For black social justice organizations in America, 2020 is a demanding year, with the presidential election, as well as other state and civic elections, the African American vote will be critical in many races. This year is also a census year, where everyone must be counted.
Recognizing these challenges, one organization has already mapped out programming to offer its network an extensive range of courses aimed at addressing specific needs. Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD), is a national Leadership Training Program designed to help rebuild the black social justice infrastructure to organize communities more effectively and re-center black leadership in the U.S. social justice movement.
Focusing on African-Americans, people from the Caribbean and Africa, and Afro-Latinos, the organization offers training in various areas.
Highlighted courses this year, include: Transforming Conflict, Leading from Black Wholeness, and Assessing Political Conditions Together.
BOLD leaders say they have selected and prioritized those components of the organization’s longer training to address specific needs that former participants have identified as long-standing issues in their work— each of which seems likely to present even greater challenges in light of 2020’s pressures.
“If we are going to be leaders, particularly with the social justice movements, then our responsibilities as leaders is to ensure that we are both effective and careful, and not misleading folks,” said Baltimore resident Tré Murphy, who has been involved with BOLD since its inception in 2012. “Part of the response to BOLD has really been that we can manage conflicts and, by more creatively and effectively, that has allowed us to hold our folks more accountable and not push ourselves out. So, we can mend conflicts more effectively.”
The Transforming Conflict course is designed for individuals who are seeking to acquire skills to navigate movement and organizational conflict more effectively.
Leading from Black Wholeness is designed for directors and lead organizers to strengthen their connection to their “own innate resilience, as well as learn practices to cultivate that resilience, a skill that’s even more necessary in times of increased pressure and stress.”
The Assessing Political Conditions Together course explores how politics “lives in our bodies, and how we can shift those shapes in service to embody our political vision and analysis more powerfully and strengthen our ability to take more effective collective action.”
BOLD has become the premier national training intermediary focused on strengthening the black social justice infrastructure by transforming the practice of black organizers in the U.S. to increase their alignment, impact and sustainability to win progressive change, according to organization leaders. In February, BOLD sought to continue to “unleash the collective powers of its organizers, trainers, mentors, mentees, alumni, Advisory Council members, and allies during its annual National Gathering in Baltimore. This four-day event brought together BOLD alumni from across the country and previous years’ training to reflect and celebrate the year’s progress.
“BOLD is one of the best-kept secrets where many don’t know about BOLD. They find out through the network that it has been building,” Murphy said. For more information about BOLD, visit: www.boldorganizing.org.