Strengthening and interconnecting transformative social movements
We hear a lot about struggles with fragmentation within our movements and about the desire to make them more diverse, inclusive, and empowering. Some of the challenges involved are those of not reproducing forms of oppression, such as racism, patriarchy, or ableism within our movements themselves. This training aims to help us explore these challenges and to develop practices and strategies to build diverse movements capable of embodying active solidarity, and mutual empowerment.
We often bring our individual perspectives of power and the privilege we bear into our groups and organisational dynamics. We also need to think about them at a movement level and in building alliances and wider forms of collaboration. This training will create a reflective space in which we can explore the challenges this involves and begin to design and develop approaches for responding to them.
There are no ready-made recipes for practising solidarity and intersectional organising, therefore the training will be designed in a way that allows for deep reflection, identifying challenges and unhelpful organising patterns and will support participants in developing their capacity to respond to challenges and transform movement building cultures in ways that feel most empowering in the local context and with the communities involved. We want to collectively create a courageous space so that we can step out of our comfort zones and enable critical reflection on movement practices and cultures, starting on a personal level and moving to movement level.
We will explore how organising rooted in active and intentional solidarity can make our movements stronger and more resilient (rather than fragmented) and how we can practise intersectionality from a place of value alignment and vision for justice and joy rather than a fear of making mistakes, shame and blame.
The training assumes a basic literacy with power and privilege themes. We will cover a basic introduction to create common ground but we want to move beyond the basic level analysis and knowledge.
Key topics will include:
Hilal Demir, a cook, an artist and a DJ at home. A nonviolent trainer, facilitator for 20 + years with lots of experience on nonviolence and related topics such as organizing, conflict management , nonviolent action, understanding power, resilience, strategy etc. She is passionate about leading informal learning experiences, community organizing, group dynamics and supporting activists and organizations to build long lasting healthy social movements for a just future. As a nonviolent queer-feminist activist she has been instrumental in creating organizations and groups in Turkey committed to spreading nonviolent culture.
Ilaj is an experienced trainer, mostly holding space for collective exploration of the topics of burnout, weathering repression, navigating trauma and cultivating solidarity in social movements. Ilaj is project lead for Ulex’s LGBTQI+ psycho-social resilience and holistic security programme. Before committing full time to Ulex, Ilaj was involved in various grassroots social movements, mostly in Eastern and Southern Europe. Ilaj is also a feminist self defence and assertiveness trainer and they are passionate about working with body awareness as a radical means of deconstructing internalized systems of oppression. Ilaj is a member of the Ulex core team.
Binta wears many hats – educator, facilitator, organizer, activist, social entrepreneur, and mental health advocate – in support of community-led initiatives focused on social and climate justice. She has 10+ years experience working internationally on issues related to digital literacy, educational, social, and economic inclusion of marginalized communities, capacity and community building, and intercultural communication. In addition to organizing and working with anti-racist and feminist organizations in France, her current work focuses on helping movements structure and grow their impact, training youth leaders and activists in campaigning, community building and mobilization, and building networks of peer learning, support, and empowerment for marginalized communities.
creating empowering and inclusive spaces for organising
methods and tools for working well with conflict in our groups
skills and practices for effective team and group work
1. A thorny-evergreen flowering shrub, with a high capacity for regeneration and resilience. Its seedpods open in contact with fire and it reshoots from charred stumps. A successionary plant that grows well under challenging conditions. It improves soil fertility through nitrogen fixing, preparing the way for renewed biodiversity.
2. A traditional choice for igniting fires. Burns hot and bright.
3. A networked project adding nutrition and fertility to European social movements through training and capacity building. It kindles the realisation of social justice, ecological intelligence, and cognitive vitality.