TRAININGS & CONSULTING
What happens at a training with ACT for Social Justice? ACT for Social Justice facilitators plan a dynamic training based on the needs and goals of each particular group. In a training we take a step back from day-to-day work to look at the bigger picture. We aim to get beyond responding to crisis after crisis and to look at how seemingly different crises are connected and why they are happening. We focus on root causes of the problems we are seeing in our communities and in the world in order to come up with lasting solutions. There is also an opportunity to apply this systems thinking to particular challenges in your workplace – it could be related to a specific conflict or to lack of diversity or to addressing poverty – and to come up with concrete action.
In a training we also look at how we can break down divisions and come together to be effective in making changes to address root problems. We listen to each other’s life experiences and connect those experiences to systemic thinking and action – this is known as popular education. In the context of a society whose divisions keep us from connecting there are many power imbalances which can make it difficult to work together. For example, in our society we have a hard time talking about class (ie. socio-economic class), and how to work together for economic justice. ACT for Social Justice facilitates eye-opening discussions and provides ways for people to communicate about class in a respectful and empowering way. This work is not easy because it addresses provocative issues, but it will provide frameworks for having challenging conversations. Engaging in such a meaningful way builds stronger and more respectful relationships.
What does making systemic change with support from ACT for Social Justice look like? There are many ways that this work can benefit your organization – from small to large impacts. It can look like creating a mechanism where people at all levels of the organization have a say in decisions that impact them. It can look like instituting pay equity. It can look like building social justice education into your professional development plan. It can look like working for socially just policies. There are many options and we will work with you to make and carry out a plan.
Some of the actions taken by groups who have worked with ACT for Social Justice:
- Changing the “Rules” of a homeless shelter to be more supportive, inclusive, and restorative
- Creating positions on the Board for people who have experienced homelessness, which includes leadership training for those new Board members
- Starting an interfaith group which works to address root causes of poverty
- Starting listening circles to hear from people impacted by addiction
- Instituting policies for medical leave for all staff
- Addressing school policies that harm poor and working class students
What is the cost for training and/or consulting with ACT for Social Justice?
Our price for trainings is $700/facilitator for 4 hours or less and $1000/facilitator for 4-7 hours. Consulting is $150/hr/consultant. We offer a free one-hour conversation to find out if ACT is a good fit for your organization. It is also possible to put together a consulting package which includes training and consulting at a greatly discounted rate.
However, it is important to note that our trainings and consulting are sliding scale based on your group’s needs; institutions with greater access to resources are encouraged to support our work with low- and no-budget groups.
Is economic justice actually possible?
For the well-being of people and planet we need a systemic value shift from individualistic, competitive, and “wealth equals success” mentalities to values of cooperation, sharing or gifting, and solidarity. An important part of this value shift is often called collective liberation – or the approach “until all of us are free, none of us are free.” If we begin to see how we are all interconnected we can see that a system that benefits a few at the expense of many is harmful to all of us. Therefore, this value shift will benefits us all in both tangible and intangible ways.
Learning is an important action step. Here is an article that can help us to step out of the current thinking which says capitalism is the only way: If Not Capitalism, What? There is much more on this topic. One of our favorite resources is this Just Transition Zine from Movement Generation. Another important action is to get connected with others who are talking about an economy that works for people and the planet. Here is a good resource for getting connected with others: New Economy
How can we actually make a difference for people who are making $7.25/hour working at McDonalds or Walmart?
Poor and working-class people are making a difference for themselves! McDonalds and Walmart workers are striking for livable wage and paid sick days: see Fast Food Strike and Fight for 15. We can join and/or support those movements for economic justice, either as a constituent or in solidarity. Education about economic justice can prepare us for what it takes to be activists and allies. Learn more about economic justice at United for a Fair Economy and Center for Popular Economics See more resources below…
Some examples are:
- Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement, Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) in Portuguese, is a mass social movement formed by rural workers and by all those who want to fight for land reform and against injustice and social inequality in rural areas.
- There is a groundswell of Climate Justice Organizing – www.350.org & Movement Generation & It Takes Roots
- The Vermont Workers’ Center is actively working for Universal Healthcare in the state of Vermont.
- Livable wage campaigns: Fightfor15, VTlivablewage, PJC VT, Universal Living Wage
- The Food Justice movement:
- Hands Up Don’t Shoot: Resisting the criminalization of people of color and police brutality against black and brown communities.
And Soooooo Much More is happening. Pick something and get involved. WE are the change we’ve been waiting for!
We’d be honored to work with YOU!