Saturday, April 16 – Teach, Learn, Transform

Saturday will feature workshops, teach-ins and art at the intersections between voting rights, money and politics and the struggles for a healthy living planet, criminal justice reform, a fair economy, workers rights, empowered young people and more.

This event is free and open to the public.

WHERE: All Souls Church, 1500 Harvard Street NW, Washington DC 20009-4290 Please use the Harvard St. entrance.

Don’t miss the chance to connect with others committed to defending and expanding our democracy; connect the ways that barriers to our democracy are also blocking progress on the key issues we all care about; connect with people from your area about how you can help organize locally on important voting rights and money in politics issues.

Sign up for the non-violent direct action training for the weekend.


12pm-Art Build: make signs, learn how to silkscreen, and street art! – All Souls Gym (lower level)*
Be part of making the democracy movement message powerful AND beautiful.*Note only the upper level of the gym is wheelchair accessible.

1pm-1:50pm: Kickoff: Voting Rights, Money In Politics United in Struggle – All Souls Sanctuary

Moderator: Stacey Long Simmons (National LGBTQ Taskforce) Panelists: Marge Baker (People For the American Way); Ari Berman (The Nation); Derek Cressman (author, When Money Talks)

2pm-2:50pm: 1st Workshop Block

Environment and Democracy-All Souls Sanctuary
A panel discussion on the intersections of environment and democracy, highlighting examples of corporate influence as well as local solutions and victories. A Q&A and discussion will follow.

Presenters: Lindsey Berger (UnKoch My Campus); Brenda Brink (Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement); Wenonah Hauter (Food and Water Watch); Courtney Hight (Sierra Club)

Democracy at a Crossroads: Fighting the Interconnected Attacks on Unions, Voting Rights, and Campaign Finance Laws-Pierce Hall
The right to vote, the right to be heard in our elections, and the right to bargain for better treatment in the workplace — they’re all under attack in a concerted effort to increase political inequality by giving big donors and corporate interests more influence in our elections at the expense of everyone else. We’ll explore how these attacks on our democracy are part of a three-pronged effort to give an elite group of wealthy Americans too much power. We’ll show how groups like the Democracy Initiative are mobilizing millions of Americans to come together to fight back and create a more reflective democracy.

Presenters include: Moderator Jerame Davis (PRIDE at Work); Greg Moore (NAACP National Voter Fund); Jessica Newman (Communications Workers of America); Nick Nyhart (Every Voice)

Making a More Peaceful World: Money Out of Politics, Honoring Peacemakers, and Challenging Empire – Longfellow Room, 2nd Floor
Big money, private interests, and massive corporations aren’t just buying our elections–they are pushing our country towards costly, never-ending wars. By releasing our political system from the chokehold of big money, we are not only returning the US democracy to its rightful owners, US residents, we are striking a blow to the military-industrial complex.

This interactive workshop will help outline how war is about money too, who is making billions while millions die in unnecessary warfare, honor peacemakers, and outline the US role in waging costly wars abroad. Participate in fun activities and groups discussions with key figures of the peace movement to see what we can do to create a more peaceful world.

Presenters: Medea Benjamin (CODEPINK); Phyllis Bennis (Institute for Policy Studies); Rebecca Green (CODEPINK); Raed Jarrar; and Michael Knox (U.S. Peace Memorial)

Separate & Unequal: DC’s Renewed Struggle for Voting Rights & Equality– Tupper Room, 2nd floor
Americans who live in Washington, D.C. are a separate and unequal class, bearing all the burdens of citizenship but denied voting representation in the U.S. Congress and the rights of local self-governance.

The workshop will explain the history of second-class citizenship of D.C. residents, and the emergence of the statehood movement in the 1990s, as D.C. grappled with financial and political crisis. Explore the recent circumstances that led to a renewed commitment to statehood as the most straightforward path to equality for the people of Washington, D.C. Learn about the nuts and bolts of creating the state of New Columbia, how we achieved significant momentum in the U.S. Congress since 2010, and the prospect for further advances in 2016.

Presenters will include: Johnny Barnes (Living With the Law); Franklin Garcia (D.C. Shadow Representative); Anisa Jenkins (Stand Up! For Democracy in DC); Kim Perry (DC Vote); Moderator Eugene Puryear (DC Statehood Green Party)

3pm-3:50pm: 2nd Workshop Block

Criminal Justice Reform and Democracy-All Souls Sanctuary
With an awesome panel of activists and advocates, this workshop will explore how systemic problems in our democracy, including big money in politics and attack on the right to vote, impede criminal justice reform, and how democracy reforms can help advance criminal justice reforms. We will discuss challenges and identify solutions and opportunities for collective work.

Presenters include Daniel Carillo (Enlace); John P. Comer (Communities United’s successful campaign to restore the vote in Maryland); Damon L. Daniels (Demos); Tam Doan (Every Voice); April Goggans (Black Lives Matter DMV); Reginald Smith (Communities United’s successful campaign to restore the vote in Maryland)

Building Youth Power Around Democracy Issues – Pierce Hall
Through our interactive, youth-led workshop, we will discuss issues relevant to youth voters, such as barriers to voting access for young people, the rising costs of college and student debt, and the influence of conservative investors on higher ed curriculum. We will have breakout sessions corresponding to the issues and will focus on the barriers, solutions, and tactics addressing each one. Participants will leave with a one-pager of tangible next steps.

Presenters include: Erik Lampmann (Young People For); Elise Orlick (US PIRG).

Small Donor Democracy: Bringing a National Movement to District Elections – Eaton Room
The workshop will focus on small donor empowerment solutions generally, and the DC Fair Elections Coalition in particular. The workshop will focus on how big money in politics adversely affects everyday DC residents, the importance of local movements in advancing the national fight to get big money out of politics, and explain how small donor empowerment will advance the cause of racial equity and amplify the voices of DC residents on issues ranging from housing affordability to living wages. The audience will have a chance to engage with these local and national leaders in the effort to fight big money, and to take a quick, important action on the DC campaign!

Presenters include: Delvone Michael (DC Working Families); Ericka Taylor (DC Fair Budget Coalition); Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-3); and moderator Emma Boorboor (U.S. PIRG)

How the TPP Trumps Democracy – Longfellow Room

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the latest sneak attack on our democracy disguised as a “free trade agreement”. Negotiated in secret for seven years with undue influence of 500 corporate advisors, the TPP would expand disastrous rules that incentivize job offshoring, push down wages, threaten our climate, increase unsafe food imports, drive ever higher medicine prices, and subvert our democratic process and courts. The elite political class has systematically misread the depth of voters’ ire about the harm done by 20 years of so-called “free trade” deals supported by Democratic and GOP presidents. Learn how growing public ire about undemocratic, job-killing, polluter-friendly trade policies are shaping the election and how to fight back.

Presenters include: Melinda St. Louis (Public Citizen); Ben Beachy (Sierra Club’s Responsible Trade Program), Mike Dolan (Teamsters); Andrea Miller (Progressive Democrats of America)

Digital Tools for Grassroots Activists – Library

In order for “We The People” to take back our democracy, we need to bring people together and build local campaigns to take back our democracy. We will share skills and tools that activists are using to build civic engagement and collective action at the national level and the local level in campaigns across the country. As a group, we will learn from each other’s experiences, and share digital and organizing strategies to win crucial fights in 2016 and the future.

Presenters will include: Moderator Izzy Bronstein (Common Cause); Emilia Gutierrez (Center for Community Change); Katy Kiefer (Food and Water Watch); Andrew Snyder (TurboVote); Francoise Stovall (Every Voice Center)

4pm-4:50pm: Solutions – Sanctuary
Learn about the top priority and most winnable state and city level campaigns for voting rights, big money in politics and assure the process works for confirming a Supreme Court nominee.

Presenters will include: Jamiah Adams (MoveOn);John Bonifaz (Free Speech for People); Ellen Buchman (Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights); Chris Melody Fields Figueredo (Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law); Will Roberts (Every Voice); Zachary Roth (MSNBC)

5pm-5:50pm: State/Local Breakout Sessions – Start in the Sanctuary
Don’t miss your chance to connect with others and take a stronger more unified movement group and plan home to your state or city. Facilitators will outline 1-2 winnable efforts for voting rights and money in politics reforms in each state, together we’ll come up with a game plan for how to work together after the mobilization and win.

– New York- Library
– DC- Tupper Room, 2nd floor
– Maryland – Longfellow Room 2nd floor
– Virginia – Eaton Room 2nd floor
– Pennsylvania – Lobby, 1st floor
– Sanctuary – States A – M (CA, CT, CO, DE, FL, IL, IN, KY, MA, ME, MI)
– Pierce Hall – States N – Z (NC, NH, NJ, OR, RI, TX, VA, VT, WV, WA)

6pm-6:50pm: Dinner Break – Pierce Hall
Dinner – There will be a limited amount of Greek food (rice, salad, pita, meat or falafel) available for purchase. If you can, please reserve food in advance to make sure we have enough.

7pm-9pm: Volunteer & Non-Violent Direct Action Training
Volunteers for the Sunday Rally must attend first part of training.
Activists MUST attend a training in order to participate in Monday’s Direct Action: Sign up here

7pm-9pm: Evening Program & Film– Pierce Hall

Jamiah Adams (MoveOn) will introduce the premier of MoveOn’s new Voting Rights video with Robert Reich.

Hilary O. Shelton (NAACP) will give opening remarks regarding his experience advocating to save lives with background checks in Congress against the NRA’s well-funded opposition.

Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films presents Making a Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA

Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and The NRA tells the stories of how guns, and the billions made off of them, affect the lives of everyday Americans. It features personal stories from people across the country who have been affected by gun violence, including survivors and victims’ families. The film exposes how the powerful gun companies and the NRA are resisting responsible legislation for the sake of profit – and thereby putting people in danger.

The film looks into gun tragedies that include unintentional shootings, domestic violence, suicides, mass shootings and trafficking – and what we can do to put an end to this profit-driven crisis. Through this film and campaign, Brave New Films will work with partners to fight for a country where public safety is more valued than profit. $5 suggested donation. RSVP

9pm-12 am: After Party at Club Heaven and Hell 2327 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Featuring music by Northeast Corridor, D.C.’s hottest cover band and #1 live karaoke band. Also featuring DC comedians: Max Wolfson; Kevin Tit; Matt Dundas; Kasha Patel; Dee Ahmed

Plus a special performance by comedian Lee Camp, host of Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp on RT America. $5 suggested donation.