Approach & Goals

Each session of the workshop will aim to do three things exceptionally well:

Meet a practical need

You’ll learn new skills and approaches that meet a practical need in your day-to-day work, or that will help you accomplish identified goals. To include a “train-the-trainer” component, for use in their own work, each week. The final agenda and focus of the training will reflect your needs and priorities, and my best effort to build a curriculum that’s the most useful for the whole group.

Inspire & Energize

Especially in our current political climate, the work of social change, community transformation, and political struggle can be draining. Our time together will inspire and energize you throughout: there will be a focus on sharing stories of successful movements that addressed similar issues to those we face in Denmark, and drawing out practical lessons.

Each session, we will Skype with “guest speakers” from US movements (an all-female and queer and/or minority group), who will offer their own perspectives, guidance, and answer questions/engage in dialogue.

And each training will contain a whole lot of fun: interactive icebreakers to get us moving and thinking with our bodies, music on the breaks, and an amazing lunch spread each day (with breakfast on the first day). I believe we can only take care of others if we take care of ourselves first, and build a learning environment that feels supportive and fun – a break from the rest of your work.

Build & Deepen Relationships

Although this training is designed to be resolutely practical, we can’t really change how power works in Denmark and across Europe if we don’t build coalition together and learn to work together in new and deeper ways. Through the above activities, time together, and collective learning, you will build and deepen relationships based upon mutual respect.

My use of popular education methodologies will ensure that you’re not just listening to an American lecture all day, but gaining insight from the unique perspective and experience of colleagues you know and many you’ve never met.

I’m part of this conversation, too – we’ll reflect on the way I’ve structured the workshop and my approach to facilitation, to improve your work and mine. And we’ll find time for some group conversation around the needs and opportunities in Danish advocacy and organizing.

Speakers

My network of colleagues in the United States is one of the best things about this training – they know and have done a lot more than me.

Not only will they add fresh perspective and expert knowledge on their given topics, but the panel – all women of color and/or queer women – will diversify a facilitation team that would otherwise consist only of me: your friendly white cis-man.

Linda Sarsour

Co-Chair, Women's March on Washington

Linda Sarsour is a working woman, community activist, and mother of three. Ambitious, outspoken and independent, Linda shatters stereotypes of Muslim women while also treasuring her religious and ethnic heritage. She is a Palestinian Muslim American and a self-proclaimed “pure New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn!”

Sarsour is the former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York and co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington, which advocated for just legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues in the largest single-day demonstration in U.S. history. Linda is most notably recognized for her focus on intersectional movement building.

Linda has been at the forefront of the debate around the New York Police Department’s unwarranted surveillance of the American Muslim community. She continues to work with city officials and allies to push legislation and policies that respect the dignity and civil rights of New York residents while maintaining safety and order. Linda was recently named American Muslim of the Year by the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the United States, honored by the White House in 2011 as a “Champion of Change”, and received the 2010 Brooklyn Do-Gooder Award from the Brooklyn Community Foundation. Linda is also a board member of the New York Immigration Coalition, a coalition of over 200 nonprofit agencies serving the diverse immigrant communities of New York State and the Network of Arab American Professionals-NY Chapter. She has been profiled by PBS, Yahoo News, NY1’s One on One With Budd Mishkin, and the Guardian. She has been featured in local, national, and international media speaking on topics ranging from women’s issues, Islam, domestic policy, and political discussions on the Middle East conflict. Linda’s strengths are in the areas of civil rights in the context of national security, community organizing, civic engagement, and immigrants’ rights advocacy.

Linda will join us via Skype on April 19th to tell the story of the #EidinNYC’s tremendous organizing campaign, and how the campaign’s power analysis and sophisticated strategy led to complete victory in only two years.

Anthonine Pierre

Lead Organizer, Brooklyn Movement Center

Anthonine works to bring people together and transform the capacity for social and political leadership in Central Brooklyn. Since 2011, she has been working on this transformation through BMC’s parent organizing, police accountability, anti-street harassment and grassroots fundraising campaigns.

Prior to working at BMC, Anthonine was at the Manhattan Borough President’s Office where she was the community liaison responsible for Central and West Harlem. She has also held youth organizing positions with the Children’s Defense Fund and Prospect Park Alliance. Anthonine currently sits on the boards of Families for Freedom, the Advocacy Institute and the New York Social Justice Political Action Committee, and is a participant of Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD). She is a lifelong Brooklynite, foodie and enthusiasm enthusiast.

Anthonine will join us via Skype to discuss effective local organizing and relationship building, and Brooklyn Movement Center’s approach to neighborhood-based organizing.

Maggie Williams

Co-Founder, The Advocacy Institute

Maggie develops the curriculum for the Advocacy Institute, which works to transform the legislative and political landscape of New York for justice and dignity.

The Advocacy Institute trains and supports social justice and movement building organizations to lead more effective and efficient legislative campaigns.  

She is AI’s lead trainer, and oversees the development of relationships with partner organizations and funders. She has extensive experience with grassroots community organizing and working to ensure that all communities have their voices heard in the political and legislative process.

Prior to starting the Advocacy Institute, Maggie applied her experience collaborating with grassroots organizations to analyzing and drafting legislation and making policy decisions in the New York State Senate. During the Democratic majority of the State Senate, Maggie was lead counsel on two key bills that were signed into law: then-Senator Eric Schneiderman’s bill to end prison-based gerrymandering and Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson’s bill to establish no-fault divorce.

Before joining the Senate, Maggie worked as an advocate on criminal justice issues at the Correctional Association of New York and The Bronx Defenders. Maggie currently serves on the board of directors for two organizations – the North Star Fund and the Center for Popular Democracy Action Fund.

Maggie will join us via Skype on May 3rd to share her highly effective approach to curriculum design and workshop facilitation, and introduce somatics as a tool for conducting more embodied work.

Karina Claudio-Betancourt

Program Officer, Open Society Foundations

Karina Claudio Betancourt is a program officer with the Open Society Foundations’ Open Places Initiative, a placed-based project in Buffalo, Puerto Rico, and San Diego. She is a skilled community organizer with several years of management, advocacy, policy analysis, fundraising, and grant-writing experience focused on empowering low-wage workers, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, and people living in the intersection of these identities.

Prior to joining Open Society, Claudio Betancourt was with the New York City Council, where she served as the senior director of the Community Engagement Division in the Office of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. In this capacity, she directed the implementation of a citywide participatory budgeting project, as well as the implementation of several pro-LGBTQ rights policies.

From 2008 to 2014, she worked at Make the Road New York, overseeing its LGBTQ Justice Project. She also helped open the project’s new office in Brentwood, Long Island, where she supervised immigration, housing, civic engagement, and leadership development programs.

Claudio Betancourt grew up in Puerto Rico, where she attended the University of Puerto Rico, graduating with a BA in interdisciplinary studies. She moved to New York City in 2007, and received an MA in performance studies from New York University.

Karina will join us via Skype on May 10th to discuss her extensive voter mobilization efforts in diverse communities across the United States, and share effective ways to get young people, immigrants, and other new voters involved in the democratic process.