Step 1: Learn the skills
In the first step of the Change Corps program, you’ll take part in an intensive classroom-style organizing training. You’ll learn from some of the most influential and experienced changemakers in the country. Our guest trainers have included Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org; Justin Ruben, board president of MoveOn.org; Van Jones, of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and CNN contributor; and Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood.
You’ll learn about the tactics used to win change on issues such as marriage equality, where a small number of activists raised awareness and organized grassroots support. They kept pushing and persuading decision-makers to stop obstructing change and start embracing it. Now, equality is the law of the land.
To get a sense of additional trainers and topics we cover, here’s a sampling of sessions from our Summer 2016 training program.
- Overview: Politics and Organizing
Trainer: Ryan Doyle, Executive Director, Change Corps
- Profile of an Organization: ColorOfChange
Trainer: Rashad Robinson, Executive Director, ColorOfChange
- Overview: Power, Outside Game, Inside Game, Money
Trainer: Anne Ditzler, Board Member, Change Corps
- Skill: Recruitment
Trainer: Ashley Pinedo-Carlson, National Training Director, Organizing for America
- Issue Overview: Solar
Trainer: Jessica Scott, Regional Director, Vote Solar
- Campaign Action: Petitioning
Trainer: Manny Rin, Recruitment Director, Change Corps
- Skill: Writing for Causes
Trainer: Sujatha Jahagirdar, Policy Specialist, Food And Agriculture Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
- Skill: Recruiting Coalition Partners
Trainer: Marvin Randolph, President & CEO, Southern Elections Fund
- Case Study: Syrian Refugee Campaign
Trainer: Ben Wikler, Washington DC Director, MoveOn.org
- Skill: Lobbying
Trainer: Jenny Willford, Executive Director, Emerge Colorado
- Skill: Entering the Community
Trainer: Pete Maysmith, Executive Director, Conservation Colorado
- Issue: Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights: Choice
Trainer: Gregoriah Hartman, Organizing Manager, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado
- Skill: Fundraising
Trainer: Katie Belanger, Chief Operations Officer, Freedom for All Americans
- Issue Briefing: Criminal Justice Reform
Trainer: Maureen Cain, Policy Director, Colorado Criminal Defense Institute
Change Corps draws from a deep well of talented and experienced organizers and trainers, including leaders at ProgressNow, Planned Parenthood, SEIU, and other partners.
In the past, our guest trainers have included:
Executive Director, Impact
David Rossini is the president of Change Corps. For the last 10 years, David served as organizing director of Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing. David currently works as the executive director of Impact and helps to coordinate the Public Interest Network Training Center on organizing.
Photo: B. Mark Schmerling
Senior Advisor & Co-Founder, 350.org
Bill McKibben is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org and the Schumann Distinguished Professor in Residence at Middlebury College in Vermont. He is a 2014 recipient of the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’ He has written a dozen books about the environment, including his first, The End of Nature, published 25 years ago, and his most recent, Oil and Honey.
Photo: Susana Bates
Author and CNN contributor
Van Jones is a CNN political contributor, regularly appearing across the network's programming and special political coverage. Jones has founded and led four nonprofit organizations engaged in social and environmental justice. These include: The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, Green for All, Rebuild The Dream and Dream Corps Unlimited. He is the author of two New York Times best-selling books, The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream. In 2009, Van worked as the green jobs advisor to President Barack Obama.
Photo: Dani Neuharth-Keusch
Digital and Creative Director, Freedom to Marry
Michael Crawford is the director of online programs for Freedom to Marry, where he manages the organization’s websites, email program, online fundraising and social media presence. He has a wide range of experience in political advocacy, new media and grassroots organizing. He was a leading strategist for the successful campaign to win marriage equality in Washington, D.C., and co-founded D.C. for Marriage.
Photo: Dani Neuharth-Keusch
President, Planned Parenthood
Cecile Richards is the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She is a nationally-respected leader in the field of women’s health and reproductive rights, and, as president of Planned Parenthood, leads a movement that has worked for nearly 100 years to build a safer and healthier world for women and teens.
National Training Director, Organizing for Action
Since January of 2013, Ashley has been the national training director at Organizing for Action, a grassroots organization dedicated to training a generation of community organizers ready to civically engage and fight for change at the grassroots level. Prior to joining the Organizing for Action team, Ashley spent four years organizing in support of President Obama. In 2012, Ashley served as Florida training director for the Obama campaign, where she oversaw the training of more than 3,500 volunteers, organizing fellows, and other staff. Ashley lives in Chicago where she also teaches a course on Issue Advocacy and Community Organizing at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.
And many others, including…
Kirk Adams, SEIU International Executive Vice President
Mia Moore, Democracy for America Chief of Staff
Naomi Roth, Massachusetts Organizing Director at Families for Excellent Schools
Amy Faulring, Grassroots Campaigns Director at MoveOn.org
John Rumpler, Senior Attorney for Environment America
Margie Alt, Environment America Executive Director
Jonathan Parker, Campaigns Director at Emily’s List