities Within the Diaspora

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

Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019

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

Sat 9am: Why Abortion Isn't a Wedge Issue

Why Abortion Isn't a Wedge Issue

Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019

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

Hack the Algorithm: Facebook Strategies for Civic Actors

How do you best get your Facebook and Instagram content in front of the right people? What tools does Facebook have specifically for the politics, government, and advocacy world? How does the algorithm *really* work? What changes have been made in the last year? Come to Hack the Algorithm: Facebook Strategies for Civic Actors to learn best in class strategies for building and growing your movement.


Led by: Carrie Adams

Diversifying Our Lists: Acquiring "Hard-to-Reach" Communities with Smart Targeting and Relevant Creative

For our progressive movement to win, we know that marginalized communities—including people of color, queer and trans communities, working people, and women—must be centered, especially in our digital programs. Unfortunately, traditional strategies to grow organizational and campaign lists often end up acquiring the same homogenous groups of (white, cis/het, upper middle-class) “liberals” who don’t reflect the true diversity of our movements or leadership. In this training, we’ll show you how to design targeting and develop creative that helps you engage traditionally “hard-to-reach” communities through your digital advertising program.

This training is intended for those with at least a basic understanding of digital list-building acquisition strategies and platforms. Ideally, you have executed or developed copy or creative for acquisition programs in the past and are looking to further develop your skills.

Led by: Ky Albert, Gabrielle Cardoza

Give Them a Warm Welcome: How to Build a Welcome Series

All too often organizations and campaigns are so focused on getting people on their list that they forget about what happens once they’re there. Start off on the right foot with new subscribers by implementing a welcome series that will cultivate a long-lasting relationship with your audience from the get-go. This training will walk through the basics of welcome series strategy from content to targeting and everything in between to ensure your new subscribers feel, well, welcomed!

This training is for those with a basic understanding of email and marketing best-practices.

Led by: Kaitlyn Ryan

User Experience in Organizing: How Good UX Leads to Better Engagement, Retention and Impact

UX is under-resourced and under-utilized in organizing, but it is key to understanding what your users need, how they think, and how they behave—and incorporating that understanding into every aspect of your process. This session will focus on the value of user experience and how to employ UX in your work. Good UX leads to higher engagement, higher retention, more referrals, and a better experience overall for the people using your product/content/service. This training does not include graphic design, user interface training, branding/identity, or marketing.

No previous experience in UX, design or tech is required. This is a training for attendees with zero experience who want to do more UX in their organization.

Led by: Victoria Fontaine, Tillie McInnis

Taboo Topics: How to Message Contentious Issues to Latinx Voters

With Latinx voters becoming the largest non-white ethnic voting bloc in 2020, democratic presidential candidates will have to address some of the most pressing issues affecting the Latinx community in the United States. From the status of Puerto Rico to the crisis in Venezuela, reproductive health care, or the tension of communicating to Latinx voters in English, Spanish or Spanglish—these are some of the taboo topics that candidates will be forced to answer. Latinx voters are paying close attention to how candidates are reacting to the issues they care about. So having culturally competent messengers and messages in the early stages of the presidential campaigns is no longer a second thought, it is necessary for any winning campaign.

Ideal participants work in communications or messaging strategy, but this session will be helpful for all organizers trying to engage the Latinx community.

Led by: Johanny Adames, Luisana Perez Fernandez, Federico de Jesús

Congressional Advocacy 2.0: You've Met with Your Member. Now What?

Last year, we delivered a training teaching attendees how to talk to their Member of Congress in person, through a town hall, and via phone calls on pressing issues. But what happens afterward? In this training, you’ll learn the nuts and bolts of how to track legislation and Congressional votes (i.e. what is cloture?) as well as how to take your advocacy to the next level through strategies such as media efforts, coalition building, and non-legislative tools including Congressional briefings and hearings.

This is an intermediate training for those with no advocacy background and those who are more experienced.

Led by: Aksa Asgher, Nadia Mozaffar

Equity in Tech: Building Leadership of Women and People of Color

In advance of the 2020 elections, many of us are having conversations about how to ensure that our movement leaders reflect our values of equity and inclusion. That needs to be true in tech-related roles as well, including digital organizing, data, analytics and coding. But this kind of shift doesn’t happen overnight. We’re here to share insights and practices honed over years of training in movement technology that are essential to anyone who has been talking about equity and diversity on campaigns and in organizations, but has struggled to make that value a reality when it comes to tech-related roles.

This training is intended for a wide audience—no prior experience is required.

Led by: Jane Booth-Tobin, Arianna Trujillo-Wesler

Youth Leadership in Progressive Movements

This caucus will generate dialogue between young people involved in progressive movements throughout the country. We hope to build understanding and share strategies on social justice organizing. It is important for youth leaders to learn about not only one another’s struggles but their wins as well. We hope young people walk out of the caucus feeling empowered, energized and excited to envision the many ways each group can support each other.

Led by: Saudia Durrant, Stormy Kelsey

Carolinas Caucus

NC-SC caucus: Connect with Carolina neighbors post-SCOTUS rulings. Senate seats and more are contested in 2020.

Led by: Tom Sullivan

Pacific Northwest Caucus

We’ll be talking about how the Left Coast is resisting Trump, recap the legislative sessions in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, and Montana; discuss what happened to Oregon’s cap and invest bill, analyze right wing measures coming to Washington State’s 2019 ballot, and preview next year’s federal and state elections in all five states.


Led by: Andrew Villeneuve

Freedom to Prosper Coffee Break

You’re invited to join Freedom to Prosper, the movement to cancel student debt, for FREE coffee and pastries at 10am on Saturday morning before the keynote address. At breakfast there will be more information about our campaign, followed by remarks by economist Stephanie Kelton. And later, join us at 1pm for a panel with Rep. Ilhan Omar, Stephanie Kelton, Dr. Darrick Hamilton, and Richard Eskow, on cancelling student debt.

Making Herstory: The Women who are Shifting the Balance of Power in Washington

Sat 10:15am: Keynote Netroots Nation 2019

Saturday Morning Keynote Netroots Nation 2019

Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019

Women, and particularly women of color, are the new face of power in the United States. The most diverse class of lawmakers in history was sworn into Congress in January, and they’ve been shaking things up in Washington ever since. Join us for a panel conversation with some of the women who are making history—Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Deb Haaland and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. We’ll discuss what work and life has been like for them in their first few months, and talk about how progressives can support them as they continue pushing forward progressive policies in the coming months. She the People founder Aimee Allison will moderate. You’ll also hear from Rep. Barbara Lee, PA Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell and PA Rep. Summer Lee.

Led by: Aimee Allison

Panelists: Rep. Deb Haaland, PA. Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell, Rep. Barbara Lee, Summer Lee, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Rashida Tlaib


Join other attendees of color who also identify as lesbian, gay, bi, pan, fluid, intersex, two-spirit, queer and trans. This is a space where all identities we hold within are honored. Join us for conversation and community. Hosted by Faith Cheltenham (@thefayth) of BiNet USA, a proudly Black bi trans and intersex woman.

Led by: Faith Cheltenham

Get Up To Speed On The Local Front

Netroots Nation has committed to ramping up its local outreach this year, and Lenapehoking (so-called Philadelphia) has proven to be an exciting place do it! Philly is a city packed with activists and organizers doing amazing work. We’ve created an opportunity for you to meet many of these organizations during a Local Organizers Speed Dating lunch event. Arrive Saturday at 11:45am in Room 122B to grab snacks and spend the hour from noon to 1 p.m. talking with these orgs. Learn a bit of what activists are doing in this part of Lenapehoking and find out how you can learn from and support their work!

