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Netroots Nation events will be held at the America’s Center Convention Complex in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. If you’re new to Netroots Nation, you can get a sense of what the event looks like by checking out our schedule overview. Below you can view panels, training sessions, keynotes and other content as sessions and speakers are confirmed.

Highlights for Netroots Nation 2016 include:

  • 90 panels and 45+ hands-on training sessions
  • Local activism
  • A progressive film Screening Series
  • Annual events including our pub quiz, comedy show and candidate reception and much more to be announced!

Order by:

How to Make Your Content Go Viral (Maybe)

Do you have a boss telling you to make everything go viral? It’s ok. This is a safe space. Upworthy returns to explain what can actually (maybe) make your content perform well (if you are lucky and strategic). We’ll share what we’ve learned about telling good stories in all forms, from Facebook videos to articles on your site. We’ll explain to your boss that if they ask you to make something go viral, they’re gonna have to send you to Hogwarts first because you aren’t magic. But most importantly, we’ll explain to your boss why telling great stories that build empathy are necessary to the rest of your organizing.

This training is ideal for those who want to learn more about strategic ways to improve your online presence, from Facebook video optimization to storytelling techniques to make challenging content accessible. And for folks who want to know how Facebook actually works. Bosses totally welcome.

Trainers: Adam Mordecai

Best Practices in Digital Analytics: Using Website and Social Media Testing to Optimize for Virality

In recent years, using A/B testing to drive more actions from email campaigns has become a common best practice among digital campaigners. But most people haven’t yet cracked the nut on how to use A/B testing to increase a campaign’s virality and reach a wider audience beyond their existing email list. In this training, we’ll explain what virality actually is, show you how you can use website and social media A/B testing to increase it and go over real examples of how organizations have done this. We’ll conclude with an exercise where you’ll have a chance to optimize your own simulated campaign and make it go viral.

Attendees should have some experience with digital campaigning and should be familiar with the concept of A/B testing.

Trainers: Angelica Morales, Jim Pugh

6 Legal Rules for Online Advocacy that Everyone Needs to Know in an Election Year

Can a c3 lose its tax status over a careless tweet? What happens when a politician “likes” your organization’s Facebook page? Social media can help an organization shape public policy, but it comes with its own set of rules and regulations. Many nonprofits are hesitant about engaging in online advocacy, but knowing these rules can strengthen your work! Join us for a training that will clarify the rules for using social media, blogs and email as part of your advocacy toolkit. Trainers will give concrete examples and invite the audience to discuss hypothetical situations to develop a deeper understanding of the rules that apply to online advocacy.

This training will provide the basics for those new to the c(3) world but is also a good refresher for more experienced organizers.

Trainers: Isaiah Castilla

The Trump Effect: Techniques to Combat Prejudice in the Age of Islamophobia

How can you possibly connect with an audience that sees your skin color or your head scarf and thinks “terrorist”? How can you be an effective ally for Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities? With SCIENCE! This training will explore how the brain filters messages to reinforce or combat previous stereotypes, describe social psych techniques to diffuse bias and provide concrete examples of how to implement these techniques. Training includes examples from successful media campaigns to counter bias against Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim (Arab, Sikh, South Asian), reflecting the socio-political climate of the past year.

This training is meant for activists and advocates in the field. Training level is beginner to intermediate.

Trainers: Zainab Chaudary

Master Class: Nationbuilder

The Master Class program is focused on the specific tools that organizers use every day, and helping intermediate users become efficient, effective power users. Feel free to bring tool-specific questions to the session.

This master class will focus on the tactics for smart rapid response campaigning on NationBuilder. We’ll also cover some important new features that are particularly relevant for progressive campaigners looking to collaborate, build coalitions, and win together. We’ll focus on four pillars of smart rapid response: aying the groundwork (translating your ladder of engagement into paths and goals), identifying your audience and asks (smart targeting through advanced filtering), creating and launching campaign assets including action pages, and working in coalition (leveraging “tag sharing” for shared growth, mutual data enrichment, and building power.)

Trainers: Emily Schwartz, Alex Stevens

Building Power through Your Email List

Join us for a session on how to use email to increase your organization’s activism, fundraising, and web traffic reach. This session is for those with an existing email program that are looking to up their game.

Trainers: Chris Bowers

Changing the World One Story at a Time

Last year, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law an aid-in-dying bill that had been defeated six times before. This was in large part thanks to 29 year old Brittany Maynard, a terminally ill woman who used her last days to advocate for the cause. Thanks to Brittany and her husband Dan Diaz, we were able to recruit and train others to use the power of their experience to create dialogue and understanding on an issue as complex, divisive and difficult to broach as death and dying. Join us for a look at lessons learned in recruiting, training and maintaining the best storytellers and the most effective ways to maximize their impact in all aspects of a grassroots campaign.

This training is geared toward the more seasoned staffer who has some experience working with storytellers and can benefit from lessons learned. Ideal for those who have the capacity to coordinate between members of communications, fundraising and outreach staffs.

Trainers: Dan Diaz, CHRISTAL SMITH

Making it Rain: Donor Research and Baller Asks

Improving your fundraising is critical, whether you’re running a small grassroots campaign or running for office. Our exercise-based curriculum will help you learn hands-on how to research donors and ask for money more effectively. And when progressives can raise more grassroots dollars, we win more. It’s that simple. This training received rave reviews at Netroots Nation last year, and we’re excited to offer it again!

This training is ideal for beginners.

Trainers: Abigail Collazo

Master Class: Salsa

The Master Class program is focused on the specific tools that organizers use every day, and helping intermediate users become efficient, effective power users. Feel free to bring tool-specific questions to the session.

Join this advanced Salsa session and learn how to level up your next campaign with our powerful advocacy and email tools, featuring tips and tricks for power users. Stick around for a sneak peek of our new, easy-to-use DIY tools that will turn even the most casual of users into an all-star campaigner.

Trainers: Meghan Apfelbaum

Engage Young People with Your Campaign: Best Practices and Test-Driven Lessons from the Alliance for Climate Education and ShareProgress

Since 2008, the Alliance for Climate Education has engaged more than 2 million young people. ACE recently launched a digital youth climate action campaign powered by a social automation platform: the Get Loud Challenge. Since launch, more than 130,000 young people from all 50 states have signed up, growing their mobile subscriber list by more than 60 percent, and tracked 265,000 new actions. ACE worked with ShareProgress to run a series of tests to find effective ways of using social media advertising and interactive web experiences to engage young people on climate change. Join us to learn best practices for working with younger audiences, both online and offline, and understand how to use testing with paid social to evaluate messaging and tactics.

This training is intended for anyone familiar with digital campaigning and interested in engaging young people.

Trainers: Sandhya Anantharaman

There's Only Me in Team: How to Conquer Social Media as a Staff of One

In many organizations, social media work is handed over to just one person—and is usually just one of many responsibilities that staffer has. But like the name suggests, strategic social media is best practiced with others, as you share ideas, lessons learned and each other’s content. In this training, we’ll give you the tools to manage day-to-day and long-term social media work as a team of one, while also introducing you to communities and resources that are already in place to support your digital efforts.

This training is for beginning to intermediate level digital or communications staffers, especially those at smaller organizations with limited budgets and resources.

Trainers: Beth Becker, Hilary Woodward

Victory from Day 1: Ensuring a Successful Launch for Your Online Campaign

You only have one chance to make the most of one of the biggest moments of your online campaign. A successful launch offers an opportunity for huge gains—and failure to take full advantage of the moment can set the tone for the rest of your campaign. In this workshop, we’ll break down the components to a successful launch: how to set up tech infrastructure, coordinate partners, run ads, get a splash page or a website live and plan an email calendar. Join us and you’ll be set up for victory from Day 1.

This training is for all skill levels. Participants should attend with a goal of understanding the machinery behind a successful launch.

