COMMUNITY ORGANIZING TRAINING EXPERIENCE (see below for detailed resume):
- Activism 2 Organizing, Social Movement Strategist and Community Organizing Trainer, Founder and Lead Trainer, Facilitator, Presenter/Guest Speaker, 1996-present
- Popular Praxis, Founder and Director, 2014-present, oral history and political educator trainer/facilitator
- George Wiley Center, Lead Organizer then Executive Director, 2012-present
- UMass Dartmouth Labor Education Center, Community/Campus Labor Solidarity Coordinator, 2007-2009 Labor Educator/Labor Extension Specialist, 2013-present
- Greater Southeastern Massachusetts Labor Council, Director of Community Outreach, 2014- 2019
- Rhode Island Jobs with Justice, Executive Director, 2009-2011
- Mass. Senior Action Council, Bristol County Chapter, Lead Organizer, 2007-2011
- Coalition for Social Justice, Fall River, MA, Phone Bank Trainer and Coordinator, 2007
- PrYSM (Providence Youth Student Movement), RI, Organizing Trainer and Consultant, 2006
- Project Empower, Taunton, Mass., Public Education and Outreach Organizer, 2006-2008
- United Interfaith Action of Southeastern Mass., New Bedford and Fall River, Lead Organizer, 2005
- Rhode Island HUD Organizing Project, Providence, Founder 2005
- Summer4Justice/Economic Human Rights Project, Mass., Youth Organizer, 2004
- Massachusetts Alliance of HUD Tenants, Southeastern Mass. Regional Organizer, Tenant Organizer, 1999-2005
- Caregiver, for my mother (who died of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) 1998
- Homes Not Jails, Boston, Mass., Founder and Coordinator, 1996-7
- Boston Urban Gardeners, Boston, Mass., Community Gardener Coordinator, 1996
- Empty the Shelters (Fill the Homes), Northeast Coordinator, 1995-7
- Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Roxbury, Mass., Environmental Justice Organizer, 1994
- La Casa De Don Pedro, Newark, NJ, Weatherization, Community Education and Outreach Coordinator, 1993
- Empty the Shelters (Fill the Homes), Oakland, CA, Youth and Student Organizer, 1992
COMMUNITY ORGANIZING EXPERIENCE
Activism 2 Organizing, Founder and Lead Trainer, 2004 – present
■ Founded Activism 2 Organizing, synthesizing twenty years of direct experience organizing with tenants, workers, churches, youth, immigrants, seniors, and students;
■ Developed organizing trainings, materials, curricula, and teaching tools;
■ Offered trainings and workshops on effective and creative community organizing strategy and skills;
■ Created the workshop “From Activism 2 Organizing” to help groups grow successful organizing, building from and beyond activism;
■ Provided community organizing consultation and assistance to organizations, unions, student groups, and other grassroots organizing efforts;
■ Facilitated campaign development, outreach, & strategy for diverse organizing campaigns.
George Wiley Center, Lead Organizer/Executive Director, 2012- present
■ Coordinated statewide chapters and weekly direct actions with members of the George Wiley Center (GWC), an organizing project focused on taking direct action around a collective case model making policy changes to fight poverty in Rhode Island;
■ Expanded membership and participation in every aspect of the George Wiley Center;
■ Increased press and publicity for GWC activities including using social media, artistic design of materials and public narrative storytelling;
■ Coordinated creative direct actions, receiving media attention and increasing leverage on issues such as unemployment, low-income heating assistance, and SNAP benefits.
■ Recruited interns and volunteers to build organizing capacity beyond paid staff;
■ Developed membership and intern orientations, organizing trainings and curriculum, including: social movement history, social movement theory, participatory action research, oral history, community mapping, social media mobilization and base building.