Democratic Data: How We Are Bringing It All Together

A lot has been made of the innovation and investments our Republican opponents have made in their data and technology systems, but one thing is clear: in order to stay competitive in a data world that has long been Democrats’ competitive advantage, we needed to evolve the way our progressive data ecosystem was structured. After more than a year of consultation with hard side partners—including state parties and sister committees—the DNC has entered into a partnership with the Democratic Data Exchange to allow real-time data sharing with partners around the political ecosystem. This is a game-changer for our entire progressive universe. Voter contact, digital data, media expenditures, disposition scores, and any number of other data sets can now be shared near-instantaneously. From IEs, labor unions, SuperPACs, and newly formed progressive groups, to electoral campaigns, the committees that drive national investment, and the state parties that are the infrastructure after a cycle has passed: everyone can all benefit from DDX, so come learn how.

This lunch and learn is presented by the DNC.

Saturday Meditation

Mindfulness meditation to calm stress
Writer and meditation teacher Jeremy Mohler will lead a guided meditation to cultivate mindfulness, the ability to pay attention in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Neuroscientific research has shown that meditation can lower stress and anxiety, among other benefits. Mindfulness strengthens our ability to connect deeply with others as we fight for a more progressive and just society. Meditation will be followed by a brief Q&A about the practice. No experience or equipment necessary. Beginner’s more than welcome.

Led by: Jeremy Mohler

Screening: “Time for Ilhan”

On November 8, 2016, a young, hijab-wearing mother-of-three named Ilhan Omar made history, becoming the first Somali Muslim woman to be elected to state office in America. She was hailed by the New York Times as, “one of the bright lights in the post-election darkness,” and this film intimately chronicles her hard-fought campaign for State Representative in Minnesota’s Senate District 60B, home to the nation’s largest Somali community. A fresh take on the old story of the American Dream, “Time for Ilhan” offers an inspiring, stereotype-busting portrait of a rising political star as she begins a bold and powerful political career. With special guests Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Director Norah Shapiro.

Led by: Rep. Ilhan Omar, Norah Shapiro

Operation Save Abortion: Morning News Dump at Netroots

Because too many people are still shocked about the avalanche of anti-abortion detritus snowballing across America (SPOILER ALERT: It ain’t just GA and AL), Lizz Winstead and her crew from Abortion Access Front (formerly Lady Parts Justice League) have created Operation Save Abortion, the AAF daily livestream recap of all the daily assaults on reproductive rights you’re not hearing in the mainstream media. Or any media. Or anywhere. AAF will be doing THREE supersized episodes live at Netroots! Each day, Lizz and other abortion rights activists will cover the latest affronts to our rights and tell us what we can do to fight back.

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

Sat 1pm: State Legislatures: The Most Important Elections We're Not Talking About

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

Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019

State legislatures determine who can vote and who controls Congress for the next decade. In fact, the Republican state legislative victories of 2010 set the stage for today’s politics. State houses also impact millions of lives: healthcare, wages, climate, mass incarceration and more. Right-wing special interests have been focusing on state houses for decades. It’s time to catch up. Now more than ever, attention and resources should be directed to state legislatures. Not because they will help us win the White House and in Congress (though they will), but because they are the key to changing the direction of the entire country.

Led by: Daniel Squadron

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

Democracy Rising: 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, Rachel Gilmer

After Cash Bail

Sat 1pm: After Cash Bail

After Cash Bail

Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019

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

Climate Caucus

Network around a Green New Deal and gear up for the climate election of our lifetimes.

Led by: RL Miller

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, Ryan Thompson, Loryn Wilson Carter

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.

Led by: Anthony Smith

Panelists: Pam Africa, Priscilla Bell, Sharron Cooks, Cheri Honkala, Korryn Moody

Quiet Space for Over Stimulated

A closed space for people of color to take a break.

Led by: YahNé Ndgo

You Gotta Organize to Mobilize: How to Do Digital for a Mass Mobilization or Direct Action

Mass mobilization and direct action have long helped movements win, but the way we build and communicate to our base has changed. Digital tools have democratized the way we tell stories and opened up opportunities for more personalized outreach and recruitment to help shift the balance of power in our favor. With step-by-step handouts and case studies from the People’s Climate March in NYC and APTP’s 96 hours of direct action in Oakland, this panel will prescribe how to easily create supporter engagement journies across channels before, during, and after mobilization that will help you get the numbers to win AND change hearts and minds.

