Suburbia Rising’s cornerstone curriculum is an 8-10 hour workshop, From Idea to Action. We are able to configure the teachings into 4-5 evening trainings, or half-day weekend workshops.

Our gathering kicks off by establishing ground rules and expectations for the environment we share. We use intentional framing and narrative building to encourage participation and maintain an emotionally safe space for all. Personal motivation couples with historical grounding and anti-oppression understanding to center our activist efforts and allow for truly impactful change. We spend the time to develop deep understanding of individual bias, intersectionality and systemic injustice.

Knowledge enables confidence and action, so our focus then turns to the practice of being an ally and accomplice. We explore how to leverage privilege on behalf of others, accountability, equitable allyship and meaningful mutual aid. Workshop participants are encouraged to reflect on their personal experience, and practice new skills and techniques in role-playing scenarios and other exercises.

We move from personal growth into community building. Our organizing models are inspired by non-hierarchical, collective communities, including Seattle’s Neighborhood Action Coalition, and a variety of established co-housing and cooperative learning institutions. Suburbia Rising provides an overview and suggested blueprint on group structure, decision making and networking.

With strong personal commitment and a supportive group, our participants are ready to start taking real action. We work on understanding campaign stories and strategies, tactics for advocacy and direct action on a broad level before bringing the conversation back to the local area. Case studies of ongoing, successful, and failed campaigns let participants gain better understanding before we work together on theoretical strategies for their next steps toward making their neighborhoods and communities into more equitable and just places.

The Suburbia Rising curriculum builds in movement, personal reflection and active participation for a fun and friendly experience, even as we deal with challenging and uncomfortable topics like systemic discrimination and white supremacy. We also provide digital copies of the materials used in our workshops for participants’ ongoing study and reference.