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Momentum is a training institute and movement incubator.

 
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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:

 
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Upcoming Trainings

We’ll be updating this list with more information about new webinars, and training dates and locations soon.
Check back here again or sign up on this interest form to get notifications directly in your inbox when they go live.

Thursday March 7, 2019
12PM ET / 9AM PT / 10AM CT

Join us for a webinar with Sunrise on their movement building lessons, and what this political moment demands of organizers around the country. Sunrise is changing what is politically possible — and is also changing what organizing looks like in this country.

How did Sunrise study and build towards the “moment of the whirlwind” we’re seeing now around the Green New Deal? How did they use the spotlight on elected officials to build more public support and a more powerful movement? How have they learned to absorb the thousands of people who want to follow their leadership?

Even if you can’t make it, RSVP anyway and we’ll send you the recording after.

RSVP to join the webinar >>

Webinar: Sunrise Movement


Digital Skillshare & Absorption Upgrade

February 28 — March 3, 2019
The Highlander Center, New Market, TN

New digital tactics and tools are changing the way that movements recruit new supporters, deepen their commitment and move them to action. The Momentum Digital Skillshare is the place where organizers, campaigners, technologists and others come together to share the behind scenes story of their work, teach each other skills, and build relationships with smart and generous peers.

This skillshare will also include advanced curriculum on Absorption – how do movements polarize the public and move people into active participation in the movement – especially but not exclusively through using scalable digital tactics?

Applications have closed!


Minneapolis Momentum Training

May 16 – 19, 2019
Minneapolis, MN

Join us this May in Minneapolis for 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. Applications will be open to organizers from Minneapolis and around the country.

Applications due March 17. Apply now >>


Elections and Movements Skillshare

July 2019
Location TBD

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.

Sign up on this interest form to get the application when it goes live >>


Black Momentum Training

August 2019
The South, Location 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.

Sign up on this interest form to get the application when it goes live >>


Advanced Strategy Skillshare

October 2019
Location TBD

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.

Sign up on this interest form to get the application when it goes live >>


POC Momentum Training

November 2019
Boston, MA

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.

Sign up on this interest form to get the application when it goes live >>


Boston Winter Skillshare

November 2019
Boston, MA

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.

Sign up on this interest form to get the application when it goes live >>

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.

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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.

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Here’s what past participants are saying about Momentum:

The Momentum trainings not only share valuable information to help our movements get more strategic and clear in the different roles and approaches that are needed, but also builds strong and collaborative relationships across movements to help us become much sharper and more united.
— Kate Werning, Organizing Director, CTZNWELL
Many have tried and failed to get organizations to be like the movements in the streets. And many have tried and failed to build movements that can move power. Momentum is a place where you can learn to do both.
— Yonah Lieberman, IfNotNow National Coordinator
Momentum has given me language for understanding organizing and strategy as a craft — a set of skills to be honed and practiced in community. It has helped me see myself as a young leader walking in the footsteps of generations upon generations of organizers and freedom fighters who I can look to and learn from. And it has enabled me to shift from seeing my experiences in social movements not as isolated incidents but as parts of long historical and political cycles that can be seen in many social movements. Momentum is the single most valuable training you can go to to advance your understanding of how social movements build power to win.
— Sara Blazevic, Sunrise Movement Co-Founder
We need to get serious about the shared language and model of how we effectively do our work. This is an opportunity to enter that conversation, learn a lot, and fold into a powerful community trying to change not only the world, but how we go about building a new one.
— Kandace Montgomery, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis
Momentum has completely changed the way I look at the work we do. It has made me see that there are different ways of organizing and building power with and for the community.
— Diego Ramirez Vargas, Homestead Equal Rights for All, Cosecha
Momentum has completely changed the way that I understand organizing. It has completely transformed the way that I understand power. It has given me a renewed hope in transformational change instead of just focusing on incremental change. Momentum has pushed me and my staff to rethink our organizing strategies, and has helped us to think a lot more deeply about our strategies and dream a lot bigger around our impact.
— Dan Gelbtuch, #IHaveAFuture Movement, Youth Jobs Coalition Co-Director

Previous participants in Momentum trainings come from organizations doing some of the most important movement-building in the U.S: