Visionary Organizing Lab’s popular education programs focus heavily on trainings and workshops we call Praxis Labs. Praxis labs unite theory, practice, reflection, and personal experience to imagine alternative worlds, create visions, and create projects that embody those alternatives. We offer multi-session Praxis Labs, 3-4 hour Praxis Labs, and presentations divided into three themes: Visionary Organizing 101; Transformative Antiracism; and Systems Transition.
This work is led by Matt Birkhold, a facilitator, trainer, and organizer with almost twenty years of transformative experience in and out of social movements. We also co-design facilitative processes with people and groups. If you want to work with us but our listed programming does not meet your needs, please contact us.
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Visionary Organizing 101
These Praxis Labs are entry points to organizing to create the world we want to see.
Beyond Protest: An Introduction to Visionary Organizing
This 2 hour presentation and discussion charts the history, development, and practice of visionary organizing by talking about its roots with James and Grace Lee Boggs and its development beyond.
Visionary Organizing: A Holistic & Healing Approach to Social Change
Over 4 Hours participants will develop a vision for their neighborhood, city, community, or issue & work backwards from it to explore making it reality. This Lab is for the general public and activists alike.
Beyond Allies: Antiracism, Visionary Organizing & Co-Liberation
In 4 hours participants will explore what antiracism for the world we want to live in looks like. This Lab is for people who think anti-oppression work is important but are frustrated with how it happens.
Transforming a Culture of Domination, Creating a Culture of Contribution
In 4 Hours participants will explore how cultures of domination work, the concept of holistic power, and explore practices and projects to create culture of contribution. This Lab is for people who want to explore how we have to change ourselves and our institutions.
These Praxis Labs explore what antiracism for the world we want to live in looks like.
Violence: White Nationalism & Antiracism for the Twenty-First Century
This 2 hour presentation and discussion connects patriarchy, racism, capitalism & nature to paint white nationalism as a response to the crisis of patriarchal racial capitalism. It also explores how a holistic approach to anti-racism can curb the spread of white nationalism by facilitating the emergence of a new system.
Thanksgiving Dinner: Compassionately Challenging Racism in White Families
Over 5-6 hours participants will explore the depth that challenging racism within a white family represents, tap into an inner wisdom to guide to effective challenges to white supremacy, and generate processes for effectively challenging racism in white families and spaces that create transformative possibilities for whole families/spaces. This lab is for people who have racist family members they want to lovingly confront and see transformed.
These Praxis Labs all introduce people to the concept of systems transition, the idea that for environmental, technological, and economic reasons we are living through the end of patriarchal racial capitalism and that the creation of a system to replace it is a practical matter.
Systems Transitions is Not Radical: The Structural Limits of Capitalism and Systems Transition
This 2 hour talk and discussion demonstrates how capitalism is undermining its ability to reproduce itself over the long term, this presentation names systems change as a practical need and explores opportunities and strategies to facilitate it. This talk is a basic introduction to the concept systems transition.
Endings & Beginnings: Exploring Systems Transition
Over 4 Hours participants will develop a working definition of systems and systems transition, explore how systems emerge, develop, decline, and explore the role of critical connections and relationships in systems transition. This lab is perfect for anyone who wants to understand why we’re experiencing so many crisis at once and how they might be seen as an opportunity for something new.
Visionary Organizing for Systems Transition
Over two sessions participants will explore systems and systems transition by developing an understanding of connections between racism, sexism, the exploitation of nature, and capitalism and the role of place in creating the kinds of connections needed to facilitate systems transition. Participants will develop , explores a vision for a place, explore what organizing locally to make reality resemble that vision might look like, and explore how people must transform to fulfill this vision and do this kind of organizing. This Lab is perfect for anyone with an interest in local organizing and in systems transition.
Having and Being: Nature, Capitalism, and Systems Change
Over two sessions participants will explore relationships between capitalism, racism, sexism, and our disconnection from nature, and how our disconnection from nature shapes our thinking and has initiated a structural crisis in the economy. Participants will also develop a vision for a new system and explore how we must transform ourselves to facilitate systems transition to a sustainable system that values human dignity. This lab is perfect for environmental activists, activists who want to understand connections between their work and the environment, and for anyone who wants to understand connections between oppression and the environmental crisis.
Uprooting Oppression: Race, Gender and Systems Change
Over two sessions participants will explore the emergence patriarchal racial capitalism and the role of racial and gender oppression in economic growth. They will also explore how resistance of oppressed people has contributed to the structural crisis of patriarchal racial capitalism, created a practical opportunity to create a new system, develop a vision for a new system, and develop am anti-oppression language and practice rooted in a vision for a new system. This Lab is perfect for anti-oppression activists who want to explore what visionary anti-oppression organizing might look like.
Visionary Organizing to Confront White Nationalism
Over two sessions participants will explore the role of whiteness and white identity in the emergence and expansion of patriarchal racial capitalism and how the 1960s social movements transformed the world economy, white people’s experience in it, and created the conditions for today’s white nationalist movement to grow. Participants will also examine white nationalist violence as a response to economic and environmental crisis and explore what organizing that address the roots causes of white nationalism might look like. This lab is perfect for anyone concerned about white nationalism.