Organizing Skills

Central to Wayside’s vision is the belief that those directly affected are the ones best qualified to create solutions to the problems affecting their communities. In addition to creating spaces where people can come together and reflect on those problems, we offer a variety of organizer skills training programs to increase the capacity of our communities to implement those solutions. These range from evening programs to weekend workshops to months-long internships. Most can be offered both at Wayside and in your area.

We can work with you to tailor a workshop agenda to the specific needs of your group. Possible topics include Fundamentals of Direct Action Organizing, Grassroots Fundraising 101, Framing Issues and Campaign Strategy and many others. Contact us to create and organizing skills workshop that’s right for you and check out our ongoing programs at the links below.

In this weekend-long workshop, members of diverse communities come together to learn from each other’s struggles, connect, reflect, and identify the root causes of the issues affecting their communities. This space allows for individuals to share their stories and issues that their communities face every day, while connecting and building a political analysis that will contribute to the development of a stronger, more inclusive movement for the long haul.
This training is offered once a year. It starts on a Friday with dinner at 7pm and ends on a Sunday with lunch at 1pm. Activists, community members, youth, and individuals from different regions and cultures, come together to learn from each other and support each other’s struggle within a popular education framework.  This is a fun weekend where participants break the barriers that keep them apart and build power together.
In order to create an inclusive movement where all voices are heard, Wayside provides Spanish-English interpretation for this workshop. If other languages are needed, we will do our best to find interpretation for the languages represented.

Please contact us if you’d like more information on this program at Wayside or if you would like to organize an event specific to your group.

This paid internship program launched in the spring of 2012 with three youth based in Richmond. Interns began by participating in the Breaking Barriers/Building Power weekend and spent the next three months learning and refining community organizing skills while putting together the Wayside Commons.

Read the 2012 internship report back.

Social Movement History Workshop

Bring It! Youth Organizing Weekends are intensive, 2-day introductions to social movement work and organizing skills. Designed for organizers generally in the age range of 18-24, the weekend covers big picture questions like “What is a social movement” and “How do I leverage power through organizing” all the way down to nitty gritty workshops on how to run meetings, use art in activism, and getting your message out. Every weekend is somewhat shaped by the group of participants, so no Bring It! Weekend is the same, or covers the same topics.

Participants come from organizations, colleges, and universities from all over the South and Midatlantic. We work with a wide network of trainers, so we have new and old faces at every Bring It! Weekend. Wayside also invites a movement elder to attend part of each weekend. We have been fortunate to have inspiring organizers from a variety of backgrounds, including prison industrial complex organizing, Black liberation struggles, housing and immigrant justice movements, and more.



“Art as a Weapon” Workshop

Each summer Wayside puts together a three-day camp for youth between the ages of 13 and 19. The heart of the weekend is anti-oppression, public education, conflict resolution, and the school-to prison pipeline. The weekend is based in a popular education framework that fosters youth facilitation, relationship building, analysis of current youth situations in their schools and communities.  Wayside brings together around 15 to 20 youth each summer in order to to continue building together the inclusive and just world that we want to be part of.

During these three days, youth have the opportunity to interact with other youth from different socio economic class, race, ability, and cultures. They have three amazing days of fun, laughter, and swimming, building relationships and running around the beautiful place that is Wayside.

We work closely with other youth leaders and alumni of our Bring It! Youth Organizing Weekend, our workshop that works primarily with older youth. In this way our younger high school aged organizers meet and work with older organizers with more experience and facilitation skills.

For more information, please contact Carolina Velez at  (804) 868-0191