This training is for anyone who is beginning to think about organizing and mobilizing online and for those who run events and want to engage new supporters.

Led by: Vanessa Tsimoyianis-Butterworth

Black Data in Digital Organizing

This panel will offer suggestions about metric driven campaigns to better help organizers grasp the historical and contemporary ways that data can exploit black, indigenous and low-income communities. Data can reduce these communities to their most granular aspects. But organizers can push back by advocating for campaigns that are responsible and accountable with data collection and management.

Some organizing experience is preferred but not required. Data specialists/managers are encouraged to attend.

Led by: Ishmael Bishop

#womensmarch, #metoo, #youknowme (Women's Caucus)

Social media gave women the courage to speak up, report abuse, march & take down the powerful elite.  What started as a Facebook event ballooned into the largest protest in human history, giving women a glimpse into the power they wield. Next came #MeToo and #TimesUp in which women shared their personal stories of sexual abuse and misconduct, taking out powerful men across politics, entertainment and business. Now, the #YouKnowMe is the latest phase of women coming together to share their most personal stories, but in a cathartic way intended to stand up for women’s reproductive freedoms. Join us to discuss how social media in the hands of women has literally changed our society—and hear about what this next chapter of change might look like.

Led by: Rachel Carmona, Emiliana Guereca

Next Level Content Creation and Optimization

It’s the biggest unrecognized opportunity on every website. While most website managers, brand managers, and content strategists spin their wheels every month on something new, they overlook what their existing content tells them. This session is equal parts art and science. We’ll improve your search rankings, attract more of your target audiences, and convert a higher percentage of them by finding the content that inspires visitors to take action.

This training is best suited for those with experience in website management, content creation, and digital analytics.

Led by: Eric Pratum

Websites 101! Tips and Trends

If your campaign or non-profit is thinking about building or rebuilding a website this year, it’s tough to know what will deliver results, and what will be the next <blink>. DON’T spend an arm and a leg, DON’T take all year for a mediocre site design, DON’T stress yourself out, DO deliver a great website that will get the job done. Come to this session and learn the latest trends for 2019 and the future including mobile-first, responsive design, flat design, parallax, scrolling versus non and more. We’ll share tips on when it makes sense to do it in-house versus hire out, and we’ll go over best practices to make sure your site stays current and relevant.

This is a beginner-level training.

Led by: Ira Horowitz, Isaac Salazar

The Race-Class Narrative We Need: Putting it to Work

The labor movement has fought for years to win justice for all working people by raising wages and improving families’ lives. It’s clear that we cannot achieve economic justice without racial justice. SEIU’s Racial Justice Center joined the Race-Class Narrative Project to find tested messages that rebut the right’s faux populism and white nationalism with a new story. This research shows that an integrated Race-Class Narrative outperforms a colorblind economic approach and beats the opposition’s divisive frames. Join us as we share how the research was implemented and practice strategies to help you connect race and class to win on the issues that matter to working people of all races.

The intended audience includes campaign leads and staff, as well as communicators and communication leads.

Led by: Josh Keller, Tinselyn Simms

The Power of Persona: Shape Your Story Into a Powerful Digital Presence

Join us for a fun, interactive session that will provide ideas for how your personal story is connected to the causes you care about, directions to help you navigate the online universe, and tools to understand the different audiences and pick the media with the highest potential. Whether you want to fundraise for a campaign, get people to turn out to an event, or encourage allies to take action, our goal is to help you develop concrete skills to shape your personal narratives and the stories familiar to you in ways that elevate progressive values and support good causes.

If you work in the social justice space, are familiar with the basics of social media, and are eager to step up your online game to support progressive causes, this training is for you!

Led by: Alessandra "Alex" Perotti, Rafael Shimunov

Muslim, Arab, South Asian (MASA) Caucus

This open caucus is intended to provide space where members of Muslim, Arab, South Asian, Sikh and Middle Eastern (MASA) communities and allies can discuss how the progressive movement can support the fight against bigotry and attacks on the civil and human rights of Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim. Come connect with like-minded and affiliated folks. We’ll be engaging in conversation around upcoming issues for the MASA community and how we can work together to improve our movement and our country.

Led by: Firdaus Arastu, Ghazala Salam

Conflict Mapping Tools for Analysis and Strategic Engagement

Conflict is universally present in interpersonal, organizational, intercommunal and structural settings. Some conflicts are easy to understand, while others seem overwhelmingly complex. In either case, conflict mapping is a versatile tool that can increase understanding of a given setting. This training will introduce various conflict mapping models that you can apply in a wide variety of settings, providing insight into the most effective and impactful areas for engagement and action. Through mapping a conflict setting, participants will gain strategic perspective into a conflict by examining actors, relationships and directions of influence in a conflict and how these insights can inform participants’ work.

This training is designed for activists and organizers of all skill levels.

Led by: Sophie Bouwsma, Nadia Hassan

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, Dominic Speach

Freeing Us From the Student Debt Trap

Sat 1pm: Freeing Us From the Student Debt Trap

Freeing Us From the Student Debt Trap

Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019

This panel will explore the growing burden of student debt and student debt cancellation as a necessary counterpart to the tuition-free college movement. For decades, this country invested in young people—and in its future—by providing a low-cost or tuition-free college education. This investment was slashed. Instead, we trapped people into borrowing for their own education. Now 44 million people are imprisoned by deb that holds us all back, whether we attended college or not. The panel will feature a team of experts and lawmakers who will examine the student debt crisis, explore policy options, and make the moral case for complete student debt cancellation.

Led by: Rep. Ilhan Omar

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

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

Sat 2:15pm: A Vision for Progressive Foreign Policy in the 2020 Elections and Beyond

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

Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019

The U.S. is at a pivotal point regarding how the country sees itself and relates to other countries on the global stage. Trump’s policies have invigorated social justice movements committed to resisting oppression at home and building solidarity with marginalized peoples’ abroad. This panel seeks to articulate a foreign policy vision that progressives can mobilize behind. The panel will be oriented around three core commitments of a progressive foreign policy framework: principled anti-interventionism, ending endless war, and solidarity with global anti-racist and anti-authoritarian movements. The panelists will discuss how grassroots organizing, policymaking, legislation and legal advocacy can work in tandem to create this vision.

Led by: Kate Kizer

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

Sat 2:15pm: The Double Down: Discussions of Black and Disability Identity

The Double Down: Discussions of Black and Disability Identity

Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019

There is a unique history between the disability and African American Community. Issues related to slavery, Jim Crow, and the modern prison industrial complex are linked with institutionalization, asylums, seclusion and restraint and exploitation from the medical community. Unfortunately these shared issues are rarely discussed in clear relief in either community. This panel will explore the unique issues that lie at the intersection of race and disability with a specific emphasis on the African American disability experience. The panel will discuss historical connections between the communities, as well as explore current issues of race and disability that need to be addressed as a whole by each group.

Led by: Patrick Cokley

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

Immigration Caucus

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, Terrence Wiggins

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: Francys Johnson

Panelists: Yawna Allen, Jeremy Blake, Paolo Cremidis, Ruby Elbasha, Susan Kroger

Basic Income Caucus

Steven Shafarman is a long-time member of the Basic Income Earth Network, BIEN, and the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network, USBIG. His new book on basic income will be published this fall by RealClearBooks. He lives in Washington DC.

Led by: Steven Shafarman

Coming Together with Survivors of Police Attacks

A closed space for communities of color to come together and support surviviors

You’re Better than Boosted Posts: Digital Ads 101

What if I told you that boosted posts only reach 16% of Facebook users? Many campaigns, causes and organizations are constantly looking for ways to reach more voters online through paid channels. For many, their first step is boosting posts and it’s easy to see why. For $20, you can see thousands of impressions and reach tens of thousands of people. But, boosted posts are best used as a small part of a much larger social media advertising strategy that, with the right knowhow, will help your campaign be more strategic, reach more voters, and turn more people out to vote. Move beyond the boosted post with this session.