■ Improved organizational sustainably by researching development opportunities and updating grant deadline calendar;
■ Facilitated monthly statewide meeting strategy discussions and reflections including organizing a retreat and ongoing evaluations of a strategic plan;
■ Created and provided organizing and know your rights trainings for members, community groups and agencies;
■ Monitored issue campaigns using power analysis and mobilized creative actions to achieve legislative and administrative policy goals;
Rhode Island Jobs with Justice, Executive Director, 2009-2011
■ Coordinated common campaigns of an economic justice coalition of over 40 member groups (community organizations, unions, churches, and student groups.);
■ Fostered collaborative campaign work that more than doubled the number of contacts in the mobilization database from 2,300 to 4,800;
■ Utilized creative direct action to increase media attention and leverage around local and national issues, supporting struggles for workers’ rights, immigrant rights, public education, housing, public transportation, and against corporate exploitation;
■ Spokesperson at numerous public events, delegations and protests;
■ Maintained database, activated action alerts using Salsa, initiated a text network for action mobilizations.
■ Facilitated steering, organizing committee meetings and formed and orchestrated cooperative campaigns with a solidarity committee of rank and file union and non-staff community organization members;
■ Conducted annual elections and a strategic planning processes to develop, prioritize and decide on specific campaigns;
■ Increased involvement of member groups and broadened the coalition by bringing in 6 new members;
■ Broadened social media outreach through the creation of a tumbler webpage and word-press blog, You-tube, Twitter and Facebook accounts;
■ Co-founded a Solidarity School that brought together union and community activists to listen to guest speakers, to learn from each other by sharing in group discussion about globalization, gender, immigration, racism, earning a certificate after participating in group exercises, making individual presentations and developing popular education and participatory action research projects.
■ Trained union and community members in how to develop and run corporate campaigns including: corporate research, power mapping, generating public pressure through mobilizing phone calls, faxes, emails, sign-on letters, petitions, leafleting, street theater, creative direct actions, delegations that targeted on dozens of companies who were scheduled to use the boycotted business; Led the community components of a boycott that caused the loss of over $2 million in customers to the economic target;
■ Created multiple campaigns to support struggles for fair contracts, including distributing “Solidarity coupons” to grocery store customers during a contract struggle and formulating plans to distribute 80,000 flyers in a month to support nurses; Increased community support for different labor struggles, such as; organizing parents and students to support teachers, custodians, bus drivers and other constituencies to support farm workers, janitors, carpenters, laborers, electricians, etc.
■ Organized demonstrations and rallies, orchestrated over a dozen picket lines and coordinated strike support, mobilizing community and union members to picket and leafleting corporate targets and participate in press events and rallies;
■ Developed presentations, sermons, trainings and workshops for a wide range of organizations, unions, students, community groups, youth agencies, ethnic organizations and churches;
■ Prepped and built the leadership of the rank and file union and community members to testify at hearings, speak to the press and lead on issues that impact them;
■ Crafted questionnaires and handouts to increase union members’ community involvement around worker rights issues in their local churches, neighborhood groups, campuses and ethnic social clubs;
■ Provided door-knocking, house meeting and one-on-one trainings: Coordinated and supervised neighborhood outreach with union members utilizing voter lists, doing outreach at sports games, in front of stores, at and after churches services, to small businesses, in housing developments, community centers and senior centers.
■ Researched and continually updated a grant writing schedule, expanded individual donor base including monthly “sustain justice” donations., coordinated an annual Awards event and Adbook as fundraisers.
Mass. Senior Action Council, Bristol County Chapter, Lead Organizer, 2007-2010
■ Worked with democratically-elected Bristol County Chapter board to plan monthly meetings, coordinated guest speakers, outreach plans and developed economic justice campaigns; Held board elections and built the membership base.
■ Cultivated senior power to foster political accountability on issues that affect the elderly, such as preserving affordable housing, improving public transportation, lowering the cost of prescription medication, saving social security from privatization and increasing funding for home care which allows seniors to stay home instead of being forced into nursing homes; developed popular education exercises to engage seniors in connecting anti-oppression issues to different concerns including fair taxes, needle exchanges, immigration/migration, military and prison related spending and environmental justice
■ Coordinated press coverage, public speaking trainings and opportunities for senior leaders;
■ Expanded the number of Senior Centers, COAs (Councils on Aging), churches, service agencies and housing developments involved in MSAC campaigns and actions in Southeastern Mass.;
■ Orchestrated collaborations around common concerns with diverse coalitions of retirees, unions, economic and social justice organizations; Developed leadership and organizing trainings for use by MSAC chapters and on the statewide level;
■ Mobilized hundreds of seniors, including 4 buses and caravans of cars for state-wide and regional actions such as press conferences to support nurse to patient ratios and Senior Action Day, where seniors come together to rally and lobby for a progressive political and economic agenda.
