We are accepting a second round of applications from organizers for our August virtual Summer Institute for Organizers on Contesting Supremacism, cosponsored by Western States Center. This event will accept up to 24 grassroots organizers interested in a program diving deep into how to combat supremacist mobilizations.

The agenda, below, has been tailored to meet the needs that first-round applicants indicated in their applications. We are now opening up a second round of applications for organizers whose work would benefit from the planned schedule. There will also be an evening social dinner with gift cards for participants to order delivery at home.

Researchers will provide trainings designed to address the threats and challenges that participants indicated in their applications. This will include how supremacist ideologies (i.e., white, male, cis, Christian, etc.) interrelate and conflict; supremacism on the “left,” such as TERFs; countering disinformation online; techniques for organizing across the netroots and grassroots; and countering effective long-term organizing and institution-building by supremacists.

Then, researchers and organizers will strategize in afternoon breakout groups to address actual scenarios organizer participants are facing, with three breakout groups meeting throughout: “Strategies for Anti-Supremacist Work at the Netroots;” “Stopping Anti-Trans Mobilization on the Right and ‘Left'”; and “Challenging Allied White Supremacists and Christian Nationalists on the Ground”.

WHEN: Friday/Saturday August 13-14 & 20-21 starting 9 AM PT/12 PM ET through Zoom

IRMS will provide support in developing these researcher-organizer relationships and engaged research projects to help organizing against supremacist and anti-democratic mobilizations after the summer institute. Participants will gain access to the digital security training video from our 2021 conference and other resources.

Trainers and facilitators include: Blu Buchanan; Sophie Bjork-James; Cloee Cooper; Julia DeCook; Alex DiBranco; Kat Enyeart; Heron Greenesmith; Becca Lewis; Meredith Pruden; Diana Sandoval

Our gratitude to our funder, Mary’s Pence, for their support.

DRAFT AGENDA

Note that all times are in PT.

Friday, August 13

9 AM PT to 10:15 AM PT: Introductory Session

We will open the Friday morning session with a dynamic introduction, for participants to not only introduce themselves and share what they are working on, but set shared intentions for what we intend to gain from the institute.

10:30 AM to 12 PM: Varieties, Intersections, and Conflicts of Supremacism

Supremacist ideology appears in many forms, sometimes at odds with one another, sometimes in conjunction. The initial training session will discuss supremacist opposition, what the primary forms of supremacist ideology are that we seeing playing out today (with a focus on white, male, cisgender, and Christian supremacisms), why it is understanding their divergences is important for effective strategizing, and how to apply this understanding to intersectional organizing and effective use of media.

12 PM – 1 PM: Break

1 PM – 3 PM: Varieties, Intersections, and Conflicts of Supremacism (continued)

As the morning training session continues, we will also discuss the issues of supremacism on the “left” as part of the equation for radical deep-rooted change.

Saturday, August 14

9 PM -12 PM: Countering Supremacist Threats at the Netroots

With the advent of the alt-right, people began to take notice of the significance of organizing online for supremacist groups, though online activity by white nationalist groups, anti-abortion groups, and others far predates the alt-right. There has also been increasing awareness of the influence of disinformation, of online harassment (especially toward women, people of color, and queer people), and the use of social media platforms to organize real-world events. In the wake of over a year of the Covid-19 pandemic pushing much of the world to operate primarily online, understanding and utilizing the netroots in conjunction with the grassroots is more important than ever. The training include countering dis- and misinformation, recognizing that people generally still wield more influential than bots, and techniques to monitor groups online and collaborate.

The training will not cover digital safety and security practices, but participants will receive access to and are encouraged to watch a recording of our 2021 digital training session.

12 PM – 1 PM: Break

1 PM – 3 PM : Breakout session 1

Attendees will be organized into breakout groups of organizers and researchers working around similar topics to lay out the on-the-ground difficulties and delve deeper into thinking about strategic action that includes the lessons from the trainings. Participants will join the same breakout group for all the breakout sessions. Planned breakout groups are: ” “Strategies for Anti-Supremacist Work at the Netroots;” “Stopping Anti-Trans Mobilization on the Right and ‘Left'”; and “Challenging Allied White Supremacists and Christian Nationalists on the Ground.”

5 PM – 7 PM: Social Dinner Together

We will meet back on Zoom for a social dinner for a more casual connection and venting halfway through the institute.

Friday, August 20

9 AM – 12 PM: Organizing Strategies Against Supremacist Mobilizations

The session will discuss how supremacists have successfully made use of local school boards, state legislatures, networks of state think tanks, connections between grassroots organizers and national organizations, and other interventions. Supremacist groups frequently demonstrate a willingness to collaborate, for instance, bringing together explicit white nationalists with Christian Right groups. The current attacks on critical race theory utilizes the playbook deployed against sexuality education. The session will discuss the opportunities for and importance of increasing intersectional collaboration across issues that often operate separately, for instance antifascist organizing and reproductive justice, and will consider multiple points of effective intervention. 

12 PM – 1 PM: Break

1 PM – 3 PM: Breakout Session 2

Saturday, August 21

9 AM – 11 AM: “Parking Lot” Session

The last training session will be reserved for the “parking lot,” with conference organizers addressing items that came up in the prior weekend’s (August 13th and 14th) sessions, breakouts, and social time that participants are seeking a deeper dive into.

11 AM -12 PM: Breakout Session 3

12 PM – 1 PM: Break

1 PM – 3 PM: Final Sum-Up, Sharing, and Next Steps