Free & Online: Harvard Taps Obama, Human Rights & United Farm Workers Activists to Teach Resists Trump

On Trump, a group of student at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a public policy and public administration school, of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says (source): “The Resistance (to Trump) School is a free four session practical training program to sharpen the tools we need to fight for our values at the federal, state, and local levels. Our goal is to keep the embers of resistance alive through concrete learning, community engagement, and forward-looking action. Join us online or in-person.”

The group says the classes will focus on the following:

1/ How to Communicate our Values in Political Advocacy: Many of us have been struggling with how to channel our personal response to Trump’s presidency into cogent and impactful political action. The opening session of Resistance School will delve into the critical first step of this process: effective communication for change. This session will draw on the political history of the United States to explore how activists have used valued-based communication to galvanize support for political and social movements. Historian and activist Timothy McCarthy will lead us through an interactive lecture on how to develop a compelling frame and narrative for initiating conversations about political advocacy.

Teacher: Timothy McCarthy, April 5th, 7:00 p.m.

Timothy McCarthy is an award-winning scholar, educator, and public servant specializing in politics and social movements, media culture, and human rights.

2/ How to Mobilize and Organize our Communities: Many activists believe that working for a cause and fighting to win an election are distinct modes of advocacy. But this moment in our political history calls for citizens who understand that causes and elections are closely intertwined. In the second session of Resistance School, one of the country’s leading organizers, former Obama grassroots movement architect Sara El-Amine will lead us through a boots-on-the-ground-centered training that will equip us to effectively mobilize and organize your community.

Teacher: Sara El-Amine, April 12th, 6:30 p.m.

Sara El-Amine is one of the foremost leaders on grassroots and digital advocacy, and the former Executive Director of President Obama’s advocacy arm.

3/ How to Structure and Build Capacity for Action: President Trump’s election highlighted the long-term organizing effort needed to reestablish a progressive vision for our country. Our movement needs the structure and capacity to outlast any attack on our values and to move to offensive strategic effort. Marshall Ganz will engage us in a workshop on how to structure our organizing to build capacity and create widely distributed leadership opportunities. He’ll zoom in on launching strong leadership teams based on shared-purpose, interdependent roles, and norms to help us build strong organizations and leaders for lasting resistance.

Teacher:  Marshall Ganz, April 20th, 7:00 p.m.

Marshall Ganz is a senior lecturer in public policy and an expert with decades of experience in grassroots organizing, in part as a former Director of Organizing for the United Farm Workers.

4/ How to Sustain the Resistance Long-Term: In our final session, we will learn how to build coalitions that leverage the talent and expertise of organizations across the progressive community. New York Assemblyman and DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake will teach us how to form winning coalitions that strengthen the connective tissue between progressive groups and build the political power necessary to sustain the resistance long-term. Bringing everything together, Assemblyman Blake will send us off with the tools we need to take the resistance from political moment to social movement.

Teacher: Michael Blake, April 27th, 7:00 p.m.

Michael Blake is a New York State Assemblyman who was recently elected to be Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee and formerly worked in the Obama White House.

Occupy Democrats reports (source):

Students from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government just took a page out of Harry Potter’s book – literally – by banding together to fight back against Trump.

In the vein of “Dumbledore’s Army,” a group of students that Harry Potter assembles in secret to fight the villainous Ministry of Magic, Harvard’s “Resistance School” is a free four-week practical training program created with the aim of fighting Trump’s agenda and, more importantly, sharing the knowledge of how to do so with others.

In the “About Us” section on their website, the group states:

“On November 8, we lost more than just the presidency. We lost yet more ground in the decades-long campaign against progressive values.”

“Republicans now control the Senate, House, and more state legislatures than they have in almost 200 years. Those losses have emboldened the right to launch an all-out attack against our nation’s creed – that all are created equal.”

The Resistance Army is not going about this alone; per the group’s website, collaborators include former staffers from the Obama, Bernie, and Hillary presidential election campaigns; community organizers; advocates for human rights, campaign finance reform, and veterans’ affairs; and journalists for publications in the US and abroad.

Yasmin Radjy, one of the group’s co-founders, said, “The energy in the country right now is amazing. There are so many people who want to do things around how to be politically active.”

With the nation’s sharpest minds now banding together to defeat Trump’s backwards agenda, a progressive revolution is imminent.

Harvard’s Kennedy School?

The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (also known as Harvard Kennedy School and HKS)[1] is a public policy and public administration school, of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The school offers master’s degrees in public policy, public administration, and international development, grants several doctoral degrees, and many executive education programs. It conducts research in subjects relating to politics, government, international affairs, and economics.

The School’s primary campus is located on John F. Kennedy Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The main buildings overlook the Charles River, southwest of Harvard Yard and Harvard Square, on the site of a former MBTA Red Line trainyard. The School is adjacent to the public riverfront John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

In 2015, Douglas Elmendorf, the former director of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office who had previously served as a Harvard faculty member, was named Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School and Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy.[2] From 2004 to 2015, the School’s Dean was David Ellwood, who was also the Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy at HKS. Previously, Ellwood was an assistant secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton Administration.[3]

A major expansion and renovation of the campus began in 2015, with completion expected in 2018.[4][5]

Harvard Kennedy School was originally the Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration (GSPA), and was founded in 1936 with a $2 million gift (equivalent to ~$30 million in 2010) from Lucius N. Littauer, a graduate of Harvard College.[6] Its shield was designed to express the national purpose of the school and was modeled after the U.S. shield.[7] The School drew its initial faculty from Harvard’s existing government and economics departments, and welcomed its first students in 1937.

The School’s original home was in the Littauer Center north of Harvard Yard, now the home of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Economics Department. The first students at the Graduate School were so-called “Littauer Fellows,” participating in a one-year course listing which later developed into the school’s mid-career Master in Public Administration program. In the 1960s, the School began to develop today’s public policy degree and course curriculum in the Master in Public Policy program.

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