UMass Dartmouth Labor Ed Center, Community/Campus Labor Solidarity Coordinator, 2007-2009
■ Coordinated campus and community events for the Labor Education Center;
■ Increased collaboration between community and student organizations;
■ Fostered labor education events connecting class and labor to social movements and global struggles;
■ Organized film showings, panels and workshops that brought ethnic, youth, immigrant worker rights, environmental justice, women’s, LGBTQ and labor organizations together;
■ Cultivated student support for local, regional, national and global worker and immigrant organizing campaigns.
Coalition for Social Justice, Fall River, MA, Phone Bank Coordinator, 2007
■ Coordinated and trained phone bank participants.
PrYSM (Providence Youth Student Movement), RI, Organizing Trainer and Consultant, 2006
■ Popular education trainer and curriculum consultant for Southeast Asian youth organizing project;
■ Researched exercises and political education curriculum including activities, films, and readings on refugee and immigrant rights/anti-deportation and imperialism/colonialism/anti-war activism, capitalism/classism/economic justice, economic and ideological systems, mental health issues and post-war trauma, gender, trans and queer Liberation, racial and gang profiling, the American War in Southeast Asia, building youth power;
■ Created a popular education resource library;
■ Developed organizing curriculum, campaign development and organizing trainings, including topics base-building, anti-oppression, classism and capitalism, racial justice, prison industrial complex, mapping out transnational immigration and migration, heterosexism/homophobia, gender oppression, US imperialisms, colonization and militarism;
■ Crafted interactive fun educational exercises, using a variety of formats including scavenger hunts, game shows, board games, skits, using visual art, spoken word, and making YouTube videos;
■ Analyzed results of Southeastern Asian Youth surveys and formatted data for members to reflect on the results;
■ Developed membership decision processes to choose campaign criteria, pick issues and develop campaigns at membership meetings; provided and facilitated ongoing organizing trainings on choosing issue criteria;
■ Fostered increased youth organizing efforts including hip hop shows, developing a campaign, base building, and power mapping;
■ Supported cultural and inter-generational faith based organizing initiated around the Southeast Asian New Year ceremony at Laotian and Khmer Buddhist temples and social celebrations;
■ Compiled and synthesized different youth leadership, membership categories and youth development structures, including freedom schools and different certificate based programs.
Project Empower, Taunton, Mass., Public Education and Outreach Organizer, 2006-2008
■ Conducted outreach and risk assessments to at-risk populations including GLBT populations and intravenous drug users;
■ Promoted HIV/AIDS/STD prevention and encouraged safer sex;
■ Developed outreach trainings and trained outreach workers and couscous raising groups’ facilitators.
■ Referred demographics to M-power groups, M-power being a community-building public health approach;
■ Facilitated M-groups that built community health and healthy relations by reducing internalized and societal oppression.
United Interfaith Action of Southeastern Mass., New Bedford and Fall River, Lead Organizer, 2005
■ Organized and trained faith based communities to make political change around common economic justice issues;
■ Met with and recruited religious leaders, reverends, priests, rabbis and community allies;
■ Trained members of congregations and lay parishioners on how to do One on One meetings;
■ Created organizing committees and initiated Listening Campaigns to identify and address common community concerns;
■ Facilitated meetings and fostered collective processes to identify common community and congregational issues;
■ Brought together meetings of community members with local, state and federal officials and police administrators in order to increase political accountability;
■ Conducted trainings on lobbying, public speaking, power analysis/self-interest and community organizing;
■ Researched and met with legal, education, non-profit and social service workers around issues such as: youth violence, immigrant rights, unemployment, education (increasing access to education opportunities including: after school programs, decreasing drop-out rates, ESOL and ABC), drug treatment, job training and environmental justice;
■ Building inter-ethnic/multi-racial cooperation around economic justice campaigns, including fostering a hybrid model merging PICO’s one-on-one approach with door to door neighborhood organizing.