Trainers: Raffi Appel, Kirin Jessel

Saving Millions with Earned Media: How to Organize Kick-Ass Press Events and Get Your Campaign Covered

Back by popular demand! Earned media can be one of the most important (free) resources on your campaign, especially if you are strapped for cash. Our exercise-based curriculum will help you learn hands-on how to plan and execute a great press event—and generate thousands of dollars in media for your campaign.

This training is good for beginners and more advanced participants. We’ll cover the basics and go more in-depth with case studies.

Trainers: Marissa Barrow, Kait Sweeney

Action Network 101: a training for digital organizers (sponsored training)

The Action Network is an easy-to-use, full-featured toolset for digital organizing. In this training, you’ll get an overview of the Action Network’s top features and an opportunity to ask questions about how you can use Action Network to organize your best online campaigns. This session is ideal for folks who are interested in exploring new tools to run their digital programs and existing partners that are new to Action Network. To learn more about our toolset before the session, visit www.actionnetwork.org/toolset.

This training is sponsored by Action Network.

Trainers: Misha Cornelius

Moving Beyond White Guilt: How to Talk to Whites About Systemic Racism [Voter Pick]

You might hear white members of your organization say things like, “I don’t see race” or “We should focus on economic inequality; that will take care of everyone.” Knowing how to respond to such comments—especially if people are scared, defensive or paralyzed by guilt—can be a challenge. The burden to end systemic racism cannot be left only to people of color. With an interactive mix of real-world tools, some history and theory, and a little role-play, this practical training will provide participants with tools and strategies for better understanding systemic racism. In order to build diverse coalitions and truly embrace intersectionality, white people must confront white supremacy. So let’s get to work!

This training is appropriate for anyone who wants to learn and discuss strategies for talking to white people about dismantling white supremacy.

Trainers: Karen Gaffney

The #1 Way to Engage Your People

Engagement isn’t a trend; it’s how we win. The problem is that most content strategies with engagement in mind are based on the idea of posting or emailing from a pre-determined timeline, which is just one way to engage people. We’ll show you a powerful new tactic to dramatically increase engagement with this one idea—responding to people as they talk about your campaign on social media. Know what people are saying on social media and who is influential, so you’re able to boost engagement and drive action when people are most excited about your campaign. We’ll walk you through social listening and offer game-changing strategies for multi-channel engagement.

This training is ideal for organizers who are already using social media but want to increase engagement.

Trainers: Beth Becker, Rosalyn Lemieux

Using SEO for Social Change, Profit and Fame

SEO is straight up magical. It’s free, easy, and can drive millions of visitors to your website. I’ll show you how I used SEO to secure top Google placement for almost any search related to voting, driving millions of visitors to LongDistanceVoter.org. We’ll share our case study on how LDV registered 100,000 voters in 2012 on just $5000. During the training, you’ll learn five things you can immediately do to your website to improve your search engine ranking and reach more visitors without spending any more money.

This is an intermediate to advanced level training for people who love the internet, love user-generated content, know HTML and have administrative access to at least one website. Bring your laptop and your admin password so you can get under the hood of your website and start making changes.

Trainers: Debra Cleaver

Flip the Script: More Money, More Power

You’re an organizer, a policy advocate, a culture-shifter. You make change happen. Yet far too often, you or your allies struggle to keep the lights on, buy supplies and get paid. We all know this work takes money. Yet far too many funders are stuck in outdated modes of philanthropy—from misinformed reluctance to fund social justice to outdated ideas of what it means to be a good funding partner. In this training, we’ll debunk all those grantmaking excuses about funding advocacy and organizing, give you tools to advocate for the concrete impact of your work, and share platforms to push back on that funder-grantee power dynamic, holding philanthropy accountable to live up to its potential.

This training is geared toward nonprofits, activists, community leaders and funders who want to see a philanthropic sector that is a stronger ally to movements for social justice. Attendees don’t need to have advanced legal knowledge or an intimate understanding of philanthropy.

Trainers: Isaiah Castilla, Yna Moore

Master Class: Facebook Ads

The Master Class program is focused on the specific tools that organizers use every day, and helping intermediate users become efficient, effective power users. Feel free to bring tool-specific questions to the session.

You’ve boosted a post here or there, dabbled in the Ads Manager, maybe even taken a peek into Power Editor once or twice, but now you’re looking to take your Facebook campaigns to the next level. Join Facebook Client Parnter Chase Mohney to learn tips and tricks to help you streamline your campaigns and better achieve your organizational goals with Facebook advertising. Topics covered will include: Objective-based campaign structure, creative, and bidding; Facebook ad interfaces (Ads Manager and Power Editor); basics of Facebook ads reporting; and leveraging the Facebook Pixel.

Trainers: Chase Mohney

Trans 101: An interactive overview to basic Trans cultural competency by MTUG, the Metro Trans Umbrella Group of St. Louis

The Metro Trans Umbrella Group of St. Louis has multiple presentations and a robust multifaceted educational program. The MTUG Trans 101 presentation is designed to answer basic questions about Trans people and experiences, and to clarify terminology and define best practices for Trans cultural competency. It does so with plenty of time for personal narrative from the facilitators and Q & A

Trainers: Jaimie Hileman

Oppositional Messaging: How to Marginalize your Opponents While Uplifting Your Values

Organized racist movements use sophisticated messaging platforms to advance their bigoted agenda. Pushing back in this political climate requires effective, consistent messages to marginalize your opponents, frame the issue based on your vision and values, and reclaim the debate. In this session, participants will learn how to identify effective oppositional messaging, how to break down the tactics and talking points of your opponents and how to build oppositional messaging frames. We’ll also talk about pitfalls to avoid as we share lessons drawn from real examples of effective responses to organized anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim movements in the United States.

This training is for anyone who speaks to the media about progressive campaigns and receives pushback, particularly from organized racist opposition. The training is open to all levels of experience in communications and media work.

Trainers: Kalia Abiade, Lindsay Schubiner

Organizing with a Gender Frame: How to Step Up Your Game and Win!

Many multi-issue organizing groups, even some with impressive scale, work on issues that deeply impact women but don’t use an explicit gender lens in determining their strategies, messaging or policy asks. As a result, the unique needs, experiences and perspectives of women, especially women of color, often remain out of view and an enormous amount of potential is left on the table. Make It Work has developed an engaging and accessible set of tools and a training curriculum to help progressive organizations close this gap. We know that organizing with an intersectional gender lens is a powerful tool for change, and has the potential to significantly impact the reach and scale of organizing efforts. We’ll show you how to do it.

This training is open to all levels of grassroots organizers or organizational staffers.

Trainers: Jordan Fitzgerald, Alicia Jay

We're Here and We're Queer: An LGBT Cultural Sensitivity Conversation Going Beyond Best Practices

Join us for a community conversation about language and intention. In this training, we’ll move beyond the usual LGBT 101 to how to best affirm and honor LGBT community members we interact with in daily life. Directed intention will be placed on how multiple identities intersect, and how those identities impact LGBT community members in unique and varied ways. We cannot create change until we have dialogue, and we cannot have dialogue until we have a language to use.

This training is for those who might say, “I don’t know any gay people,” and also great for more seasoned LGBT advocates.

Trainers: Elizabeth Fuchs, A. Eugene Potchen-Webb

Grassroots First Analytics

This session offers a welcoming space for organizers to take a first step into analytics through a series of interactive activities that raise up the value of practices they already do well—relational work, storytelling practices and strategic planning. We’ll also offer analytics pros a chance to learn how to talk their work in the language of community organizing so they can better connect with colleagues, managers and volunteers.

This training is for grassroots organizers, campaigners and candidates who are new to analytics and may not (yet!) think of themselves as tech leaders for their organizations or campaigns. Also ideal for analytics and targeting folks who don’t have tons of experience with the craft of grassroots organizing or campaign field work.

Trainers: Aliya Rahman

Master Class: Action Network

The Master Class program is focused on the specific tools that organizers use every day, and helping intermediate users become efficient, effective power users. Feel free to bring tool-specific questions to the session.

