Organizers-In-Training is now accepting applications for our Summer 2016 cohort! Click here to download the application. Email completed applications and essays to OIT@opalpdx.org before 6pm May 27, 2016.
Every Summer, OPAL engages the young, dynamic organizers of the future in an intensive training program. Organizers-in-Training (OIT) combines Environmental Justice theory, community field work, and transformational leadership development. OITs come to us from communities around Portland and around the country. OITs receive a stipend of $2,500 (upon program completion) to support their involvement in our rigorous curriculum.
This year’s program will begin June 27th and close September 2nd.
We’re looking for emerging activists and organizers who want to sharpen their analysis, broaden their skills, and deepen their connection to social justice. Our program helps participants learn to build movements, grow bases of support, and win campaigns. We’re hoping to build a cohort of emerging young leaders from communities of color and low-income: people who often lack access to these opportunities. OPAL is cultivating the next generation of agitators for social justice – if that’s you, or someone you know, then now is the time to apply!
OITs become connected to the movement for Environmental Justice in Portland – meeting key figures in the local fight for racial, economic, and social justice along the way. OITs have gone on to work on ballot issue and candidate campaigns, become staff organizers for causes in Portland and beyond, and have even run for office – and won!
To prepare OITs for real-world organizing, we apply a broad, challenging curriculum based in racial, social and environmental justice, including training on critical race theory, social movement strategy, and narrative-based organizing. Speakers and presenters from our region’s rich base of activists and academics lead workshops and political education on nonviolent communication, nonviolent direct action, and critical leadership skills like public speaking, base-building, and more.
Seasoned community organizers teach OITs the basics of base-building and lead daily organizing shifts in target communities. OITs hone their people skills and put theory into action. Whether it’s on the bus, at the community center, or in an apartment complex, OITs are out among the people, leading efforts to improve the places where we live, work, learn, pray, and play. At the end of the program, OITs launch a culminating action to advance an EJ priority campaign.
If you or someone you know wants to join, or lead, the cohort, now is the time to apply! Email completed applications to OIT@opalpdx.org – deadline for submissions is May 27, 2016. If you need application assistance or have questions about the process, please reach out via email or call (503) 376-8947.