Rhode Island HUD Organizing Project, Providence, Founder 2005
■ Researched and wrote the project plan, step up office, recruited staff, tenant board and co-developed organizing strategy and work-plans;
■ Secured funding by lobbying RI Congressional Delegation, acquire HUD and grant funding;
■ Facilitated meetings with local nonprofits, Rhode Island Housing and HUD regional office;
■ Conducted founding press conference that engaged a wide spectrum of groups that are impacted by low-income housing issues, initiated city wide tenant organizing plan.
Summer4Justice/Economic Human Rights Project, Mass., Youth Organizer, 2004
■ Developed and initiated the youth organizing project Summer4Justice;
■ Coordinated youth and student outreach across the state;
■ Expanded the Economic Human Rights Project to include an intergeneration perspective.
■ Facilitated youth forums and youth led workshops on economic justice, prison and police accountability issues;
■ Increased youth participation and performed multimedia workshops at the Boston Social Forum and the Books not Bombs youth convergence in New York City.
Massachusetts Alliance of HUD Tenants, Southeastern Mass. Regional Organizer, 1999-2005
■ Assisted tenants in over twenty Southeastern Mass. based developments to negotiate with their landlords, harness political support and build public pressure to preserve affordable housing, gain rent protections and prevent unfair evictions;
■ Assisted in the development of a three year strategic plan;
■ Fostered the development of eight new tenant associations in Southeastern Mass. (When I came on staff, there were no active tenant associations in Southeastern Mass.);
■ Researched at-risk developments, conducted educational outreach; convened meetings and consulted with tenants toward the formation of democratically run tenant organizations;
■ Taught community organizing skills to tenants: door knocking, petitioning, flyer construction, and participatory campaign strategy; meeting facilitation, democratic elections, alliance building, direct action planning,
■ Coordinated regional, city-wide and statewide lobbying and actions, press conferences, demonstrations and pickets;
■ Strategized complex multi-dimensional campaigns involving coalition building; escalation of tactics,
■ Nurtured broad-based community coalitions between religious, labor, social justice, welfare, disability, student, veteran, homelessness, recovery, HIV/AIDS prevention/support, senior centers, Councils on Aging, CAP (Community Anti-Poverty) agencies, legal services, and economic justice groups.
Caregiver, for my mother (who died of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) 1998
Homes Not Jails, Boston, Mass., Founder, 1996-7
■ Founded Homes Not Jails to create a localized direct action group to challenge lack of affordable housing and prison growth. Increased awareness of the housing crisis and highlighted the connections between seemingly divergent issues;
■ Arranged creative press events around civil disobedience; organized direct actions (the takeover of abandoned properties) and promoted unions of the homeless;
■ Developed teach-ins for housing/homeless activists, students, and the general public.
Students Together Ending Poverty, Boston, Mass., Founder, 1996-7
■ Founded Students Together Ending Poverty (STEP) to coordinate national campaigns to mobilize students against poverty;
■ Gathered students for two national conferences to organize and strategize against poverty;
■ Worked with the National Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness on actions and media strategy;
■ Organized alternative spring breaks and summers of social action among 35 colleges.
Boston Urban Gardeners, Boston, Mass., Community Gardener Coordinator, 1996
■ Nurtured the formation of community gardens through face-to-face neighborhood interaction;
■ Trained community members in setting community gardening agreements a provided conflict mediation.
■ Facilitated community meetings and events while orchestrating direct support for community gardeners, from compost delivery and water hook-ups, to coordinating volunteer teams and neighborhood clean-ups.
