Equipping nonprofits to advance social change

Tag: Activism

Black Love in Cleveland

This past weekend, I had the honor to attend the Movement for Black Lives convening in Cleveland. It was a historic gathering of more than a thousand black organizers, activists and families from around the country. Given the justified outrage over people being pepper sprayed by cops after the conference...more

Funding Needed for Black Organizing

Around the country funders are coming together to support community organizing in black communities. Earlier this month, I moderated a panel discussion at the North Star Fund’s “Let Us Breathe” forum, which served “as a call to community members, donors, grantmakers, activists, organizers, and all...more

Public Protest Molds Public Opinion

Earlier this month, a new poll revealed that there was a “deep divide” between blacks and whites on race and the criminal justice system. I’m not sure that this news was all that surprising since, as Alvin noted in his blog about the unique brand of...more

#BlackWorkersMatter

Despite racial and economic progress in the Unites States, black communities continue to endure disproportionate levels of inequality and injustice. The status of black workers and their ability to address the socio-economic issues faced in their communities reveals an America defaulting on its promise as the “land of opportunity....more

Blame and Forgiveness

It is striking to me that in all the tension and cacophony we are experiencing here in New York City and around the country – from the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict the police involved in the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and so many other...more

Reflection on Movement Leadership

Most of the time, we talk here about the leadership of organizations related to age, race, gender, style, outcomes, and social change. We think about leadership pipelines and transitions, and what structures help people lead with the most impact. But in the midst of the funeral for Michael Brown in...more

Learning How to ACT UP

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld reflects on what it was about the film United in Anger that motivated him to create an accompanying discussion guide for activists and organizers: I first saw the documentary United in Anger: A History of ACT UP a year ago. As I watched the film, I was engrossed in story of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. I was inspired by the successes of this movement that made it possible for an HIV diagnosis to not be an immediate death sentence. But I was also moved to tears by the footage of activists scattering the ashes of those who lost their lives to the virus. When I reflected on the film though, what struck me the most was the willingness of the filmmaker, Jim Hubbard, to explore the internal divisions and debates that struggled to manage in the midst of its fight against widespread indifference by the government, researchers and healthcare industry. Although it would have been tempting to overlook the internal strife in service of a triumphant narrative about ACT UP, this complexity made the film both refreshing and instructive.

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United in Anger

United in Anger: A History of ACT UP is a moving and inspiring film, and a great resource for organizers and activists of all stripes. This packet of discussion guides is designed to help groups learn from the example of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power and apply the lessons of ACT UP’s organizing tactics and campaign strategies to their own movements today. The first guide in the packet is for a single viewing of the full film, with discussion questions and an activity. The second guide splits the film into four sections, for groups of activists who want to watch and reflect on the film over the course of a month of weekly meetings. No matter which discussion guide your organization uses, this film will help your members recommit to organizing and action on the pressing issues of today.

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Part of the 99%

Here at BMP, we’re excited to be in New York at the epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street movement. We’ve been watching for two weeks now as protestors continue to camp in Zuccotti Park to demonstrate their frustration with the current American economic system. While some are critical about the lack of a specific set of demands, what’s most important is that within the multitude of voices coming from downtown, people are standing together and speaking out for social change. more

Missed our call for organizers in social service organizations?  Here’s the low down.

Recently the Building Movement Project hosted the first of an ongoing series of "cohort calls" focused on the different roles/activities of service providers in social change work. The first call focused on the experience of organizers, advocates, and directors of civic engagement work within a service context. 25 participants joined the call with three guest speakers (organizers Maria Zavala and Amina Saleg from the Family Partnership in Minnesapolis, MN and Anna Dioguardi from Queens Community House in Queens, NY) to build connections and share information about strategies and challenges inherent in this work.more

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