You can organize an activist training camp in your community to provide
women with the skills they need to become unstoppable activists during
the upcoming election season and beyond. The training can be as small
as 10 women learning skills in someone's living room or as large as 100
women who've traveled from all different parts of the state just to
participate in the training camp.
Below are basic tips for organizing an activist training. For additional help, contact locals[at]codepinkalert.org.
Training Camp Recipe
A home-grown favorite for local activists!
Creating a savory, exciting, fulfilling activist
training camp is easy and fun! You could
plan a 3 hour gathering, a day-long retreat, or
a weekend overnight with an action! CODEPINK
national organizers are here to help you every
step of the way. For help getting started,
contact our grassroots coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Time on International Women's Day
- A friendly space
- Big helpings of ideas and imagination
- Large bowl of practical details
- Spicy pink sauce of humor and fun
- Mix together thoroughly a team of 3
time-tested local activists who are committed
to the local chapter and the causes of CODEPINK!
- Enthusiastically form a plan for the
Activist Training Camp: goals, outline
of training (welcome, workshops, art/talent
show, etc.) and admin details.
- Select a space (home, community
center, YMCA or YWCA) and a time
(an afternoon, the day of March 8, or the whole
weekend of March 8-9).(Optional)
- Fold in trainers or presenters from
allied non-profit organizations, such
as League of Young Voters, Veterans for Peace,
the National Lawyers Guild, or the American
Friends Service Committee.
- Cook up some tasty workshops on topics
of interest to your group such as media,
war tax resistance, outreach to new members,
creating visuals, voter education, US-Iran relations,
Women for Peace in History ~ the possibilities
IDEAS FOR TRAINING SESSIONS/WORKSHOPS
- Voter registration and education
- Public speaking
- How to get the media's attention
- Community organizing and campaign strategy 101
- Incorporating art and culture into your activism
- Translating the news into creative actions
- Anti-racist organizing/anti-oppression training
- Whatever other skills people in your group or community really need (facilitating meetings, youth and student organizing, lobbying, fundraising, nonviolent direct action, using the Internet and WWW, etc.)
SAMPLE SCHEDULE FOR DAY-LONG WOMEN'S ACTIVIST TRAINING CAMP
8:30 AM: Registration
9 - 10 AM: Opening session - Speech by an inspiring woman (or women) on the importance of women's activism, history of women's activism or successful women's activist struggles
10 AM - Noon: Voter Registration and Education Training
Noon - 1 PM: Lunch Break (or you could serve lunch and have people participate in a brainstorming session about women's issues and activism in your community or invite a musician to perform uplifting, political music)
1 PM - 2:45 PM: Community Organizing and Campaign Strategy 101
(More ambitious groups could schedule another workshop at the same time, such as anti-racist organizing/anti-oppression training)
3 PM - 4:45 PM: How to Get the Media's Attention
(More ambitious groups could schedule another workshop at the same time, such as incorporating art and culture into your activism)
5 PM - 6 PM: The Power of Pink: Translating the News Into Creative Actions
6 PM Dinner or party or cultural event or just go home and cal it a day!
HOW TO FIND TRAINERS
There are dozens of amazing trainers in every single community. They work at nonprofits and community-based organizations, doing fundraising, PR and other types of work. Just call your favorite nonprofits and activist groups and ask who would be the best person from their organization to do a training on the specific topic you want covered. If that person isn't available on the day of your training camp, ask her/him to suggest other trainers.
You can also find out about local trainers from the following organizations, or call the CODEPINK national office for help:
Ruckus Society, www.ruckus.org
League of Pissed Off Voters, www.indyvoter.org (voter education and registration) RANT (Root Activist Network of Trainers), http://www.rantcollective.net/
Training for Change, http://www.trainingforchange.org/
HOW TO FIND A LOCATION FOR THE TRAINING
A training camp can be as small as 10 people who are being trained in someone's living room or as big as 100 people who are split into 4 different workshops being offered simultaneously. Depending on the number of people you expect, you can either use someone's house or backyard or rent an affordable space at a community center, library, school or church. Some nonprofits are also willing to rent out their conference rooms for a very low rate, especially if their staff people are allowed to attend the workshops.
HOW TO SPREAD THE WORD
Once you've decided on the date and location, you can start to spread the word! Click here for Outreach Ideas. Here are a few more ideas:
- Collaborate! Co-sponsor the activist camp with other local groups (youth groups, women's groups, etc.) and ask them to promote the camp with their members (on email lists, in newsletters, etc.)
- Distribute flyers. Create a basic half-page flyer for the camp (sample text below and a template is available from the CODEPINK national office) and hand it out at every community event you can think of - from political protests to movies to street festivals. Also post flyers - on college campuses, at bus stops, and anywhere else in town where people might read them.
- Flood the email lists. Post an email alert (sample text below) to progressive email lists and websites. Ask the trainers to also send an email to their lists.
- Get listed in newspaper calendar listings. Send a basic listing to the calendar editors of your local newspapers. The listing usually needs to be sent in at least 2 weeks in advance.
- Record a public service announcement. If you have a community radio station in town, find out if they accept written or recorded PSAs (public service announcements). Send them a PSA in the appropriate format and length. The same goes for local NPR stations and even commercial radio stations. Again, this needs to be sent way in advance of the training camp.