Empty the Shelters (Fill the Homes), Northeast Coordinator, 1995-7
■ Assessed the viability of an ETS (Empty the Shelters) chapter in Boston including networking with local activists, founding a collective house, and forming a study group to bring together students and community activists;
■ Founded Students Together Ending Poverty (STEP) to coordinate national campaigns to mobilize students against poverty.
Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Roxbury, Mass., Environmental Justice Organizer, 1994
■ Created resident-driven tri-lingual approach to lead poisoning prevention;
■ Activated educational outreach meetings at doctors’ offices and community health centers.
■ Door knocked and surveyed the Dudley Street Neighborhood area coordinated community meetings and a community based approach to lead poisoning prevention;
La Casa De Don Pedro, Newark, NJ, Community Education and Outreach Coordinator, 1993
■ Developed the education component of the low-income energy conservation/weatherization program;
■ Researched and wrote energy conservation literature;
■ Initiated program promoting energy conservation in low-income households (mostly with Latino/a senior citizens in the Newark, New Jersey area);
■ Conducted educational visits to community centers, senior centers and low-income weatherization assistance recipients.
Empty the Shelters (Fill the Homes), Oakland, CA, Youth and Student Organizer, 1992
■ Set up internships and trainings for youth and students;
■ Assisted in the formation of a summer organizing project site in Oakland California;
■ Developed a network of allies which drew connections around common struggles while focusing on various particular situations;
■ Facilitated street outreach, organized meetings and actions with youth, homeless people and welfare rights organizations;
■ Organized demonstrations with grassroots groups around: housing needs, police brutality, institutional racism in poverty programs, hunger, economic justice and immigrant rights.
ORGANIZING TRAININGS, WORKSHOPS, CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS (partial listing):
From Activism to Organizing (see: http://www.activism2organizing.org)
For the last 12 years I have given my introduction to community organizing workshop to dozens of community, youth organizations and student groups, such as at), SEAC (Student Environmental Action Coalition), 3rd EyE Youth Empowerment, Connecting for Change in New Bedford, UMass Boston, MIT, Williams College, Brandeis, Emerson, Brown, Northeastern, Bates, UVM, etc.
Toward an Organizing World View (see: http://www.organizingworldview.org)
I created this workshop to explore the connection and tensions between our day to day organizing and our long term vision (worldview, ideology) for many community and labor organizers as well for different radical activists, including East Boston Tenant, DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality), PRYSM, 3rd EyE Youth Empowerment.
Participatory Campaign Development
This workshop teaches groups how to engage more of their members in campaign and strategy development. I helped found an organizing training institute and provided trainings for trainers of this workshop for environmental justice groups, neighborhood, student, tenant and many other groups.
From Occupying to Organizing: Toward Popular Assemblies (see: http://www.popularassembly.org)
Developed a two Session organizing and base building training for Occupy Boston and other occupies
-including public narrative, one-on-ones, how to run house meetings, door knocking and popular assemblies.
Gabo Feb 10 CVPA 2022
Rebecca Feb 15, 2022
Crash Course on Community Organizing Black Youth Conference
2020 Gabo UMass Dartmouth
2014 UALE Conference LA, CA
Crash Course at Middle School
Southern New England Labor Education Center May 4, First Unitarian Church, Providence
Co-panelist with Sandy Pope, With Teamsters for a Democratic Society and Teamster Rank and File Education & Legal Defense
Community Organizing at Gano Street, Providence, RI
Community Church of Boston, Organizing the 99%!, April 1st, 2012
Community Organizing Core, Active Resistance Conference, Chicago, IL, 1996
Community Organizing Core, Active Resistance Conference, Toronto, Canada, 1998
Workers’ Rights are Human Rights: Toward May Day, Encuentro5, Boston, MA., February 4, 2010
Immigrant Rights Panel, USSF, Detroit, 2010
Thinking Crisis, Thinking Change, Occupy Teach-In, Brown University, October, 2011
Conference on Management & Community Development, Tufts University – Co-facilitated Community Organizing workshop.
