Developing Leaders & Transforming Communities

Transforming Movements and Leaders

Transformative Organizing Institute (TOI) Series

The TOI is a series of 3 day intensive leadership development trainings which integrate an analysis of trauma as well as methods for healing it in its approach to leadership development and organizing. The aim is for participants in this program to increase their capacity and accountability for how they show up in the world and in their leadership. The pilot three-day training was held in May of this year, with 32 leaders in attendance, ranging in age from 17 to almost 70.   In November, we held another 3 day intensive for 15 core staff and leaders of RJAC to assess our campaigns and infrastructure as well as deepen our relationships and analysis. 

RJAC also holds monthly practice groups open to all of who have attended TOI which includes representation from a range of organizations, sectors and issues.  The goals of the TOI are to deepen the leadership capacities of grassroots organizers and leaders in Georgia, with a particular focus on women of color, for the sake of a more powerful and effective anti-criminalization movement; to build connection and cohesion among participants as a foundation for future collaborative work; and to introduce people to somatics and a trauma and oppression analysis as well as a racial justice and anti-criminalization analysis.

Internship Program for Formerly Incarcerated

In the summer of 2013 RJAC launched a dynamic organizing internship program for community leaders  who want to learn how to build power in their communities and be a part of the movement to end mass incarceration and build vibrant communities.  The 8 week paid internship program seeks to develop the skills and strengths of those with the lived experience of incarceration to become powerful and knowledgeable organizers and leaders.  For 10 hour a week interns engage in both traditional and experiential learning focused on Organizing Skills: Outreach, Base Building, Campaign Planning and Development; as well as, Political Education, Theory; and Personal Transformation/Leadership Development Skills. Our interns will leave the program with greater self awareness, and confidence, and tools to be strong communicators and democratic leaders; with knowledge of the fundamentals of campaign based, grassroots organizing including outreach and recruitment, analyzing issues and targets, strategizing campaigns, and developing leadership in others; and with a deep understanding of the history and social impact of mass incarceration and the movement to end it.

“New Majority” Unity and Power Building

Building from earlier efforts led by RJAC staff and leaders through the ‘Together We Are Powerful’ Initiative, the Action Center has developed a 10 year goal of uniting the “new majority” by forging powerful and deep connections between Black and Latino residents as well as other residents of color and progressive whites to make significant electoral and policy gains.  Specifically, the Center understands that current policies of criminalization are the bedrock of racially motivated efforts to deny Black and Immigrant communities full citizenship and voting rights.  The Center therefore seeks to combat those policies, reduce racial profiling, and decrease incarceration and detention rates, while building real political power at the state level.

In 2013 and beyond the Center will work to carve out the space and analysis of multiracial power building, specifically focused on the soon to be “new majority” of Georgia.  This will happen in part through a leadership development program specifically focused on bringing together Black and Latino/a organizers to build relationships, imagine collaborative campaigns, and plan for united political power.  This leadership development program would be the first of its kind in the state of Georgia and would lay the foundation for a core of politicized, unified, multiracial leadership.