National School for Strategic Organizing

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Eric Mann converses with the NSSO class

National School for Strategic Organizing

The Labor/Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles is recruiting applicants for the National School for Strategic Organizing, an advanced program in the strategy and tactics of building left social movements. Are you looking for a program in strategic organizing? Where you learn to devise tactical plans within the context of long-term strategy? Do you want to study the history and theories of social movements while mentoring with movement veterans?
Do you want to fight racism, sexism, and the U.S. war machine in direct action organizing campaigns



What is the National School like?

The School combines a variety of experiences:

(1) Classes and readings on political and organizing theory

  • political education seminars on analysis of the main problems we face in the world today as well as approaches to strategy and tactics
  • organizers' exchanges with campaign veterans where you learn our theory of transformative organizing and examine the specificity of tactics needed for building organizations
  • case study workshops on historic campaigns, making history in the present
  • briefings on campaign development

(2) Direct participation in ongoing mass campaigns

  • on-the-bus organizing
  • area work teams that integrate theory and practice within tactical plans
  • learning the Center's approach to 'counter-hegemonic' demand development and methods of building a leadership core and community allies
  • learning to assess different phases of a campaign: when to escalate, when to retreat, how to consolidate gains and victories
  • on-going self evaluation aided by a close working relationship with an assigned mentor and supervisor

Through theory-driven social practice, organizers in the School learn flexibility to move with the twists and turns of organizing and discipline to structure time for work, study, reading, writing, and reflection.

NSSO Application 2015

Thank you for your interest. We will not be accepting applications for the school for 2015. For volunteer opportunities with the Bus Riders Union, the Community Rights Campaign, or the Fight for the Soul of the Cities please call (213) 387-2800

What Alumni Are Saying

"If you are ready, then know that the Center, and the Bus Riders Union 'fight to win'.  We've done it by building a militant Civil Rights and environmental justice movement of the masses that is vibrantly internationalist, intergenerational, pro-feminist and multilingual."

- Daniel Won-gu Kim, Class of 2001

"Time, place and conditions—three words that will always remind me of the Center. This work is incredibly dynamic—dialectical materialism dictates constant reassessment and reading of conditions and contextualizing those conditions within a history of evolving contradictions.  This necessitates constantly reexamining where we stand and being responsive to the evolutions."
- Vanessa Moses, Class of 2005
"The Center allows me to combine hip-hop and civil rights, national liberation and my commitment to fighting for the survival of people of African descent as well and my sistas and brothers around the world. We come out of the Black political tradition that talks about self-determination and land.  We talk about the particular histories of oppressed peoples and their relationships and demands against what Martin Luther King Jr. described as the worst purveyor of violence in the world today."
-Damon Azali, Class of 2001
& Community Rights Campaign Lead Organizer
"When I organized on the buses I confronted so much of the self-hatred and right-wing-taught assumptions of our society that shaped my life in the projects of Houston...this summer here has been about growing in a space where I feel assured, safe, proud and confident in my politics, beliefs and values."       
- Cynthia Rojas, Class of 1998
"I have spent my life trying to find the connection between pedagogy and organizing, between feminism, civil rights, anti-imperialism, and socialism. Now I am committed to using my experience to help transform a new generation of organizers. Every class teaches me new things as I teach the ever changing social theory of the international Left project."   
- Lian Hurst Mann
National School for Strategic Organizing