Communicating with your supporters is more effective when you can easily deliver the information they want most. In this training, you’ll say ‘Goodbye’ to sending every single update to your entire list and learn new ways to target the right kinds of emails to the right supporters. Whether you’re new to the Action Network or an experienced user, come learn how Action Network makes advanced email targeting easier and faster, so you can run a more effective online organizing program. Learn how to create action pages and use our email targeting, report targeting, and query tools to reach any segment of your email list, as well as A/B testing made simple. There will also be time for Q&A, so if you have questions about specific features The Action Network offers, please bring them with you!

Trainers: Misha Cornelius

You Can't Buy Our Vote: How to Center Black People in Political Organizing [Voter Pick]

The votes and support of Black people are imperative to winning any election. But appropriating Black culture will not make us vote for you, nor does it make us relate with candidates who have proven to not care about Black people in praxis or in policy. In holding political agents accountable, this training will provide consciousness raising around how Black people must be centered in political engagement within organizing and public policy. What is anti-Blackness and how does it affect political systems and voting? Learn how to actively disengage from anti-Black politicking and political organizing. You’ll leave with a better understanding of how Black people can be centered in political campaigns and organizing.

This session is for all audiences.

Trainers: Shan Davis, Ashleigh Shackelford

Presence and Authenticity: How to Be a Media Star

Great actors save mediocre plays—but great plays never save mediocre actors. What is more memorable: the message or the messenger? In today’s celebrity culture, skilled media talent dominates the narrative. The messenger’s presence and authenticity is more important than ever. In this 10th anniversary edition training, renowned media trainer Joel Silberman once again demystifies the art of media performance with take-away skills that have been used by countless performers, elected officials, progressive spokespeople and media stars. This rare public opportunity to look behind the camera and speakers platform through the eyes of a master trainer is offered publicly only at Netroots Nation. A 10-year, standing-room-only training!

This training is for anyone—beginner to advanced professional.

Trainers: Joel Silberman

Wielding Your Racism Decoder Ring: Discovering the Power of Values-Based Messaging

Using the power of the Racism Decoder Ring to identify and decode racial stereotypes in the media, social justice superhero Helvetika Bold will demonstrate the transformative power of a values-based messaging strategy. This election cycle perfectly demonstrates what our research and experience have long taught us: that people’s underlying beliefs will trump facts every time. So how do we speak about racism across ideology? Join Helvetika Bold, that moxiest maven of media messaging, to learn how to build a messaging strategy that has the power to change hearts, minds and policy. Together, we can not only decode, but dismantle racist messages in the media and build a positive vision for racial justice that appeals to a broad audience. Although we use racial justice as a starting point, this workshop will develop core communications strategy principles that can be used for any issue.

This training is best suited for those who are new to values-based messaging and/or for those who would appreciate a space to develop and try out new narratives and message framing for their issues.

Trainers: Helvetika Bold, Jamila Brown, Eva-Marie Malone

Ladders that Build Leaders: Rebooting Engagement (Online and Off!)

In a world where digital media use is maturing, it’s time to renovate the tools we use to build leaders. The concept of the ladder of engagement is not new; but like any conceptual tool, it’s time for a reboot. This training will lead participants through a set of strategic planning tools and exercises that will show how ladders of digital engagement can be built to foster online growth and offline leadership development. We’ll also examine the squishy word “engagement” and discuss elements and strategy worth examining when developing a meaningful definition of engagement, as well as metrics.

Trainers: Tanya Tarr

America's Next Top Model (sponsored training)

As campaigns big and small, national and local, survey their resources and needs they often arrive at a similar place: “We need a model.” But that doesn’t always require building one from scratch. We will provide attendees a basic training on the models that already exist, how best to use them in your program, and how to assess when a custom model is needed. Models are potent tools in campaigns and making sure you use and maximize your resources is essential.

This training is suitable for new and experienced political operatives, strategists, and data managers.

This training is sponsored by Catalist.

Trainers: Riki Conrey, Michael Frias

Make Your Own Microsite without Spending a Dime

In this workshop, you’ll learn enough HTML/CSS to create (and understand how to edit) your very own microsite. We’ll show you how to get your new website hosted for free on Github Pages, how to attach a custom domain name to your newly launched site and how to create your own online community (including how to embed a signup form) using platforms like Slack, Facebook, or Mailchimp. Plus, the technical skills you’ll learn can be applied to other parts of your work, allowing you to master tasks like creating email templates and modifying WordPress sites.

This training is an introduction to web development for online organizers who want to learn how to launch their own microsite for free. No prior experience with HTML, CSS or Git is needed.

Trainers: Linda Peng

Obama-Like Targeting Tech Goes Local: Using Digital Ads to Reach the Voters You Need to Win

Join us to learn how down-ballot and local candidates and issue advocacy campaigns can utilize cutting-edge technology to reach registered voters wherever they go online. You’ll learn how to create, place and evaluate your digital advertising campaign. We’ll highlight the technologies available regardless of your campaign’s size or budget and provide you with a step-by-step training that gives campaigns at every level the tools it takes to win.

This training is ideal for those who want to learn more about digital advertising and which tools they can take advantage of in order to create an effective digital campaign on the local level. Prior digital advertising knowledge is not necessary.

Trainers: Christopher Massicotte, Mallika Sharma

Issues that Matter, Brands that Inspire: Action Branding 101 [Voter Pick]

How can we as campaigners learn from the traditional branding world to develop cult followings around the social issues we care most about? Introducing Action Brands, built by campaigners, for campaigners. Action Brands have the unique ability to unite a community around a common identity and provide a sense of belonging, while also motivating community members to get more involved. This training will walk you through how to create brands that are authentically ownable by members of your community. You’ll leave with an actionable toolkit you can use to name and brand your own campaigns.

This is an introductory training. No prior experience in branding is necessary, but experience in communications is a plus.

Trainers: Emma Bloomfield, John Kapenga

We Can’t Do That Here? How to Get Your Co-workers to Help You Kick Digital Butt

Join us to identify common challenges in getting your supervisors and co-workers to help you be successful. We will discuss buy-in, managing up, “proof of concept,” peer-to-peer informal training and other ways of moving your co-workers from being obstacles to being facilitators. We’ll talk about how to elevate digital to equal footing with other departments and approaches and offer learning strategies that will help improve organization-wide data management practices. This training is aimed at people with digital responsibility inside organizations that may not be digitally native.

This training is for digital staffers working as the only digital staffer or within small digital teams inside organizations that are not digitally native. This training is for all skill levels and emphasizes the “soft skills” necessary to help persuade colleagues of the value of your work to the overall success of the organization.

Trainers: Elana Levin

Master Class: NGP VAN

The Master Class program is focused on the specific tools that organizers use every day, and helping intermediate users become efficient, effective power users. Feel free to bring tool-specific questions to the session.

This Master Class focuses on harnessing the power our tools that make an organizer’s workflow more efficient and help improve the quality of and access to data on our platforms. We’ll review the latest techniques on everything from more efficient list creation, segmenting contact universes into Turf, as well as streamlined ways of quickly getting these universes into the hands of volunteers and activists (such as the indispensable Virtual Phone Bank, including Open VPB, which configures a call list to be publicly available within seconds) and our widely-used MiniVAN mobile canvassing app for iOS and Android devices. In addition, we focus on high level administration of our integrated phone services and social organizing tool.

 

Trainers: Amanda Coulombe, Chelsea Peterson

Using Digital Ads to Boost Your Multi-channel Campaign

Multi-channel campaigns are proven money raisers. But are you using every tool available? Using digital ads to boost your multi-channel campaigns will give you the information you need to take your campaigns—donor acquisition, appeals and even sustainer upgrades—to the next level by incorporating digital ads. We will discuss setting goals and measuring success for your whole campaign and the ad channel, how effective targeting makes a difference, best practices for creative and more! Featuring case studies and tried-and-true tips, you’ll leave ready to incorporate digital ads into your next campaign.

