Social Movement Technologies
Storytelling to Inspire & Activate: Feb 21, March 5 & 12, 2024

12:00 P.M. (ET) | 90-minute sessions

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Miners participating in hunger strike while thousands of their colleagues are on strike. Image for SMT's Storytelling for Unions, DIgital Organizing Training on messaging and compelling storytelling.

Eastern Europe miners in Georgia win demands after strike by 3000+ and 18-day hunger strike by these 10 [Photo: Marium Nikuradze]

This is a training series on how to make your organizing irresistible through the stories you tell and how you tell them. People want to be part of something that’s bold, has momentum, and enables people like them to have a voice and get things done – especially when it connects on a heart level.

The series covers the key elements of narrative, storytelling and imagery to build a powerful campaign. Strong and weak examples will be discussed along with common pitfalls to avoid and a chance to practice and get individual feedback on your work.

The series is for anyone who wants to be a more effective change agent. It’s for you if you want to cut through ideological walls propped up with disinformation, and help people connect on a human level around real needs and common interests.

Breakouts for unionists will focus on opportunities for developing an inspiring union narrative rooted in member stories. They will enable participants to give and get feedback on each others’ union stories.

Instruction in English. Interpretation and instruction (breakouts) in Spanish based on funding and demand.

What We’ll Cover: 

  • What an inspiring narrative sounds like, and its 5 necessary ingredients. 
  • An empirically-tested narrative on race and class that resonates with working people, and when it can be most useful
  • Examples of stories designed to create connection and activate across ideologies
  • What makes a compelling story
  • Why it’s important to connect stories to the organizational narrative, and how to do it
  • Organizing conversations can be a rich source of stories. How to organize our team to make the most of that
  • What it means to do story coaching, and why that’s so powerful in building leadership
  • How to distill stories into eye-catching and engaging videos and graphics
  • Ethical storytelling: key things to do and what to avoid
  • Assignments will be made after each session, designed for participants to practice learnings by trying them out right away in their own work. Instructors will provide feedback

Assignments will be made after each session, designed for participants to practice learnings by trying them out right away. Instructors will provide feedback. 

A Certificate in Storytelling to Inspire and Activate may be earned by attending all sessions and showing proficiency in assignments.

When

Feb 21, March 5 & 12 | 12:00 P.M. (ET) | 90-minute sessions

Find your time zone here. Training will be recorded for those in time zones that don’t facilitate live participation.

Cost

In order to support a movement organization learning space, SMT trainings are for staff of non-profits – NGOs, unions and electoral campaigns. Trainings are not for consultants or agencies. Consultants & agency staff who register will have their registrations refunded. Alternatively, on demand trainings are available to all on SMT’s course platform.

Region Budget of the Organization Early (by Feb 1, 2024) Outreach Partner
Referral: forward us the communication you received to qualify. (thru Feb 1 only)
Regular
North America & Western Europe
$2M+ $270 $240 $300
$500K-2M $220 $190 $250
Under $500K $210 $180 $240
Global (outside North America & Western Europe)
$2M+ $250 $220 $280
$500K-2M $180 $150 $210
Under $500K $135 $120 $150

Groups referred by outreach partners can get discounts on available training programs (see table above). Please name the outreach partner in your registration and forward the email you received to [email protected]. The outreach partner discount does not apply to group rates or 2nd person rates, which are already steeply discounted. Outreach partners pass along opportunities for training and coaching to lists of organizing groups. This helps SMT as a non-profit reach more groups that could organize more powerfully with SMT support. 

Interested in being an outreach partner? Contact [email protected] and describe the size and type of groups you’d reach out to. Typically, this is a list of chapters of a network, national unions on behalf of their local affiliates, State Federations, Labor Councils, etc.

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Staff and activists of 4,900+ groups
have engaged with SMT trainings

Testimonials

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!
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.
The program was an eye-opener and better positioned me as a Communications Officer. I learned about digital mobilizing, online community building, and more.
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!
I learnt a lot on grassroots movements, digital campaigns and communications in times of state intrusion or threats.
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.
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.
I had an amazing time. I am already applying the valuable content in my organization.
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