Organizing Upgrade

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This Power Point Discussion Guide and List of Additional Resources are available for download here:

In the wake of Donald Trump's victory November 8 partisans of equality, justice and peace are grappling with a number of knotty questions.

  • What accounts for Trump's victory?
  • What can we expect from a Trump administration?
  • What steps are most important for mounting a sustained and effective resistance to the incoming administration and, over time, push Trumpism back to the margins?
  • How can we build progressive power? What do we need to do to mesh the fight against economic inequality with the crucial fights for racial and gender justice, peace and against climate change?
  • What is needed to battle effectively on both electoral and non-electoral terrain? What strategy should progressives and the left pursue in relations to the Democratic Party?

As one contribution to engaging these and other questions, we prepared a 32-Slide Power Point Presentation titled "Changed Terrain Demands a New Orientation" and an accompanying Resource List. This module is a follow-up to our earlier three-module 2016 Election Curriculum which you can find here. This new Power Point is designed to facilitate a two to two-and-a-half hour discussion in an organization or an informal group. It can also simply be read as an article contributing to the widespread discussion of post-election strategy.

If you have any questions about these, or want to offer feedback or engage in a dialogue about them, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For peace with justice,
Linda Burnham, Max Elbaum, Harmony Goldberg, Jason Negron-Gonzales, Tarso Ramos, Bob Wing

make-america-hate

These three 2016 Election Curriculum Modules are available for download here:

In a year that has seen racist demagogue Donald Trump capture the GOP presidential nomination and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders make a serious bid for the Democratic nod, social justice activists have been discussing electoral engagement and strategy with unprecedented intensity. Tens of thousands of people beyond the activist world are now looking to hold similar conversations.

What accounts for Donald Trump's rise? With Wall Street-friendly hawk Hillary Clinton as his Democratic opponent, is there a way to defeat Trump that will simultaneously strengthen movements for justice, equality and peace? Can the energy unleashed by Bernie Sanders' campaign and movements like Black Lives Matter develop into a durable progressive force that can fight inside and outside electoral politics?

As one contribution to engaging these questions, we have prepared three 20-plus-slide Power Point Presentations covering different aspects of the 2016 election and its political, economic and demographic background. Each is designed to facilitate a two-hour discussion in an organization or an informal group. Each can stand alone or all three can make up a comprehensive series.

Each Module comes with a Facilitator's Guide, and there is a Supplementary Resource Guide listing additional materials. These can be downloaded here: If you have any questions about these, or want to offer feedback or engage in a dialogue about them, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For peace with justice,

Linda Burnham, Max Elbaum, Harmony Goldberg, Jason Negron-Gonzales, Tarso Ramos, Bob Wing

bill-rolling-stone

This summer, Bill McKibben (from 350.org) wrote a powerful piece in Rolling Stone called Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math, and it quickly became one of the most widely shared and widely read articles in the history of Rolling Stone. Organizing Upgrade wanted to encourage everyone to read it because we believe that it clarifies just how serious the climate crisis is and - maybe even more importantly - because Bill McKibben makes a very clear strategic call in this piece: to start direct struggle against the fossil fuel companies as “public enemy number one” instead of trying to win them over to small changes. We believe that organizers in every sectors of the social justice movement in the United States need to take this strategic call very seriously and figure out how to integrate it into their existent work.    So, we encourage you to read the full article with your fellow organizers and to use the following discussion questions to talk about what this “terrifying new math” means for our organizing work.

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Organizing Upgrade 2012 / Built by Union Labor

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