This training intended for those who are planning multichannel campaigns and are ready to incorporate digital advertising into their campaign plans.

Trainers: Colleen Hutchings, Allison Weston

Mindful Communication: 5 Steps to Getting the Best Outcome from any Conversation

As activists and organizers, we know the challenges that can arise in effectively communicating and getting the outcome we desire from conversations or meetings. We too often get in our own way when we communicate, leading to conflicts or outcomes that are less than desirable. Fortunately, there are proven mindfulness and communication techniques that can help you get the best outcome out of a conversation, make your meetings run smoother and transform conflict into new, creative opportunities. Join us to learn—and practice—five fun, effective and empowering techniques that will take your communication ability to the next level.

No prior experience is required. This session is designed for people who have no mindfulnessness experience or communication training and for those who may have considerable training and experience.

Trainers: Charlie Rebich

Digital Organizing on a Dime: The Low-cost Tools You Need to Launch a Digital Program

These days, you can build a website for just $5. You can deliver hundreds of thousands of petition signatures for the cost it takes to print them. You can focus the world’s attention on an issue for the cost of a cheap mobile phone. You don’t need big bucks to launch a successful digital program. This session will take you through the cheap and free tools you need to start connecting with supporters, raising money and winning advocacy campaigns today. Case studies of scrappy organizations who have punched above their weight will be used to illustrate how to use these tools.

This training is for first-time digital campaigners or for experienced pros who may be starting a scrappy new venture.

Trainers: Julien Burns, Anna Hovland

Advanced Organizing Strategies for Immigration and Criminal Justice

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 created the pathways to the criminalization of immigrants that we know today. Since then, millions of immigrants have languished in detention facilities and jails and many face deportation and separation from their families. This training gets at the root of the problem by connecting the conversations around immigration and criminal justice reform. Using examples from the #HoustonBeyondICE/#HoustonSinMiedo campaign’s current fight against 287(g) immigration contracts in Harris County Jails, we’ll focus on how to build and strengthen coalitions between immigrant youth, black youth, and criminal justice organizers. We’ll also cover communications strategies for talking about criminal justice and immigration and show you how to build power to influence local law enforcement.

This training is best suited for those with medium expertise in immigration and criminal justice related topics.

Trainers: Ambar Pinto, Maria Trevino

America's Next Top Model (sponsored training)

As campaigns big and small, national and local, survey their resources and needs they often arrive at a similar place: “We need a model.” But that doesn’t always require building one from scratch. We will provide attendees a basic training on the models that already exist, how best to use them in your program, and how to assess when a custom model is needed. Models are potent tools in campaigns and making sure you use and maximize your resources is essential.

This training is suitable for new and experienced political operatives, strategists, and data managers.

This training is sponsored by Catalist.

Trainers: Riki Conrey, Michael Frias

All About Email: Best Practices for an Effective Email Program

Want to improve your non-profit or campaign’s engagement? Wondering about best practices for writing advocacy and donation emails? Join us for a training on email best practices! This training is for non-profit or campaign staffers who are in charge of their first mass email program. Prior mass email writing knowledge is helpful but not required.

Trainers: Drew Hudson, Laura Packard

Second Nature: Design to Grab Attention in Seconds

Why’d you stop and like that article in your Facebook feed? What made you notice that billboard? Why do you love reaction gifs? In an ever-growing world of stimuli, what are some tricks you can use to capture attention for your page, your cause or your candidate? Learn how artists throughout history have taken advantage of human behavior to grab your attention and keep it. We’ll cover how humans process visual information and how design can help motivate people to action. This training will cover the basics of photo-based design and help you improve the visuals of your cause, campaign or business.

This training is for both beginners and intermediate designers/communication professionals who want to improve their design and communication skills.

Trainers: Candice Dayoan

Building Decentralized Networks in Social Movements

How do the mass popular social movements of our time, from Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter, create new opportunities for decision-makers, organizations and political figures to make social, political and economic change possible? How can organizing in these decentralized movements help us learn how to create the just world we want? In this session, Movement Netlab, a think tank created by and for activists, will share a theory of how decentralized social movements function, and how our entire movement ecosystem can lay the groundwork for our future.

