Workshops

Wondering what we do beyond anti-oppression fundamentals? Here's some examples!

Anti-Capitalism for Collectives and Communities

How do we live a politics of anti-capitalism in our daily lives and communities? How can we challenge the individualism and inequality of capitalism? In this interactive workshop, we will deconstruct some of the lies of capitalism and begin to create a framework that is based in caregiving, interdependence, community, and collective liberation. We'll break down the concept of the "nonprofit industrial complex" and how it has impacted movement building in the U.S., and discuss alternatives that we can be and are using. We aim to create a space for deep and challenging reflection about the ways we are engaging with capitalist structures in our own lives and communities, and to begin thinking collectively about how to build community and movement based in shared resources and sustainability for everyone.
 

Anti-Racism for Organizers

Whether you are a community organizer with years of organizing experience or are new to organizing, if you want to strengthen your anti-racism framework in the work you do, this workshop is for you. In this interactive workshop, we will deconstruct the ways that systemic white supremacy, racism, and setteler colonialism impact our work as organizers with non-profits, collectives, cooperatives, schools, and communitites. Together we will share (and learn) tactics, concepts, skills, and language to push us further and unite our struggles for racial justice. Come with questions and leave with new strategies for moving forward!
 

Anti-Oppressive Facilitation: Making Meeting Awesome for Everyone

Inefficient and ineffective meetings can leave people feeling drained, exhausted or discouraged, rather than inspired and energized. Good meetings help build strong, effective organizations and successful projects. Even organizations with great meeting process inadvertently perpetuate barriers to full member participation and access to democratic process. This happens through group dynamics of power, privilege and oppression that often marginalize women, people of color, queer, trans and gender non-conforming folks, people with disabilities and those with limited access to the cultural cues that come with class privilege.

Whether or not you tend to act as facilitator at meetings you attend, building your facilitation skills will help you make your meetings better, more inclusive, and more fully democratic! In this workshop we will skill share meeting facilitation tools, from agenda building tips to addressing sticky situations. Beginners and pros are both welcome; come to develop new skills or strengthen the ones you have.
 

Capacity Building for the Long Haul

How do you sustain your vision for change? How do you connect the dots when there is so much to get done? How do you zoom out and look at the big picture? How do you stay strong, keep building power and maintain effective sustainability as an organization? In this popular education style workshop we will break down the elements of transformative organizing -- concepts, structures and tools to strengthen your campaigns, craft coalitions and specifically, create meaningful organizations built to thrive. Participants should come with questions, ideas and ready to participate.


Deconstructing Ableism

Often people with disabilities face discrimination from individuals and systems built without them in mind that prevent them from being able to participate in or access spaces, resources, employment, or housing. This workshop will examine the systems of oppression that affect people with mental, physical, and emotional disabilities.

We will develop analysis and understanding of how these systems function at individual, institutional, and cultural levels and strategize ways to affect change. We will talk about how to create cultures and communities that are welcoming, accessible, and celebrating of people with all kinds of abilities. Participants will leave with a better understanding of how ableism operates, how to recognize it, and tools for creating change in their communities.
 

Fighting the Systems: Destabilizing Systemic Oppression

In this workshop we will develop shared language and a deeper analysis of how systemic oppression operates so that we can better understand how to transform ourselves and our organizations, workplaces, and communities. Together we will map what it looks like when systems like white supremacy, patriarchy, classism, homo and transphobia, ableism, etc influence and affect our day-to-day interactions, as well as organizational operations and practices. We will leave with a more comprehensive and complicated understanding of these systems, as well as action steps and resources to make concrete changes and impacts.
 

Healthy Organizational Communications

This workshop will show how conflict resolution practices, collective care models, intentional meeting facilitation, can all work together to create a culture and practice of healthy organizational communication. Through this framework, we will investigate how strong and healthy communication is key to anti-oppression politics. Participants will leave with concrete tools on how to further their organizations’ purpose, objectives and goals with principled and creative communications processes.


Institutionalized Patriarchy: Framing Our Resistance

In this workshop, we will chart the effects and accumulation of patriarchy in our individual interactions, and cooperative organizations as connected to broader institutionalized structures. We will look at how patriarchy intersects with other systems of oppression. Using popular education, we will share our collective histories of resistance to patriarchy as central to framing our visions of new possibilities forward.


Multiply and Mobilize: Resisting Divide and Conquer Tactics in Organizing

Busted! The act of dividing potential allies and communities who could come together to rise up is one of the oldest and infuriatingly effective tricks in the book. This workshop deconstructs the legacies of how divide and conquer has been used as well as why it works as a tactic in settler colonialism, white supremacy, projects of capitalism, and beyond. Be a part of examining the historic moments of successful resistance to efforts to dvivide our movements for social justice. Using story telling, imagination, mapping, and games we will pull out lessons we can use as organizers and community members to increase our capacity to build and maintain strong and unified movements.
 

Queer Liberation and Collective Liberation

How do dismantling the gender binary and anti-racism relate to uprooting classism and disability justice? In this workshop, we will explore the intersections of identity and liberation. By placing LGBTQ issues and gender justice at the center, we will discuss how queer liberation is tied up with all forms of liberation. Using a strong anti-oppression lens, this popular education style workshop will give participants a safe place to discuss power and privilege, reflect on the state of their communities, and leave with concrete action steps to challenge and change the conversations and conditions in their communities and beyond.


