Momentum is dedicated to movement building.
We are committed to teaching and learning the craft of popular movements fighting for justice. We give grassroots organizers the tools to build massive, decentralized social movements that aim to shift the terrain under policymakers’ feet.
We live in a time of severe inequality, racial disparity, and concentrated wealth in the United States. We need transformational change, and we believe it won’t come from within the political system. We need big movements, and we need leaders with the skills to shift public opinion and organize people at scale.
Momentum is committed to supporting these leaders with an organizing model rooted in international civil resistance, with tools that will win profound structural and cultural changes.
What does it take to build social movements:
We’ll be updating this list with more information about new webinars, and training dates and locations soon.
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Social Movement How-To: Intro to Momentum
June 21 – 23, 2019
Join us for a 2-day Momentum training focused on a few key elements of our training curriculum. This will be an application and exercise-based training. Applications will be open to organizers from northern California and around the country.
Applications have closed!
Elections and Movements Skillshare
August 13 – August 15, 2019 (updated dates)
The Watershed Center, Millerton, NY
This skillshare will be an opportunity for movements already experimenting with ways to use the election as a platform to “take the stage and steal the mic” around issues that the media puts its spotlight on during elections to build momentum for their movements. Movement experimenters will share lessons, tools, and best practices on what has worked in ensuring that elections and elected officials champion the causes of movements and drive more participation in those movements.
As we draw closer to the 2020 election, it’s crucial that movements and voter mobilization organizations support one another to use the elections as an opportunity to shift the balance of power in congress. The challenge to movements and electoral groups will be to use the elections to build momentum that propels us forward into further escalation, creative protest, public participation, in order to demand and fight for the political wins we need. But because the public believes elections are the primary way to be politically involved, movements are at risk of experiencing major demobilizations after the elections that undercut the momentum built over the past several years - regardless of the electoral outcomes.
Black Momentum Training
August 22–25, 2019
Durham, North Carolina TBD
Black Momentum is a Black only space where the Momentum curriculum is extended and rooted in a lens that reflects the diverse Black experience. We are operating under the assumption that what we are doing is historic -- Black Momentum is an invitation to join us on this journey as we strive to create a space that values all Black people.
Black Momentum is a movement building training with a specific concentration on discussing and pursuing strategies around black liberation. A space to plot, scheme, and dream for our freedom, to hold all of us and to be held in our Black brilliance, where people can form new real relationships, build trust and really imagine what we can win together. A space that channels vibrations and recasts what is possible. A space to give away tools to Black people to fight for our liberation in the ways they see fit, an affirmative space from which you will walk away with the theory of Momentum as well as hard skills you can use when you return home.
Advanced Strategy Skillshare
This skillshare will bring some of the best lessons from movement experimenters honing their craft on responding to trigger events, using small actions to build sustained escalation strategies, creating multi-phase campaigns and long term strategy, and advanced lessons on frontloading. It will also incorporate practices on absorption and using the cycle of momentum in practice.
POC Momentum Training
This Momentum training is exclusively for people of color (POC), and is an intensive 4-day training on movement building for activists and organizers leading efforts to transform our political climate. Our curriculum is designed to give organizers the tools to build progressive popular social movements to win on the most pressing justice issues of our time, drawing on lessons and skills from contemporary and historic social movements.
Communities of color in the United States have been targeted by government and citizens alike for centuries, and also have immense wisdom from generations of struggle. POC Momentum is a space for organizers of color to learn together, to invest in each other’s leadership, and to support one another in the long fight for the affirmation of everyone’s inherent humanity and worth.
Boston Winter Skillshare
We will be hosting a 1-day skillshare for experimenters in the Boston community of practice to share their lessons on movement building locally, in order to build deeper relationships across the local ecology and share lessons from movements that organize both nationally and regionally. This skillshare will be primarily dedicated to participants based in Boston.
Cycle of Momentum
We teach organizers how to activate the public and change the political weather by using the cycle of momentum, focusing on:
Popular movements need to force the public to take notice of the issue and take a stance. Escalating strategic nonviolent action drives a wedge into the public’s moral conscience by asking: which side are you on?
We know that political power flows from the cooperation of the people, and we base our training principles in a social view of power. When people are activated, and refuse to cooperate with injustice in massive numbers, they win.
In order to get to scale, movements need to decentralize to have the capacity to absorb new members during critical moments of public attention. In order to decentralize without collapsing into chaos, movements must “frontload” their story, strategy, and structure.