This training is inclusive of all skill levels. The intended audience should have some familiarity with nonprofits, coalitions, digital community organizing and/or social justice movements.

Trainers: Autumn Marie, Arielle Newton

Campaign Strategy: How to Pick Your Target and Powermap Your Way to Victory

That the way to win at football is to put more points on the board than your opponent does. However, the hallmark of a great coach is the ability to figure out how to do that. Do you focus on defense and deny your opponent points? Do you focus on offense and running up the score? The answers to these questions transform a run-of-the-mill coach—or organizer!—into a great one. In this training, we’ll teach you not only what questions to ask, but also how to answer them to create a winning campaign strategy. Using your own campaign examples, we’ll teach you how to pick your target and powermap your way to victory.

This is an introductory training on grassroots organizing/campaigns. This training is best suited for organizers or campaigners who have some experience either volunteering on campaign or creating campaigns themselves.

Trainers: Anthony Rogers-Wright, Lucy Sedgwick

Chewbacca Mom Takeover: The Future of Online Organizing

There is power in everyday people being able to take over the Internet with their joy, their pain and their authentic lives. Facebook Live launched in April and, one month later, Chewbacca Mom broke the Internet with more than 33 million views. Social media challenges us to change, stay connected and engage. How do we support individuals, moms and movements being led by communities of color breaking the news all around us? What new tools are coming online? What do we need to build or be funded? What techniques will or won’t continue to work in offline-to-online movement building and awareness/action campaigns? This training session will answer these questions and more.

Trainers: Hemly Ordonez

The Latest in Civic Engagement: How Tech Can Supercharge Your Grassroots Operation [Voter Pick]

The term “grassroots” has been used to describe the political might of everyday people for more than 100 years; however, a rising tide of 21st century tools is forever changing the way we think about engaging our communities. Join us for an exploration of how traditional cornerstones of grassroots movements can be accomplished more quickly and effectively than ever before. This fun and interactive demonstration will cover the latest technologies in civic engagement and how those tools can help you collect powerful data through direct communication with your community—data that can then be used to drive growth, participation, fundraising and awareness while measuring the impact of your efforts.

The training is intended for a broad audience—those curious about civic technology and how it can help amplify a cause, as well as those looking for new ways of approaching an industry that is ripe for innovation. The skill level of this training starts at a basic level but dives into information that even seasoned organizers can use.

Trainers: Alex Schreiner

Extreme Makeover, Website Edition: How to Optimize Your Website and Reach Your Campaign, Fundraising and Engagement Goals

Websites are an integral way to communicate with your audience and engage them to take action, from signing petitions to donating money to spreading the word about your organization. But most people don’t know how to lay out their website to get more supporters to sign those petitions, donate that money and spread the word. We’ll walk you through best practices in website design, including how best to lay out a form, how to get someone to click a button, how to best orient your audience around a campaign and why it’s important for your website to be responsive.

This training is suited for anyone who wants to learn more about how they can leverage a website to be a tool for increasing engagement, fundraising and outcomes. This session is open to any position, not just designers and developers.

Trainers: Debra Cleaver, Cindy Phan

Action into Being: Growing as an Ally

The struggle for liberation is beautiful—and hard. We may intellectually understand or spiritually believe that, as Desmond Tutu says, “My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours.” But when it comes to joining hands and locking elbows, there are groups of people we often don’t include. We might share/retweet or have an intellectual conversation about racism, but we don’t always show up when it really counts. What does it mean to value those with whom we don’t share identity? Join us as we examine the places in which our attachment to privilege and power is getting in the way of creating the kind of world we want.

This training is intended for white people but may be useful for anyone working to address the ways in which oppression is perpetuated (sexism, transphobia, abelism, ageism, etc.). We expect participants will have some understanding of what white supremacy in a progressive setting looks like.

Trainers: Mia Birdsong, Mariana Ruiz Firmat