Photo: Staff

Step 1: Learn and practice organizing skills

In the first step of the Change Corps program, you’ll take part in an intensive classroom and field training where you will learn and practice the organizing skills you’ll need for the rest of your career.

The organizers who launched Change Corps understood that new activists need a place to start, to learn how to make their mark.

That's why we bring in trainers from across the country, covering a wide range of issues, to teach you how to organize, run a campaign and win change. You’ll learn skills from nonprofit group leaders like Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood, and Bill McKibben of 350.org.

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. That’s what we need to do on other issues if we want to see more real progress in our country.

To get a sense of additional trainers and topics we cover, here’s a sampling of sessions from our Summer 2018 training program.

  • Overview: What is Organizing
    Trainer: David Rossini, ​Vice President and Director of State Offices​, The Public Interest Network
  • Issue Overview: New Voters Project
    Trainer: Dan Xie, Political Director, Student PIRGs
  • Issue Overview: Voting Rights
    Trainer: Marvin Randolph, President, Southern Elections Fund
  • Skill: Recruitment
    Trainer: Marvin Randolph, President, Southern Elections Fund
  • Issue Overview: Clean Cars
    Trainer: Garrett Garner-Wells, Director, Environment Colorado
  • Skill: Personal Recruitment
    Trainer: Varsha Nair, Assistant Organizing Director, Change Corps
  • Issue Overview: Elections and the Environment
    Trainer: Mary Rafferty, Executive Director, Virginia Conservation Network
  • Guest Speaker: David Simas, CEO, Obama Foundation
  • Skill: Fundraising
    Trainer: Dan Xie, Political Director, Student PIRGs
  • Issue Overview: Nuclear
    Trainer: Yasmeen Silva, U.S. Field Organizer, Beyond the Bomb
  • Skill: Recruiting Coalition Partners
    Trainer: Donna Farvard, National Organizing Director, National Iranian American Council
  • Skill: Phone Calls
    Trainer: Ivana Bejaran, Colorado Parent Organizer, Colorado Stand for Children
  • Issue Overview: Democracy
    Trainer: Izzy Bronstein, National Grassroots Organizer, Common Cause
  • Skill: Public Speaking
    Trainer: Pete Maysmith, Senior Vice President of Campaigns, League of Conservation Voters
  • Skill: Building an Effective Volunteer Group
    Trainer: Varsha Nair, Assistant Organizing Director, Change Corps
  • Issue Overview: Reproductive Rights
    Trainer: Arriana Belkin, Public Affairs Manager, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
  • Skill: Working with Volunteers: Individual Meetings
    Trainer: Margaret Kran-Annexstein, Campaign Director, Mighty Earth
  • Skill: Working with Volunteers Overview
    Trainer: Manny Rin, Executive Director, Change Corps
  • Issue Overview: Education Reform
    Trainer: Brian Tanner, Director of Government Affairs, Colorado Education Association
  • Organization Overview: ColorOfChange
    Trainer: Arisha Hatch, Managing Director of Campaigns, ColorOfChange
  • Context: Legal Briefing
    Trainer: Mike Landis, Litigation Director, The Public Interest Network
  • Organization Overview: New Era Colorado
    Trainer: Charley Olena, Advocacy Director, New Era Colorado
  • Issue Overview: Right to Repair
    Trainer: Nathan Proctor, New Economy Program, U.S. PIRG
  • Context: Perspectives on Organizing
    Trainer: Cecile Richards

Guest Trainers

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:

Photo: Dani Neuharth-Keusch

Cecile Richards

Former President, Planned Parenthood

Cecile Richards is the former 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, lead a movement that has worked for nearly 100 years to build a safer and healthier world for women and teens.

Photo: Eliott Foust, WeFoust Photo

Ben Monterosso

Executive Director, Mi Familia Vota

Ben Monterroso is a key champion and leader for many immigrants’ rights campaigns, dating back to 1994 when he helped lead the fight against California Proposition 187, an extreme anti-immigrant ballot initiative that proposed stripping basic human and civil rights from immigrants. Under Ben's leadership, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund's voter registration, education and mobilization efforts made the organization a national leader in Latino civic engagement.

Photo: Dani Neuharth-Keusch

Michael Crawford

Digital and Creative Director, Freedom to Marry

Michael Crawford is the digital and creative director 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.

And many others, including…
Kirk Adams, Executive Vice President, SEIU International
Mia Moore, Chief of Staff, Democracy for America
Amy Faulring, Grassroots Campaigns Director, MoveOn.org
John Rumpler, Senior Attorney, Environment America
Jonathan Parker, Campaigns Director at Emily’s List
Betsy Markey, former U.S. Representative for Colorado's 4th congressional district and the former Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs in the United States Department of Homeland Security
Arriana Belkin, Public Affairs Manager, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
Arisha Hatch, Managing Director of Campaigns, ColorOfChanges

Learn more about Change Corps

If you are interested in working with Change Corps, fill out this form and we will send you more information about our positions. From there we will connect you to our online application.

Long-lasting social change simply doesn't happen without organizing. I’m thrilled that Change Corps is passing on the secrets of the trade to a new generation of activists.

Eli Pariser, Co-Founder, Upworthy; Former President, MoveOn.org