National Tenant Organizing Training Institute – Originated and put into place the National Tenant Organizing Training Institute for tenant organizers from around the country. For four years I taught a Grassroots Strategy and Participatory Planning, Door Knocking and Running a Meeting, Maintaining Successful Tenant Unions workshops.
Planners Network, Holyoke, MA, 2002 – Panelist for Resident Strategies for Empowerment workshop.
El Festival Del Pueblo, Boston. MA – Conducted tenant organizing workshop.
Social Justice Cooperative, M.I.T., Cambridge, MA – Conducted a workshop and lectured on housing struggles.
National Coalition for the Homeless Conference, Washington D.C. – Co-facilitated, Direct Action workshop.
Breaking Down the Walls Student/Community Conference, UMass Dartmouth, MA – Taught Movement Building and Protest Planning workshop.
SEAC (Student Environmental Action Coalition) National Conference, Boston – Conducted Popular Education workshop about Environmental, Class and Racial Justice with the anti-oppression working group and the working class and people of color caucuses.
Neighborhood Green Corps, Washington D.C. – Conducted workshop on Environmental and Economic Justice.
Freeing Ourselves’ Free School, New Bedford – Conducted workshop on Grassroots Organizing styles and tactics.
National Conference on Organized Resistance, Washington D.C. – Facilitated workshop/discussion on Praxis (Assessing theoretical and practical efforts and movements toward political and economic change).
Decriminalizing Resistance: Building Community Security, Racial and Economic Justice, Clark University, Worcester Coordinated and Facilitated immigrant struggles against criminalization and repression panel.
Building Community Power: Mini Conference/Community Organizing Training, Worcester Youth Center
Facilitated Community Organizing Strategies and Outreach, Linking our Issues and Building Community Power workshops.
Radical Organizing Conference-Summer Institute, Boston, 2008
Developed and hosted two workshops: Toward an Organizing World View and From Activism to Organizing.
Radicalizing Reality: Student Forum, Boston, February, 2008,
Panelist on Student and Education Justice.
Post-Bush Social Movements, Community Church of Boston,
Panelist along with Community Labor United and Mass. Immigrant and Refugee Alliance.
Strategies Against Gentrification, Stone Soup and Worcester Roots, March, 2009
Presented about housing organizing and social housing alternatives (Coops, Land Trusts, Housing Partnerships).
New Strategies for the Obama Era, American Friends Service Committee, March 2009
From Activism to Organizing: Building Youth Power.
Radical Organizing: Successes and Challenges, Left Forum, 2009
Coordinated and moderated grassroots organizing panel.
Radical Organizing Conference Summer Institute, Boston, 2009
Locating Local Power Structures, Political Landscapes and Power Mapping.
Getting from Here to There, Libertalia Autonomous Space, Providence, RI, 2012
Workshop exploring the connection between our day to day organizing and the impact of ideology, ways we can work toward organizing world views and how to constructively use agitation to move toward common vision and collective action.
SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS
Democracy for America Scholarship, Netroots Nation, 2012
Davis-Putter Scholarship, 2009-2010 and 2008-2009
Harvey Milk Award, UMass Dartmouth, Pride Alliance, 2008
Civic Participation Award, UMass Dartmouth, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, 2008
Jonathan Blake Waxler Memorial Award for Social Justice, 2008
Recognition for unique efforts to end the World-Wide AIDS Epidemic, Project Empower, 2006-2007
3rd EyE Unlimited, Inc., Youth Empowerment Project, 2005
Special Recognition Award, Outstanding Activist, Coalition Against Poverty, 2004
Outstanding Organizer Award, Mass. Alliance of HUD Tenants, 2004
Board Member, UMass Dartmouth Labor Education Center., 2010-present
Board Member, RESIST Inc., 2005-present
Board Member, Coalition for Social Justice. Fall River, MA., 1997-2000
Masters of Science in Labor Studies, Union Leadership and Administration, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2010- present
Community Organizing Fellow, Organizing, Power and Change with Marshall Ganz, Harvard JFK School, 2012
B.A. Sociology (Anthropology Emphasis), University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, May 2009
REFERENCES (available upon request)