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Bricks, not Cards: Boosting Leadership Skills for Young Activists

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Alfred Landecker Democracy Fellow Tara Dickman is a community organizer, trainer, facilitator and strategist who works to help the powerful become more inclusive and the inclusive build power. In her current role with France’s largest equal opportunity organization, Article 1, Tara Dickman supports the Different Leaders, a youth group of 125 successful students and professionals from underserved backgrounds, in their efforts to become changemakers towards sustainable, inclusive, and equitable societies for future generations.

Through a thorough training and coaching of a small group in community organizing  and strategic campaign design, the project will result in two to three campaigns related to issues encountered by the Different Leaders and their peers in their journey through higher education and employment. Throughout the process, Tara will also be developing and running an inclusive, empathy and courage-based leadership training.

The community organizing trainees will learn how to gradually build their campaigns and engage their peers, audience and allies through active listening, relationship-building, research, power analysis and strategic action.

The overall goal of the project is to empower the group to build a courage and empathy-based  community organizing culture members can then autonomously carry out both as a community and in their own respective communities for years to come.

In the fall of 2020, the youth group’s community organizing trainee team will set up a townhall to identify the key goals and asks of their community, as well as conduct a digital vote on the 2 or 3 campaigns that they want to work on throughout the year. 

Those who have committed to working on a campaign will then benefit from a strategic campaign training. Through workshops and continued coaching, the community organizing trainees will learn how to gradually build their campaigns and engage their peers, audience and allies through active listening, relationship-building, research, power analysis and strateic action.

By December 5th, the international equal opportunity day, the group will have lead their first public action, online and/or offline, to further their goals. In January, they will evaluate and elaborate on further tactics. From January to June, they will work with their new allies towards SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, and time-bound) which they will  will aim to implement by September with public online/offline actions. In September, they will evaluate their progress and decide on their next steps, as a community, and as inclusive, ethical and responsible leaders within their communities.