Resolutions Not Ruins: Conflict Resolution In Your Organization.

As in all communities, conflict in organizations is unavoidable. It is also uncomfortable. In working through conflict, the question shouldn’t be, “How do we prevent conflict?” but rather “How do we address conflict in ways that are healthy and build a stronger organization?” This workshop will help participants identify conflict, even when its just a slow burning tension, and help us all distinguish between what healthy and unhealthy conflict look like. In the process we’ll share AORTA’s conflict resolution practices and methods in order to get a jump start in developing processes tailored to your own organization.


Training for Trainers

In this workshop, we will share how AORTA constructs a training, from the ground up.  Starting with a foundational understanding of individual's styles of learning and participation, we will then break down how to articulate goals and generate a tight agenda. We'll share strategies for identifying which awesome activities are the best fit for your content, and talk about how to tailor workshops and trainings to the actual needs of participants. There will be time to workshop your workshops! So if you're working on something, bring it along! This is a crucial training for anyone who finds themselves in front of a group of people trying to facilitate some meaningful learning.
 

The Way We Do the Things We Do: Healthy People Build Healthy Communities

How do we sustain our vision for change and not get lost in the day-to-day grind? How do we prevent burnout and a frenetic pace of work when there is so much to get done? How can we build real care and support into our organizations and communities? Using a radical mental health framework, we will explore ways to center the promotion of mental/physical health and wellness, as well as burnout prevention, into our work for social and economic justice. We will share tools, activities, and ideas to take back to you communities so that your work/organizing/activism can set you up to thrive! Come with questions and ideas, and leave with new strategies!

Client List

Arizmendi Valencia

Arizmendi Emeryville

AVODAH-New Orleans

Bay Area Girls Rock Camp

Bay Area Solidarity Summer (BASS)

The Beehive Design Collective

Bergen Community College

Berkeley Builds Capacity

Berkeley Student Cooperative

Better Future Project

Bike Kitchen

Books Through Bars

Boxcar Books

Break the Silence

C4 Tech & Design

The Capacity Project

The Cheeseboard Collective

Close to Home

CoCO Center for Community Organizations

CoFED- Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive

Collective of Collectives, Seattle

Common Ground Center

Community Food Co-op, Bellingham, WA

Conservation Corps North Bay

Consumer Cooperative Manager's Association

CUNY: Adjunct Project, Graduate Center, School of Law

Cycles of Change

Design Action Collective

East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice

Environmental Action Coalition

Equal Exchange

Evergreen State College: Campus Icarus Project, FIST

The Flaming Eggplant Café

For Crying Out Loud

Gallery Gachet

Girls Rock Philly

Head and Hands

hotpot! Philly

The Hub Bicycle Co-op

The Icarus Project

Inter Cooperative Council of Ann Arbor

Inter-Cooperative Council of Austin

Justice Now

Kensington Community Food Co-op

Lewis and Clark University

LGBTQA Youth Community Garden of Chicago

Local Sprouts Cooperative

Lucy Stone Cooperative

Madison Community Co-operative

Maple Street Co-op School

Mariposa Food Cooperative: Food Justice & Anti-Racism Working Group

Mascher Space Cooperative

McGill University: Social Equity and Diversity Education Office

Nabolom Collective Bakery

New York Trade School

North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO)

National Cooperative Business Association

National Radio Project

New Economy Coalition

New Moon Café

New York Law Collective

Oberlin College

Olympia Food Cooperative

Open Flows Community Technology Lab

Other Avenues Cooperative Grocery

Penn Haven Housing Cooperative

People's Food Co-op: Portland, Oregon

The People's Potato

Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance

Philly Stands Up!

Planned Parenthood NYC

Project H.O.M.E.

Prometheus Radio Project

Pursue: Action For a Just World

Quilted

QuORUM Forum

Red and Black Cafe

Regeneración Child Care

Resource Generation

Responsible Endowments Coalition

Riverwest Public House Cooperative

Safe Place Olympia

Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative

Sex Worker's Outreach Project New York City

Save Our Safety Net DC

Solar Community Housing Association

Southern Maine Workers Center

Stonewall Youth

Students Organizing Against Prisons

SUNY BInghamton Food Cooperative

Swarthmore College

Tadaima

Takoma Park Silver Spring Food Cooperative

UAW Grad Student Union (UC Santa Cruz)

United World College - USA

University of British Columbia Social Justice Center

University of British Columbia Allies

US Federation of Worker Cooperatives

Wesleyan University

Weaver's Way Co-op

Willie May Rock Camp for Girls

Worchester Roots Project

YouthCO

 

Conferences and Summits

2010, 2012 National Worker Cooperative Conference

2010-2013 NASCO Institute

2013 New York Cooperative Summit

2011, 2013 Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy

2011, 2013 Western Worker Cooperative Conference

2011-2012 Allied Media Conference

2012 Femme Conference

2012 Pedogogy and Theater of the Oppressed Conference

2013 Youth Power Summit, Ithaca College