From concept to execution, learn how to create designs that stand out, drive action, and help win campaigns. Earn SMT’s Certificate in Graphic Design for Organizing.
12 or more sessions over 9 weeks, Tuesdays and Thursdays September 20 – November 17
12-1:30pm EDT (New York) | 1pm BRT (Brasilia) | 6pm CET (Belgium) | 7pm EAT (Kenya)
Additional small group sessions can be set up at other times to meet time zone needs with sufficient demand (10+ participants). All sessions will be held in English, with captions in English and Spanish. The program will hold small group sessions in Spanish and French with the registration of at least 10 participants per language. Session recording captions and simultaneous interpretation in these or other languages may be available with sufficient demand per language. Contact us.
Good design is part of strong organizing. Reports on both digital and print communications consistently show that strong visual content generates more engagement. Running grassroots campaigns requires communicating effectively across many platforms, and good design can dramatically activate and broaden your base.
This 12-session Certificate in Graphic Design for Organizing will rapidly scale up your visual communications skills. From building a visual identity for your organization to applying time-tested graphic design techniques to navigating industry-standard (and emerging!) software, you will be able to efficiently create designs that inspire action. You’ll also be able to lead your organization to support distributed design by volunteers and staff who are not designers.
Learning model: The program is designed to apply your learning by trying your hand at new design skills. The pedagogical approach includes large group live sessions, supplemental resources via recorded presentations, and design assignments meant to support campaigns you have underway. The 12 live sessions include four small group sessions (up to 15 participants) for coaching, problem-solving, questions, and feedback from instructors with deep experience in design for movements, and for peer support. After the small group session and critique, participants seeking to further improve their designs may revise and resubmit their assignment for additional written feedback.
This program is for you if:
- Your role includes posting on social networks, managing a website, working with the media, running online/offline campaigns, creating fundraising materials, managing a communications program, working with creative freelancers, designing print and digital materials, or all of the above!
- You are interested in creating more effective public-facing materials for your organization.
- Seats are reserved for those working for non-profits/unions. If you are working on an electoral campaign please confirm that the campaign has signed the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge. If you are in a consulting role, reach out to ask about accessing the presentation recordings only for the same fee. If you are a student or unemployed you can join in if there’s space and you’re being referred by a social change group you’re working with. Contact us.
In-depth Training: What we’ll cover
View the curriculum here
Photo credit: Art build for Sunrise Movement action in Washington DC, unknown photographer
To receive the Certificate, participants must attend and be an active participant in at least 75% of required live sessions (9 of the 12) and complete all assignments. Assignments will be completed each week and will as much as possible relate directly to the participant’s current campaign work.
The curriculum will include sessions and recordings covering: design principles, design psychology, visual identity, accessibility, design and photography ethics, and building design templates and supports so that non-designers in your organization can do their own design work. Live sessions and recordings will also introduce or deepen the use of tools like Canva, Photoshop, and Illustrator. See the full curriculum here.
The program builds on SMT’s design programs held in 2019 and 2021, making a powerful library of resources and design examples available to participants. In response to requests, we’ve deepened skill-building with libraries of recordings and resources in Canva, Photoshop, Illustrator, accessibility, and more.
The program’s goal is to enable participants to level up significantly in their design skill level and in their ability to scope out the design needs of an organizing moment. It is also to build a community of practice in this design work. Participants will be paired up for support if they want, and they will engage with each other and instructors via an ongoing Slack channel.
Micky Jordan (he/his), SMT Staff Partner: Micky is a Black queer and genderqueer visual artist and organizer who has called Richmond, Virginia home for over 20 years. He’s a mostly self-taught designer who has developed his design work with a range of organizing groups. He is currently Graphic Designer at NDWA and previously worked with Southerners on New Ground (SONG). He loves art, media, stand up comedy and dreaming about building a safer, beautiful, more affirming world for trans and queer people of color to not just survive in, but thrive in.
Raffi Marhaba (they/them), SMT Staff Partner: Raffi is a a queer, trans, bi-racial Arab immigrant designer who specializes in identity design, graphic design and illustration through a social justice lens. With over 12 years of experience, Raffi has created powerful design identity through stories and design with folks like Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the word and framework of intersectionality, The Center for Institutional and Social Change, several LGBTQ organizations like GLSEN, Transgender Law Center and many others clients who focus on shaping a better world.
Cécile Pillon Hue (she/her), SMT Staff Partner: Cécile is a feminist artist and communicator. Working with international non-profits and local groups for over 10 years, she has experimented with various digital design tools to mix her passions for visual arts, social & environmental justice into her work. She uses design as a way to connect people across regions, cultures and technologies as she believes this is the key to a more respectful and inclusive world.
David Perrin (he/his), SMT Staff Partner: David is a graphic designer and illustrator. At SMT he serves as a resource to the social justice community and for people who look like him. David’s ultimate goal as a black creative is to produce powerful imagery that is wholly representative of his culture and community. He also works as the lead graphic designer for a progressive think-tank, Dēmos, where he produces visual assets for social media and reports.
Audrey Desler (she/they), SMT Staff Partner. Audrey is a freelance art director, designer, and illustrator constantly dreaming of better, more equitable futures. Her career started with design stints @ Nike and creative agencies, working on a myriad of brand and campaign projects, championing sustainability initiatives at every turn. In order to align with a passion for social and environmental systems change, she now largely focuses on community organizing, freelancing with non-profits, and forging relationships with purpose- and mission-driven organizations. Audrey enjoys growing communal food, natural spaces, baking, and talking about feelings.
$900 Per person
$600 Per person for additional people from the same organization with the same email domain as the first person who paid full price, and the fee for groups with budgets of less than $250,000/year which must be documented with evidence submitted to [email protected]
$450 per person if based in Africa, Latin America or Asia
$5000 group rate for up to 10 registrants with payment received by September 9th, can be from a variety of groups. (Must be paid as a lump sum). A spreadsheet must be provided with first name, last name, title, organization and email of participants. Every participant must also complete the registration form.)