A project of the Milwaukee DSA Education Committee
Are you interested in becoming the best organizer you can be? Do you want to expand socialism here in Milwaukee, but are unsure of where and how to start? Have you been involved but feel like the project did not go anywhere? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the Milwaukee Socialist Organizer Class is for you!
This nine week program will focus on holistically teaching you to be an unstoppable organizer who builds socialism, changes hearts and minds, and impacts our city. You will learn direct action organizing, as defined by Organizing for Social Change: Midwest Academy Manual for Activists, in which we organize actions, campaigns, and strategies to “1) win real, immediate, concrete improvement in people’s lives . . . 2) Give people a sense of their own power . . . 3) Alter the relations of power.”
Interested individuals will apply (apply here, due Friday, May 13), be interviewed, and enter the program if selected. DSA membership is not required to participate, but is encouraged.
This education program will be a combination of in-person events with virtual events if necessary. Each unit will be roughly a week, with a week break in the middle of the program. Each unit will consist of classroom-style instruction in the unit topic (no more than 2 hours, which is intended to be in-person), field work in organizing (which will be at least 3 hours and consist of having conversations, moving people to action, and building infrastructure for a strong socialist movement involving several types of campaigns), and time for personal reflection. Each participant must commit to the entire program and, unless excused, attend every unit instruction, and field work session. Missing more than two classes and field work sessions may result in removal from the program.
Time commitment per week:
Unit instruction: 2 hours
Organizing work: 3 hours
Miscellaneous tasks: 1 hour
Total time per week: 6 hours
There will be two “sections” of class held each week and participants will choose and commit to attending one section during the program.
Section 1 class: Tuesdays from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. (for the 9-5 crowd)
Section 2 class: Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. (for the second and third shift crowd)
Field work will be held at regular intervals over the week, with options to organize at several points during the week:
(tentative schedule, subject to change)
Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
Saturdays 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Sundays 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Mondays 5:30 until 8:30 p.m.
- Friday, May 13: Application deadline – apply here
- Tuesday, May 17: Start of nine week program (First Section 1 class held, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.), location TBD, but in City of Milwaukee
- Friday May 20: First Section 2 class held 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., location TBD, but in City of Milwaukee
- Monday, June 13 to Monday June 20: Week Break
- Monday, July 18: Completion of program
Each unit helps to answer the question: what is organizing?
Welcome: what is organizing?
- Get to know participants and instructor
- Define scope of class and intentions
- Determine goals and desired outcomes
Organizing is one-on-one Conversations
- Learn the 7 point organizing conversation
- Practice the conversation and its elements
Organizing is building the committee and the campaign
- The importance (or not) of the committee
- Power Mapping the campaign
- Strategy Chart
Organizing is holistic productivity
- Traction versus distraction
- Time management and its importance
- The Reverse Calendar
- Overcoming blocks to action
Organizing is a mindset
- Acknowledging hurdles and setbacks
- Failure is a great option
- Develop a practice to keep you going
Organizing is raising money and managing it
- Why money is OK
- How to bring energy and money to your campaign
- The basics of campaign budgeting and finance
Organizing is communications
- What does “messaging” mean?
- The power of media
- Writing workshop
Organizing is bringing it all together
- You’ve got momentum – now what?
- Recap of unit themes
Here is what previous students have to say about the Milwaukee Socialist Organizer Class:
“[Before the class] I had no idea about the actual work of organizing. Now I feel confident that I would be able to become a leader in a campaign setting…”
“I loved the practical application of socialism… [and] I loved the far-reaching application of some of the class content.”
“This is a great way to move into the world of socialism… thank you so much for offering this course”
“This [class] is a great first step for anyone looking to start organizing.”
“I radically grew in my comfort around being upfront and simply being able to approach a complete stranger with a potentially controversial topic.”
“New organizers and experienced organizers can benefit from this class.”
“Generally speaking my confidence level just interacting with people about socialism has gone through the roof. I have been given a phenomenal overview of how to organize and I feel confident that I can find out what works best for me in the future.”
“It was great to grow as an organizer within the confines of a welcoming community/instructor.”
“I feel more confident organizing outside of an electoral context.”
Meet your instructor:
Alex Brower is a labor leader, socialist organizer, and the chapter treasurer of the Milwaukee Democratic Socialists of America. In his organizing work, Alex has saved jobs from privatization, helped workers win a union voice on the job, defeated a temp agency, organized against a proposed iron-ore mine, helped bring comprehensive sex education to Beloit Public Schools, and won workplace healthcare for many uninsured MPS Substitute Teachers. As an MPS substitute teacher and former Milwaukee Rec. Department instructor, Alex brings a host of experience teaching others. Alex has also been a candidate for Milwaukee City Comptroller and School Board, running both times as a socialist.
Contact Alex Brower at 414-949-8756 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to apply, or copy and paste this URL into your web browser: