Social Movement Technologies
BIPOC Campaign Leadership Fellowship

For BIPOC staff involved in campaigns

Are you a BIPOC social justice campaigner or staffer looking to deepen your leadership and responsibility in campaigns?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRlL2Su5VsQ

Do you lead an organization that seeks to fill more senior campaign roles with BIPOC campaigners and want to lay the groundwork for existing staff members to fill these roles?

This fellowship is designed to support BIPOC staffers to take on greater responsibility in strategy development, management, and implementation of integrated online/offline campaigns. Ideal candidates for this fellowship can fill a range of roles in movement work: communications, field, organizing, fundraising, volunteer leadership, and more. The fellowship supports participants to become next-level online/offline campaign staff combining time-tested organizing with the latest tools, tactics, and skills, including managerial skills.

Applications are still open!

Duration: 3 months, April 2 – July 2

Location: Entirely online

Cost: $3500 per person (Scholarship assistance is available based on funds raised. We will work hard with each accepted candidate and their organization to make it possible for them to attend. Apply as early as possible if you think you will need scholarship aid.) 

Program outline

  • Achieve Advanced Certification in SMT’s Digital Campaigning Certificate Program.
  • Time commitment: 3-hour class once a week, plus 2-3 hours per week to complete assignments over this 13-week period (April 2- July 2 2024). Topics cover:
    • Organizing strategy and tactics connecting online and offline power, including direct action tactics, and building an effective activist pipeline
    • Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, live streaming, building online communities, and online ads
    • Outreach tools, including email, WhatsApp, and mobile messaging
    • Making content that drives action via personal & public narrative, graphic design, and video
    • Systems and infrastructure to run an effective campaign, including metrics, website, email, and CRM/member database/action tools
  • Periodic support meetings with your peer buddy, and with your mentor 
  • Special fellowship sessions and assignments held in April and late June/July will include 3-4 of the following (and other possible topics) based on interest:
    • Online/Offline Campaign strategy, including in coalitions
    • Ad campaign strategy and practice
    • Effective hiring and supervision practices, with special emphasis on hiring and supervising digital staff
    • Campaign and team management, with special emphasis on tool options and team implementation best practices, as well as managing up and laterally
    • Building cohesiveness among departments such as comms, field/organizing, digital, development and executive leadership
    • Managing contractors to get their best work
  • Reading and discussion of important recent books on organizing
  • Each Fellow will:
    • develop and lead a training on a core topic, and lead a coaching session to share a specific skill, with other participants as trainees
    • practice giving and getting feedback in these sessions
    • make a self-development plan with next steps 

Staffing

Coordinator: Yaissy Solis García

 

Yaissy (she/her) is a campaigner, organizer and graphic artist raised & based in rural Southwest Florida. For the past decade, Yaissy has been part of the farmworker justice movement in the U.S. with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). At CIW, she played a key role in equipping students from flagship state universities with organizing tools to successfully sever campus licensing agreements with Wendy’s, amplifying the farmworker-led Wendy’s Boycott. She led organizing efforts to secure passage of multiple City Council resolutions, including New York City Council, to pressure food corporations to address human rights abuses in their supply chains. She has led grassroots organizing for mass direct actions, and fundraising efforts raising up to $170,000 per campaign and expanding recurring donor bases. At SMT, Yaissy coordinates the BIPOC Organizers Fellowship and fundraising for Africa Movement activist training and coaching. As a caribeña, she finds joy in dancing, cooking flavorful meals and creating art that inspires collective transformation.

 

Instructors and mentors:

SMT’s regular team members, supplemented by additional experienced BIPOC online/offline campaigners 

Eligibility

  • Identify as a BIPOC campaigner (involved in campaigns regardless of your title)
  • Be able to commit to an average of 5-6 hours/week to sessions and assignment completion over the three months 
  • You should have a significant role in a campaign that involves some sort of offline action (direct actions, electoral work, events, etc.) It does not have to be your full-time work. You do need to be able to implement what you’re learning and share from your experience in real campaigns. 
  • You may be based anywhere in the world. However, you must be available for live sessions, which will be held within this time block: 11 am – 2 pm (EST).
  • This program is not for consultancies or agencies. It is for staff of NGOs/non-profits. You may also be an unpaid officer of an organization, who works on campaigns extensively. 

Application Process

  • We are accepting applications on a rolling basis. Fellows will be notified over email about the status of their application.

Fill out this form for more information on how to apply:

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Staff and activists of 4,900+ groups
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Testimonials

SMT coaching enabled us to expand our presence within human rights spaces in Kenya beyond an LGBTIQ audience. It helped us use Twitter to connect with allies in the environmental justice and land rights movements. It was amazing to have someone to work with who knows our work and give us templates just when we needed them.
SMT’s training on using WhatsApp to activate our bases helped us activate more leaders by creating conversational WhatsApp groups for members and assigning different leadership roles to volunteers.
I learnt a lot on grassroots movements, digital campaigns and communications in times of state intrusion or threats.
The program was an eye-opener and better positioned me as a Communications Officer. I learned about digital mobilizing, online community building, and more.
I found a lot of value in this Certificate Program that I use in my everyday work: from using social media effectively; significantly growing accounts and activating people online, pressuring targets in campaigns, and running Twitterstorms. Even when using other tools, I still apply the principles I learned!
I had an amazing time. I am already applying the valuable content in my organization.
SMT helped us craft an effective public narrative for our campaign to get a mine closed. SMT helped us finalize a campaign strategy and come up with an effective plan to raise visibility and engage the public. Our campaign led to a pause in the mining. We will keep fighting!
Our coach was an everyday reminder of what we needed to do. He checked in and followed up on us. It really helped us activate Twitter in our campaigns and tighten up digital security. We moved from just having a Twitter handle to building on a hashtag that saw a jailed human rights activist released from prison.
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