- Call other community groups. Call organizations that might be interested in telling their members about the trainings - other activist groups, nonprofits, progressive churches, youth groups, etc.
The CODEPINK offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles can help you with finding trainers in your area or, if you have funds to fly someone in, trainers from other parts of the country. We can also send you a sample flyer and help with any other support you need. Don't hesitate to contact us with questions at locals[at]codepinkalert.org!
Past Activist Training Camp Highlights to Inspire your Camp:
August 2003 CODEPINK held its first ever women's activist training
camp. The camp, held in Oakland, California, was a hugely successful
weekend attended by more than 100 women. Women camped out overnight at
Anthony Chabot Regional Park in the Oakland hills and during the day
participated in trainings on campaign strategy; publicity and media
relations; nonviolent direct action; and many other topics. There were
also panels and presentations on issues like the Patriot Act and civil
liberties; building a diverse anti-racist peace movement; and what's
happening in Iraq, Iran, and Palestine. Later in the year, in
Washington, DC, more than 100 people participated in the CODEPINK:
Women! Be the Change! Teach-in and the culture slam that evening.
March 2005 CODEPINK held a women's activist training camp at Barnard
College in New York City to commemorate International Women's Day by
building our budding pink peace movement. On International Women's Day in March 2008, CODEPINK organized six regional
activist trainings around the country that gave inspiration,
taught new skills, and provided support to hundreds
of women for International Women's Day! We discussed
current campaigns; practiced role plays, deep
listening, and public speaking; shared emotions,
music and laughter; created banners, decorative
t-shirts, peace panels and other visuals; and learned
pink herstory. See photos and read report backs from these trainings here.
SAMPLE EMAIL ALERT [please fill in the XXXs and read the text that's in CAPS and brackets]
CODEPINK Women's Activist Training Camp XXX City, XXX Date
Join women of all ages, races and backgrounds for an entire day of activist training sessions brought to you by CODEPINK: Women for Peace.
CODEPINK began as a movement to stop the war on Iraq, and in a short time has become a vibrant presence in the peace and social justice community. It continues to organize actions in creative - and sometimes outrageous ways - addressing a multitude of issues from the missing weapons of mass destruction to the corporate takeover of our airwaves, all the while bringing into play the sensibilities of respect, compassion and interconnectedness.
CODEPINK has gained a reputation for being where the issues are and calling it like it is. Its unique call to action has captured the imagination of women and like-minded men throughout the country. We want to continue this great momentum and share it with you in an activist training camp.
LOCATION OF TRAINING CAMP: XXX
Possible training sessions include XXX [FOLLOWING ARE SOME IDEAS] translating the news into creative actions; outreach; facilitating meetings; incorporating art and culture into your activism; how to get the media's attention; voter registration and education; campaign strategy; anti-racist organizing; using the Internet and WWW; youth and student organizing; and lobbying.
*This is a tentative list of sessions. A final list including names of trainers will be available soon.
COST: $10 - 25 sliding scale. (Please pay $25 if you can afford to subsidize the camp for another activist.) [IF YOU CAN OFFER THE TRAINING FOR FREE, GREAT. IF YOU NEED TO PAY TO RENT A SPACE AND COMPENSATE SOME OF THE TRAINERS, YOU CAN CHARGE A REGISTRATION FEE.]
REGISTER: Registration is first-come, first-served and space is limited to 100 participants, so sign up soon! Please call XXX or email XXX.
SAMPLE FLYER TEXT
[please fill in the XXXs and read the text that's in CAPS and brackets]
CodePink Women's Activist Training Camp
XXX city, XXX date
Join women of all ages, races and backgrounds for a full day of activist training sessions and outdoor fun brought to you by CODEPINK: Women for Peace. Trainings will include XXX [FOLLOWING ARE SOME IDEAS] translating the news into creative actions; outreach and organizing; incorporating art and culture into your activism; how to get the media's attention; voter registration and education; using the Internet and WWW; and much more. Plus there will also be plenty of interaction so people get to know each other!
WHEN: XXX date and time
WHERE: XXX location
MORE INFO/REGISTER: The cost of the camp will be $XXX sliding scale to pay for the space rental. To register, call XXX or email XXX.
ABOUT CODEPINK: CODEPINK began as a movement to stop the war on Iraq, and in a short time has become a vibrant presence in the peace and social justice community. It continues to organize actions in creative - and sometimes outrageous ways - addressing a multitude of issues from the missing weapons of mass destruction to the corporate takeover of our airwaves, all the while bringing into play the sensibilities of respect, compassion and interconnectedness.
SAMPLE CALENDAR LISTING
[fill in the XXXs, send to calendar editor of local newspaper]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:--CONTACT: XXX date?????XXX name and phone number
WOMEN'S ACTIVIST TRAINING CAMP IN XXX CITY
A FULL DAY OF WORKSHOPS ON ELECTIONS AND ACTIVISM
WHEN:??? XXX date and time
WHERE:?? XXX location
WHAT: Join CODEPINK: Women for Peace for a full day of workshops that will train women to become informed, capable and creative activists, able to mobilize their neighbors, friends and co-workers to vote, lobby, activate and organize for policies that promote peace and justice. The women's activist training camp will take place on XXX date at XXX location and will include trainings on translating the news into creative actions; outreach and organizing; how to get the media's attention; voter registration and education; and much more. Registration is $XXX. For more information, please call XXX or email XXX.