Racial Justice Organizer Training: An Evolution Story

On October 28, Voices for Racial Justice celebrated our new name and the many partners who share our commitment to building a racial justice movement in Minnesota. We also recognized our journey to the organization we are today.

The story of Organizing Apprenticeship Project’s birth and evolution is one that inspires me as one of vision and change. The roots of our organizing training were the vision of local organizers who wanted to create a solid training program and space for new organizers to develop and grow. They recognized that having a mentoring relationship and that learning by doing were the most effective ways to develop the flexible skills that organizers need.

The training program practiced that organic, learning through experience approach itself when it responded to what organizers of color were saying: they needed the skills to advance a racial justice analysis, even within the organizations where they worked. Too often, they were the only people of color in an organization, and they needed the support and framework to organize authentically with communities of color. OAP’s ability to ask itself hard questions and to intentionally grow into what was necessary – a racial justice organizing training program – has inspired the racial justice movement we are all part of today.

We shared a video at the Parkway Theater that tells this story better than I can – through the voices of some of the early leaders of OAP. We have been on an important journey of growth and change. I know that our next 21 years will take us further along this path toward racial justice in a way that embraces each other and our many voices.