This training is ideal for first-time candidates, new campaign staffers, as well as advocates, activists and grassroots organizers.

Led by: Emily Gittleman, Salim Zymet

All the Facebook News You Should Use

Love it, like it or hate it, the need to use Facebook in our organizing work isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. From pages to groups to advertising, there are constant changes which means we need to adjust our strategies in order to maximize our impact on Facebook. Join us for this survey of the big changes over the last year and some strategy tips for how to make Facebook work for you.

This is an intermediate-level training.

Led by: Beth Becker

Building Powerful Digital Communities: Inspiring Action and Long-Term Engagement

Powerful online communities are key to successful field and digital organizing. With online communities, volunteer fervor does not disappear after a single election or fundraising cycle. Instead, these organized networks serve as structures for long-term progressive power-building. Through relational organizing, these communities expand supporter networks and activate hard to reach supporters, increasing democratic participation – especially amongst young people and communities of color. Our session gives seasoned and first-time field organizers clear takeaways on building long-term relationships with supporters, creating action-producing content, and using tracked data to refine communication and facilitate rapid message experimentation.

This session is valuable for those interested in forming digital communities and using relational organizing to better engage volunteers. Both seasoned and first-time field organizers will learn clear takeaways on how they can activate their supporters online and keep those supporters engaged.

Led by: Shola Farber, Ananya Panda

Don’t Fear the Black Activist: How to Communicate without Anti-Blackness

Join Faith Cheltenham, @thefayth, in learning to communicate your true intent as white accomplices interested in providing relevant support for Black people. This training combine elements of stand-up comedy, large action role playing and decades of Black advocacy experience into a training designed to reduce and eliminate anti-Blackness from Netroots Nation! All Of Us in one room, invested in one idea … teaching YOU how to shut it down, so we don’t always have to.

This training is intended for ALL white people, people of color, Black people, and individuals interested in increasing the positive experiences of Black people at this conference, in this country, and in this world. We welcome attendees of all backgrounds, disciplines and skill levels—anti-Blackness exists at every level.



Led by: Faith Cheltenham

Showcase: "Let My People Go" and "Calling for Change: Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline"

Film showcases present several films in one session by showing multiple short films or clips, then inviting a presenter from each film to participate in a moderated discussion. “Let My People Go” is a 30-minute documentary detailing a David and Goliath battle fought by the people of South Dakota against the predatory lending industry. It follows the 2016 ballot measure campaign to cap interest at 36%, which had been up to 574%—all in a red state, led by co-chairs on opposing political sides. Interviews include First Nations community development lenders and their clients who had gotten caught up in payday lending, as well as a charismatic nun who helped lead the campaign. In the short documentary “Calling for Change: Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline,” Philly youth explore the impact of the school to prison pipeline and the local organizing fighting to disrupt it. What do you do when your school feels like a prison?

Led by: Nuala Cabral, Onna LeBeau

LGBTQ Caucus

Join us for the LGBTQ Caucus. Meet fellow LGBTQ leaders and activists from across the progressive spectrum. Part meet & greet, part brainstorming, this gathering will connect Netroots Nation attendees interested in the LGBTQ movement and and activists supportive of LGBTQ causes.

Led by: Zack Ford, Mike Rogers, Daniel Villarreal

Open Canvassing: Tech and Techniques Developed During Ocasio 2018

Without corporate money, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign relied on people power and grassroots energy. To harness that energy as effectively as possible, we invented a mobile app called Reach. By giving volunteers the ability to capture valuable data from every voter interaction (no matter when or where it happened), this tool enabled new options of canvassing that simply weren’t possible before. This session will explore those new tactics and methods. We’ll work through the mechanics of the tools and the ideas behind the broader strategies, drawing lessons from two dozen campaigns which have been implementing them so you can apply them to your next field program and truly meet voters where they are.

