what we do
W.O.W. provides practical skills, direction, and inspiration for those new to the work of organizing.
Our workshops provide transformative experiences that connect community members through their values, then equip them with the tools and knowledge needed to build and leverage power.
WHO WE ARE
Ten years ago, early on a Saturday morning, a few hundred strangers poured into a soundstage in Burbank, carrying their own chairs. They were there to learn how to contribute to the primary campaign of then-Senator Barack Obama and they’d gotten an email the night before, asking for them to please bring something to sit on. Skepticism hung in the air.
They were led through the weekend by a man named Marshall Ganz who had organized with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, and now teaches organizing theory and practice at Harvard. Before they talked about phone banks, or canvassing, or data, or anything that resembled a task related to a campaign, they told each other stories. Crucial moments in their lives that made them who they were. Then they began to craft stories of each other, how they were all connected beyond the fact that they’d all showed up there for this first-term Senator.
By the end of Sunday, everyone in that room was a member of a team with a clear goal, each member having a clear role and responsibilities. But more importantly, everyone in that room was part of a new community. A community that is still thriving ten years later.
Western Organizing Workshop started as one of those teams. We came for him, we stayed for eachother, and there’s no doubt that the reason we’re still together is because of the methods and practices imparted on that Burbank soundstage.
Workshops WE OFFER
The Power of organizing: An introduction
We believe our power as organizers is rooted in two connected skills -- telling stories that communicate our values, and building teams that last. Over the course of this two-day workshop, we will develop both in tandem and discover how they function as practical tools in the foundational work of organizing: defining goals, and developing and executing the strategies to achieve them. Though we will focus on the organizing landscape over the next eighteen months, introducing the timeline and tactics necessary to build power for the midterms, the weekend will close with eyes far into the future, as we begin to envision the world we want to see.
Whether you're an established team striving to become more effective, or an individual looking for an organizing tribe, you will leave with a connection to fellow community members, an understanding of one another's values, interests, strengths, and abilities, and the foundation necessary to become change makers for the long haul.
NEXT SESSION: TBD
THE POWER OF ORGANIZING: WHAT'S NEXT
The specifics of this workshop will be shaped by the feedback we receive from the introductory sessions. Topics we are prepared to cover: Power mapping, How a bill becomes a law on local, county, state and national levels, intro to data management, persuasion, voter registration and voter contact best practices.
NEXT SESSION: TBD
- 24th - 25th Los Angeles Trade Tech College, Los Angeles, CA
Want more information, or a workshop to come to your community? Let us know.