Our Social Action Team is co-sponsoring the one-day “Citizens’ University Mid-Missouri” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 at Naka Hall-Engineering Building West at 411 S. Sixth St. on the MU campus. The team encourages everyone to register and attend this free opportunity for education, fellowship and hands-on training organized by the Mid-Missouri Solidarity Network.
Rev. Molly will be a speaker on one of the panels, and our member Gretchen Maune is scheduled to speak on another panel.
You can register and find more information about the event and parking instructions here.
Following is a description and schedule of workshops and panel discussions:
Session One – 11 to 11:50 a.m.
I Care; Now What? (Workshop)
Description: Change starts with one person speaking out. Many national movements have started with one or a group of individuals focused on a cause, like the Parkland students. This session will cover how individuals can spark a movement along with stories from citizens that took up a cause and fought within their community for change.
Leader: Barbara Hoppe (Lawyer, PedNet)
Guests: Kristin Bowen (Moms Demand Action); Angela Speck (Lee School Name Change)
Organizing for Action (Workshop)
Description: How do you mobilize your base to make effective change? Our facilitators will cover how to effectively reach your audience. This session will cover how to run effective phone banks, canvassing outreach, and petitioning along with other techniques.
Leader: Dina van der Zalm, Missouri Rural Crisis Center
Winning the Battles (Workshop)
Description: Do you know how to target the real issue underlying the broader problem? Would you like to be able to more easily plan a winnable and significant campaign? Come and learn how to identify a clear target and the best way to motivate your volunteers to action.
Leader: Missouri Jobs with Justice
Intersectional Activism Panel
Description: Intersectional is more than a buzzword. We have an obligation to make our activism intersectional but what is the right way to do that? Panel participants discuss what intersection truly means in today’s civil rights battles and how we can learn from history to strengthen our activism.
Facilitator: Chris Lawrence, Lawrence, Oliver & Assoc.
Michael McPhearson, Veterans for Peace
Kris Hendrix, Expect Us
Jeannette Mox-Oxford,Empower MO
Da’vid de los Aguayos, Worley Street Roundtable
Gretchen Maune, Citizen Activist (tentative)
Session two – Noon to 12:50 p.m.
Diff Conversations & Effective Listening (Workshop)
Description: Change is made through one on one conversations, whether it be with your representative or your neighbor. But how do we have productive conversations when we are at opposite ends of an issue? How can we move a conversation with our adversaries or our allies by really HEARING what they say?
Leader: Nikki McGruder, Inclusive Impact Institute
How to be an Effective Citizen Advocate
Description: Do you know who you should call when you have a concern? Do you feel like no one is listening? Come learn from long-time advocates how you can be most effective in instituting change. Learn the legislative process and how citizens can be involved in changing policy.
Leader: Carolyn Appaman, Sierra Club
In the News
Description: Nothing happens in a vacuum. Whether you trust the media or not, we need them and they need us. Join us for a discussion with past editors and activists to learn how to build a strong relationship with the press. Gain knowledge of how to craft your story for media and when to reach out to them.
Leader: Sean Soendker Nickolson or Benjamin Singer, CLEAN Missouri Campaign
Guests: Virginia Young (Former State Capital Bureau Chief, St.Louis Post-Dispatch); Matt Sanders (City Editor Columbia Daily Tribune)
Faith & Social Justice Panel
Description: How do your religion’s values intersect with your politics? Do you have a religious obligation to affect change in your community? What are the benefits and downfalls of intertwining the two?
Facilitator: Laura Schopp, Show Me Dharma
Rev. Sarah Klaassen, Rock Bridge Christian Church
Neveen Ayesh, American Muslims for Palestine
Jeanne Snodgrass, University of Mizzou Hillel
Ruth O-Neill, St. Francis House
Session Three – 2 to 2:50 p.m.
Part 1: Intro to Social Media Tools (Workshop)
Description: Social media plays a big role in activism today. Come learn the basics of how organizations are using Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. If Donald Trump can use Twitter, so can you!
Leader: Jen Reeves, Born Just Right
Civic Rights: Where does free speech end?
Description: Do you know the line between peaceful protest and civil disobedience? If you do participate in an action, what are your rights if police are called? Join experts in a discussion and gain a better understanding of individual and organization’s rights when speaking out.
Leaders: Attorney Dan Viets and Prof. Sandy Davidson
See You in the Streets (Workshop)
Description: Organizing protests, marches, and other civil actions to make an impact. We will discuss the nitty gritty of how to organize an action, when to work with municipal government (and when not to), how to spread the word, and get the media to cover your event.
Co-Leads: Kris Hendrix (Expect Us); Michael McPherson (Veterans for Peace)
Guest: Cheyenne Green
Legislative Lobbying Panel
Description: Legislators say they want to hear from citizens but how can we make them listen? Legislators, lobbyists, and citizen advocates will share their opinion of the most effective way to ask for what you want, steps to help advance your cause and what has worked and what hasn’t.
Facilitator: George Laur, Citizens Climate Lobby
Robyn Schlep, Citizen Activist
Rep. Martha Stevens, MO House Dist 46
Brian Smith, MRCC
Mike Hoey, Missouri Catholic Conference
Session Four – 3 to 3:50 p.m.
Part 2: Social Media for Advocacy
Description: Social platforms are the great equalizer. Through them organizations can spread their message and call people to action at a moment’s notice. This discussion will cover successful groundswell efforts and discuss the best way to get the word out through social channels.
Leader: Jen Reeves, Born Just Right
Guests: Kris Hendrix, Expect Us
Leveraging Economic Power
Description: “The world is ruled by power and power is obtained by money“-Tadeusz Borowski. Take back your economic power! Learn more about the tools every citizen can utilize to put pressure on corporations and institutions through individual action or group efforts.
Leader: Mark Haim, Mid-MO Peaceworks
Guests: Mizzou Energy Action Coalition
Description: We often find ourselves in difficult conversations, at the dinner table with friends or family, at work, or attending functions for our causes. This course will help you identify potentially aggressive behavior and give you tools to help diffuse the conflict.
Building a More Kind and Just Society Panel
Description: All of the causes we fight for are meant to make the world a better place. How do we help shape our institutions and instill values that benefit society? How do we ensure we work together in the best interest of all? What is working? What isn’t?
Facilitator: Tara Warner-Griggs, Race Matters Friends;Sr. Diversity Assessment & Research Management Consultant
Ed Weisbart, Physicians for a National Health Program
Laura Schopp, Show Me Dharma
Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, Missouri Faith Voices & Unitarian Universalist Church
Rueben Faloughi , Founder Student Coalition for Critical Action; Co-founder Concerned Student 1950
Steve Calloway, Mens Minority Network (tentative)