This session is intended for campaign managers, directors and organizers for both issue-based and electoral campaigns.

Led by: Jake DeGroot, Leo Sussan

We Paved the Road: A Frontline Perspective on the Green New Deal Moment

The concept of a Green New Deal has become a salient variable of the climate movement’s lexicon. Yet many still are unaware of the roots of this moment, the perspectives of frontline communities or the solutions including Just Transition, Energy Democracy and Food Sovereignty that have been exercised for decades. It will take a principled and radical vision, along with an ecosystem of approaches, an understanding of the plurality of roles, and alignment of powerful tactics to tackle the environmental and social challenges of our time. This means centering frontline and marginalized communities in an effort to avoid mistakes of the past associated with Waxman/Markey. How we approach and democratize political engagement from now and beyond 2020 will be a reflection of grassroots organizing and can present either incredible opportunities for profound change or reproduce long standing inequities and power dynamics in our movement that ultimately, will not address the flaws in our political system.

Led by: Anthony Rogers-Wright

Panelists: Zakia Elliott, Anthony Giancantarino, Elizabeth Yeampierre

We Need You Alive for the Win: Creating Healthy Campaign Environments

Whether it’s an election campaign or a longer-term issue campaign, dedicated campaign staff and volunteers put in long hours and sometimes practically live at campaign headquarters. It’s easy to fall into the fast food trap, leading to poor nutrition, low energy, sick staff and resultant absenteeism, lower productivity and avoidable mistakes. This training will provide a model for establishing healthy campaign environments, including the rationale, sample materials, checklists and templates for how candidates, campaign managers and staff/volunteers can easily and affordably create an environment which elevates an ethic of self-care by making it easy to stock what’s needed to prepare quick and easy healthy meals and snacks.

This training is open to everyone.

Led by: Abraham J. Bonowitz, Marjorie Roswell

Get Tested: How to Run an Optimized Email Program

Every email list is a special unicorn—so how do you know what messaging motivates your supporters? What subject lines grab their attention? How do you write the most engaging copy? And are graphic emails really all that? The answers to all of those questions—and more—are an email test away. In this session, attendees will learn the basics of email writing and testing, including crafting copy and testing its effectiveness, what makes an effective email test, what tools they need to start testing, best practices, how to analyze the results of a test, and how to apply those lessons to future emails.

This training is for those who may be relatively new to email but want to improve their game and launch an effective testing program.


Led by: Malinda Frevert, Damien Shirley

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)

Sat 2:15pm: An Early, Inclusive and Targeted Ground Operation: How the Democratic Party is Building for 2019, 2020 and Beyond

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

Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019

In 2016, primary campaigns spent 10 times more time in the first four “early states” than the 10 biggest general election battlegrounds, and that’s likely to happen again this cycle. With limited time to pivot from the primary and ramp up for the general election, our eventual Democratic nominee will need the tools and resources to grow quickly and effectively. Join us to discuss what we learned from 2016 and how the DNC, state parties, and coordinated side groups are applying that to our general election readiness efforts in 2019-2020. This panel is sponsored by the DNC.

Led by: Cheyenne Davis

Panelists: Mansoor Abdul Khadir

Daily Kos/Netroots Nation Presidential Candidate Forum

Sat 3:30pm: Keynote Netroots Nation 2019

Saturday Afternoon Keynote Netroots Nation 2019

Posted by Netroots Nation on Saturday, July 13, 2019

This is your chance to hear from some of the 2020 Democratic primary candidates about some of the most important and pressing issues we face, from poverty and economic opportunity to criminal justice and abortion access. Netroots Nation Board of Directors Chair Cheryl Contee and Markos Moulitsas, founder and publisher of Daily Kos, will moderate. Before the Forum begins, you’ll hear from Philadelphia City Councilmember Helen Gym and Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Led by: Cheryl Contee, Markos Moulitsas

Panelists: Senator Sherrod Brown, Julián Castro, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Helen Gym, Gov. Jay Inslee, Elizabeth Warren