Organizing for the Long Haul: Philadelphia Training Winter 2015-16
In the spring of 2014 Rising Tide North America, a network for mobilization around climate justice, raised funds for trainings in community organizing in the U.S. The Maypop Collective for Climate and Economic Justice, based in Philadelphia, proposed a vision for the Long Haul Training and the project was funded, along with trainings in St. Louis and Minneapolis.
The Long Haul Training set out to invest in grassroots environmental justice leaders and organizations in the Philly area that are well-positioned to lead the movement toward a life-affirming economy. In order to build the individual and collective power of participating groups, the goals for the training were:
Five organizations were chosen to "anchor" the Long Haul Training, providing input to shape the training and sending members to attend. The organizations were selected based on several factors, including experience with a wide range of environmental justice issues (from climate change impacts like flooding to trash incinerators), diversity in terms of theory of change and tactics, and leadership from people of color.
Anchor organizations included:
The second component consisted of two follow-up weekends Dec. 5-6 and Jan. 9-10 that were focused on application of skills. For each "field day" one of the organizations participating in the training hosted the rest of the cohort as volunteers to practice one of the skills learned in Nov. and add capacity to the host organization. Through these field days, hosts got to step up their leadership and the cohort got to experience different ways to implement strategies for campaigning, basebuilding, and fundraising.
The opening day of the Long Haul Training was focused on building relationships between the leaders participating in the training. This included getting to know the work and history of each other's organizations.
The opening day also included building a shared understanding of the extractive economy that breeds inequality and and how a movement for ecojustice contests that economy.Open the next stack of photos to learn more about the activities in Day 1.
The second day of the training, participants explored the use of direct action in campaigns for change. Participants sharpened their analysis of power and created skits to act out examples of creative action. A key takeaway from this day was how advantageous it is to strategize for a string of actions that build a story, rather than planning one-off demonstrations.
Open the next stack of photos to learn more about Day 2 of the training.
Open the next stack of photos to see Long Haul Training participants learning how to basebuild.
In pairs and small groups the training cohort hit the doors in Eastwick, and then reconvened at an EAC members house to debrief. Open the next stack of photos to check out the first field day.
Open the next stack of photos to see all the skills Thrive had the group building during their field day.
After a day of door-knocking, the field day was an excellent pilot to a project that ACTION United members plan to continue. Open the next stack of photos to see the basebuilding Long Haul Training participants practiced in SW Philly.
It was crucial for the Long Haul Training participants to practice asking for money, and in the process a good amount of resources were raised for Chester EJ. Open the next stack of photos to get a glimpse of the toxic tour and fundraising activities.
The training wrapped up with heaping doses of appreciation for each other and a nourishing meal, one of the most important activities of the training for building relationships. Open the next stack of photos to check out the closing of the Long Haul Training.
From the perspective of those organizing the training, there were many lessons learned from the training. Open the next stack of photos that depict some of the lessons, and read about a few below:
Contact the Maypop Collective at email@example.com or visit us at maypopcollective.org to learn more about the Long Haul Training and our other work.