Use Your Voice Workshop
“Use Your Voice: Change Your World” is a fast paced, interactive workshop developed in Fall 2011 by a team of Fredericksburg Chapter Virginia Organizing members.
In an hour or less, the workshop offer participants information, tools, and a boost in confidence so they may more effectively share their viewpoints with public officials at the local, state, and national levels.
The materials and ideas presented address common concerns about speaking out. What’s the best way to contact my elected official? Should I send email? A letter? What should I say? What do I do if s/he just won’t listen?
The workshop is non-partisan and suitable for the general public, for community organizations, and as a refresher course or training for local chapters.
The Fredericksburg Chapter envisioned the workshop as a means of raising awareness of Virginia Organizing in our community, of recruiting new members, and as a resource to be shared with other chapters.
The presentation may be made with a computer, projector, and PowerPoint. Or it may be done simply with a flip chart and markers.
Tools for the workshop are available for downloading here on the Virginia Organizing website. Files include a customizable PowerPoint to show in the workshop and/or to use as a script for presenters. Notes on the PowerPoint guide speakers with suggested wording and timing to make sure that there is plenty of opportunity for participants to practice their new skills.
Word file handouts include addresses for Web resources; a versatile effective message structure that may be used in writing to or speaking with government representatives; tips for getting back on track and not letting officials hijack the conversation; and a comparison the impact of email, snail mail, and phone calls.
Tools for Dismantling Racism
Since 1996, Virginia Organizing has made Dismantling Racism Workshops an integral part of its work. In this publication, Virginia Organizing has compiled practical tools and background articles to share with other organizations already active or interested in dismantling racism as part of their social justice work.
We have included:
- A Learning Section containing notes from a roundtable discussion of community leaders active in long-term dismantling racism work, a discussion about some important lessons we have learned, and an article that highlights the voices of some Virginia Organizing leaders who were instrumental in the beginning phases of developing Virginia Organizing’s dismantling racism work.
- A Profiles Section offering short profiles of people who have been involved in Virginia Organizing’s anti-racism work and a brief description of how they are putting the concepts into action in their own communities and work.
- An Articles Section where we have collected articles we have found to be helpful in understanding the concepts introduced in the workshop.
- Session Plans and the actual Dismantling Racism Workshop Workbook provide tools you can use in your own work. These include a few sessions specifically designed for youth.
- An Annotated Bibliography of resources that can be used in anti-racism work. We hope this manual will assist other organizations working to dismantle racism in a variety of settings.
For more information about Virginia Organizing’s dismantling racism work, please contact Joe Szakos at firstname.lastname@example.org or 434-984-4655.