Sunday, June 4
2 - 4pm
4 - 6:00 pm
Gaden City A | Jeff Ordower
Garden City D | Denise Gaumer Hutchison + Eva Bell
monday, June 5
9 - 1 pm
1 - 2 pm
2 - 3:30 pm
Peer Learning Workshops
Garden City A | Kristee Paschall + Todd Zimmer
Electoral Excellence: How to Integrate C4 Work into Your C3 Program
Many organizations are running electoral programs as well as organizing campaigns. The two bodies of work are different and sometimes organizations struggle and/or face challenges moving between them successfully. This session will identify best practices and strategies for running effective electoral and community organizing programs that build off of each other.
Garden City B | Hermelinda Cortés + Lauren Langworthy
Winning with Words: How Storytelling Can Build, Organize, and Win Campaigns
Narratives have the power to shape movements and call people to find their role in creating important shifts in the world around them. We'll discuss dominant narratives and reframing, developing storyteller leaders within your community, and opportunities to harness these stories for a better future. Come prepared to share tools or examples that have proven helpful in the past. We'll work together on some light message crafting and leave with a goal of supporting a larger narrative shift in all of our individual messaging going forward.
Garden City C | Aaron Lema + Sam Van Wetter
The Tourist Trap: The Fight for Affordable Housing in Our Turf
In rural communities across the country, housing is out-of-reach for many tenants who are often the workers who make our small economies function. In this session, participants will be invited to reflect on, share, and compare stories / best-practices / tactics related to action they have taken in their community. Come with your stories of predatory landlords, dysfunctional zoning policy, and the solutions–big and small–so that we can bring learnings to our local communities and build stronger organizations.
A Gen Z Q & A: It's Not Just Tik Tok, Folks
Small-town living is becoming an increasingly difficult life choice to make for young people. There are many folks in Gen Z who are devastated by the collapse of rural America and want to help revitalize small towns and work intergenerationally to sustain and enhance the rural way of living for the future, but Gen Z is often misunderstood as being disinterested in community efforts and left out of traditional small town organizing and community-building. This session hopes to help answer the question of how young people can become co-creators of a new future of rural organizing that feels effective and meaningful across generations.
Jefferson | Karlee Provenza
We Won: What Now?
As organizers, we work tirelessly towards building political capital so we can win on our issues in ways that benefit our communities – but what happens when we win? What happens when we finally sit in seats of power at the tables our opponents have been running? Participants will learn what winning power looks and feels like and how to move forward in meaningful ways to continue building progress for the people we serve.
From Andrew Tate to Joe Rogan: Getting Men Out of the "Problematic" Pipeline
The far right is intentionally creating spaces for men. In this session, we'll talk about how to address our role in the alt-right pipeline and where we have room to find common cause and identity with the politically homeless young men gravitating toward it.
2 - 5 pm
The $4 Trillion Opportunity: Building a Strategy to Win Good Jobs; Local Hiring; Community Priorities; and Long-term, Sustainable Economic Development
Join a deep dive on the opportunities, challenges, and relevant strategies and tools required to develop and run effective campaigns that will ensure that the $4 Trillion in federal funding coming to many of our states is used to benefit communities, especially small towns and rural communities. This is a strategy session with the aim to provide practical support for organizations invested - or interested - in these types of campaigns and to explore the potential of on-going regional /rural collaborative work.
3:30- 3:45 pm
3:45 - 5:15 PM
Peer Learning Workshops
Violence and Accountability: The Fight for Justice in Our Turf
Participants will hear from activists involved in two cases of police accountability work in Wyoming with very different community demographics. We will discuss the tactics and lessons learned from each that can be applied to community healing and meaningful change in a broader context.
Garden City D | Kellon Patey
Facebook, Fake News, and Falsehoods: How to Deal With and Combat Disinformation
While grounding the session in a case study of an anti-disinformation deep canvassing campaign in rural communities and suburbs in Georgia, Idaho, and Missouri, we will compare notes on the prevalence and methods of Far-Right disinformation before pooling advice for inoculating our communities against white-supremacist authoritarian rhetoric. Participants will come away from this session with a deeper understanding of how the Far-Right reaches people in communities like yours, what messages organizers are encountering in the field, and concrete ideas about how to respond effectively.
Winning the Wedge: Attacks on Queer People in Our Turf
Despite significant gains for LGBTQ2SIA+ communities, extremists continue to use wedge issues as a way to mobilize their base. This session will discuss these tactics and share best practices for how small town and rural community organizers who care about equality can defeat these attacks by buidling a bigger WE.
Thinking Outside the Friend Zone: Working with Unlikely Allies
This session will focus on getting to the heart of issues that affect us all, setting aside our areas of disagreement, and building a lasting trust between constituencies that either don't traditionally work together or often find themselves in opposition. We will also discuss how to maintain these coalitions and build a sustainable base.
5:15- 5:30 pm
5:45 - 7 pm
Training + Capacity Building
Yellowstone | Sydney Scout
You Have the VAN, Now You Need A Plan
The Voter Activation Network (VAN) is an essential tool for organizers. In this session we will cover when and why to use VAN, and how to do so effectively, including how to target and pull a list, create survey questions and scripts, cut turf, and run phone banks.
Garden City D | Alexa Horwart + Amy Vruno
Power Mapping Your Turf to Win Campaigns
Effective campaigns are rooted in a deep power analysis that includes who your target is, what are the effective strategies to move them, and how much power you need to do it. This session will share the strategies needed to conduct effective power mapping
The Persuasive Power of Deep Canvassing: Case Study Making a Difference on Climate Policy in Rural Organizing
This session is an exploration of the effective persuasion tool of deep canvassing in a climate and energy
context. You will leave the session being able to apply learnings to your campaigns and communications
What's a Base, and How Do I Build One?
Our power comes from our base. Base-building is our bread and butter. But it ain't that easy! This session will explore the fundamentals of what it means to have a base and how we build them, and we’ll get to learn from each other's experiences and challenges of building a local base in small town and rural communities.
Jefferson | Dani Cook
You've Got 4 Minutes, Here's How to Use Them: Engaging Folks Who Disagree with You
This session will focus on how to have breakthrough conversation with people of opposite views that bridge the political divide in a matter of minutes. It will include the initial pitch, controversial topics, invitation, and de-escalation techniques.
Billion Dollar Basics: BIL, IRA, and CHIPS
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act together represent trillions of dollars for communities across America. In this session, we'll boil these complicated laws down to the basics—leaving you with what you need to win big for your communities. This session is highly recommended for those planning to participate in the Implementation Matters Peer Learning Workshop on Tuesday.
5:45 - 7:15 pm
Fundraising Strategy Session
Garden City A | Julie Emery + Domenico Romero
Raising Resources: A Strategic Conversation About Funding Organizing in Our Turf
In this session we will strategize together about how to lift up the great work organizations are doing in small towns and rural communities and how we can use the energy, momentum, and best practice-sharing happening at the summit to move funders who may not see the places we work or believe that they are not worth an investment.
Tuesday, June 6
7:30 - 8:30am
8:30 - 10:30am
Building a Base to Move the Board Room: Organizing Corporate Campaigns on Clean Energy
This session will discuss the opportunities and interest in running corporate campaigns rooted in rural and energy communities that are focused on issues related to climate, clean energy, good jobs, and transition.
Garden City C | Todd Zimmer + Kate Hess Pace
WTF? Opportunities and Challenges of Base Building in Our Turf
This session will explore the opportunities and challenges of base building in turf with little political activity, few resources, and a thin ecosystem of activity.
9 - 10:30 am
Trainings + Capacity Building
Jefferson | Kristee Paschall
Uncomplicating Compliance: C3 vs C4
Dismantling Racism in Rural Organizing
How do we define organizing? How do we discuss diversity with others; the importance of inclusion; and how do we find, talk to, and recruit people who have felt excluded? Most importantly how do we put it all together to be successful?
Yellowstone | Madeline McGill
Raising Money When They Told Us We Couldn't
You'll never be able to raise that money for your state." Sound familiar? If you're tired of being told what's impossible, come join us for a conversation of what *is* possible. This grassroots fundraising tactics session will explore what's worked, what's creative, and how we can build resourced and resilient programs for our communities.
Madison | Ari Lipman
People Power: Leadership Development that Increases Capacity
We are only as strong as our network of leaders. In this session, we will explore frameworks and skills that can help you build and develop a powerful organizing committee to lead your campaigns.
The Story of the Water Warriors: Campaigns that Create Community
Water Warriors is the story of a rural community’s successful fight to protect their water and their way of life from the oil and natural gas industry in New Brunswick, Canada. Session participants will get to watch this award-winning short film about how a multicultural group of unlikely warriors–including members of the Mi’kmaq Elsipogtog First Nation, French-speaking Acadians and white, English-speaking families–halted drilling, elected a new government, and defended the commercial and small-scale forestry, farming, and fishing operations that they depend on. Come explore what this community’s lessons can offer your own, as well as how documentary film can support campaigns to build people power.
10:30 - 11 am
11 - 12:30 pm
Peer Learning Workshops
Garden City B
It's Happening Now: Organizing in Crisis
Jefferson | Tasha Coppinger + Kalvin Carter
Small Town Politics: When Your Neighbor Is Also Your Target
In small towns and rural communities where frequently everyone knows each other, the people we're targeting in our campaigns can also be our friends, neighbors, and family members. This session will share tools, tactics, and strategies on how to navigate public and private relationships in ways that deeply respect both.
Campaign Workshop: Implementation Matters
In this session, we’ll put the lessons from the $4 Trillion Opportunity implementation training into action. You’ll hear about some implementation campaigns already underway and workshop ideas for capitalizing on federal dollars in your own work.
11 - 1 pm
Battling the Brain Drain: Keeping Organizers Productive, Happy, and Healthy for the Long Haul
We all agree we that we need to maintain a strong pool of professional basebuilding organizers. So, why do basebuilding organizers leaves? Why do they stay? In this session, we'll assess the professional and human needs - both inside and outside of the practice of organizing - that require support.
1 - 2 pm
2 - 4 pm
4 - 5:30 pm
Peer Learning Workshops
Putting Your Utility Bill to Work: Organizing Public Utility and Electric COOP Campaigns
Utility companies and rural electric cooperatives will be important targets for addressing climate change, reducing emissions, ensuring a transition that does not hurt workers and communities, and for building the infrastructure needed for the clean energy transition. Understanding how to run campaigns focused on these entities will be key for a variety of issues. This workshop will explore campaigns, people's experiences, and what's needed win.
Yellowstone | Trisha Rivers
Indigified: Building Power through the Indigenous Perspective
Historically, Indigenous communities have been purposely left out of conversations and spaces centered around building power. Forward to today, the narrative still remains very much the same. This session talks about the why and how to move forward in making sure that Native communities are involved while building power in organizing spaces while checking your allyship
The ABCs of Building Rural and Small Town Power Around the Shared Value of Public Education
This action-focused workshop provides a space for participants to share tools and learn lessons from organizers on local education issues, from School Board elections to curriculum fights. We anticipate discussion of: winning narrative and organizing strategies that have successfully supported students' freedom to learn and thrive and educators' freedom to teach the truth; privatization efforts; attacks on equity and inclusion; systemic underfunding; and regressive messaging campaigns. We will assess the challenges and victories in rural and small town communities nationwide and develop strategies for both delivering the public schools our students deserve moving forward and using these campaigns to build collective power.
4 - 6 pm
Jefferson | Drew Astolfi
Organizing in the Wide Open West: What We Have and What Might We Offer Each Other?
The Intermountain West and Upper Plains are two regions of the country that have been written off by many national funders and movement leaders. Despite a history of progressive activism and leaders, the last 20 years have seen a serious decline in investment in states like the Dakotas, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, and Montana, as well as investment in tribal nationbuilding and organizing, outside of electoral cycles. This session will initiate a conversation about how to build infrastructure in these places and lift up the work local groups are doing to win concrete benefits for local residents.
Moving the Middle: How to Organize Everyone Else
Too often our work is limited because we are focused on organizing people whose positions on issues are on either end of the political spectrum. This session will explore the opportunities and challenges of building power by moving people who live in the middle.
6 - 7 pm
Dinner + Debrief