The five-session, ten-hour course grounds new and emerging leaders in key aspects of identity, values, history, accomplishments and ideas that have shaped our movement. Topics include:
- What are the programs of the CAPACES organizations and what have they accomplished?
- What are our movement’s values and big ideas?
- What are the “-isms”—racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism—and how do we distinguish between personal prejudice and institutional discrimination?
- Who creates wealth and why is collective bargaining central to our movement?
TURNO, or Talento Universitario Regresando a Nuestros Orígenes (University Talent Returning to Our Roots) is a new initiative creating a path for capable and motivated young folks to embrace and prepare for long-term movement leadership. Each fall, the Institute recruits a dozen Woodburn High School students for sessions on leadership, movement history, and community service. The Institute meets during vacations to reinforce connections and to help them visualize their roles after graduation. TURNO will steadily increase the pool of new leaders, even assuming that many don’t return. TURNO will also expand the network of movement supporters, rooted in our communities, who go out into—and succeed in—the wider world.
This year-long course serves leaders established within the CAPACES network.
Its first cohort, Leadership Transitions, occurred in 2013 and included six top-level leaders who recently completed or were in the middle of a significant leadership change.
Participants engaged in monthly-round tables discussions that served as a platform to analyze the fears, challenges, competencies, and opportunities to achieve successful leadership succession in the CAPACES network. Discussion themes include: conflict resolution, technical skills vs. emotional intelligence, and balancing work life and family. By sharing real challenges and opportunities that arise from group discussion, participants were able to apply their learning on a practical way.
Leadership Forum 2.0, “Liderazgo a Largo Plazo – Leadership for the Long Haul” began in March 2014. It includes nine leaders who are in level two leadership, that is, they maintain significant responsibility in their role but are not the head of their organization.
The focus is “Seven Dimensions of Making and Keeping a Long-Term Commitment: roles & skill set, personal health & physical security, family, finances, vision & big ideas, example in the community & the organization, and personal spirit”
An engaging tour of the world of fundraising as we know it. In three sessions, each three hours, we explore and address questions like:
- What is a non-profit?
- What are our movement’s principles of fundraising?
- What are the basics of asking individuals for money?
- What are the basics of organizing events, of budgets and about foundations?
Fundraising Round Table
Inaugurated in January 2005, the round-table is a monthly gathering of the CAPACES organizations’ principal fundraisers, plus any other CAPACES leaders who want to learn about our fundraising world. The meetings offer a forum for updates, information exchange, collaboration,strategizing, problem-solving, and training. The Round-table participants designed and will lead the sessions for “Fundraising 101.”
In a movement of organizations whose staff size ranges from 1 to 20, forging and maintaining a sense of scale and inter-connection is an ever-present challenge. From the first “mass gathering” in 2004, up through the 35th in 2014, these quarterly gatherings welcome all movement staff for a three hour session which delves into a topic of common concern and ends with a meal and social time. Topics have included the practical (planning the grand opening of a housing complex, the development of a radio station), the strategic (developing leaders for service in political office), the personal (sustaining our morale in hard times, health challenges associated with movement leadership) and the ideological (homophobia, the roots of sexism).
Agricultural Wealth in the Mid-Willamette Valley: Who created it and who controls it?
This is a one-time special project to research and develop an interactive class (or possibly an entire course) on the economics of wealth accumulation by growers and workers in our area. Two interns will lead the effort to vividly and accessibly communicate the scale and scope of wealth today and its evolution over the past decades. One key outcome will be a session which will be incorporated into future offerings of CAPACES 101. The project is funded by the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon.
CAPACES Coordination and Communication
- Conectas We’re all busy and often over-stretched in our daily work. It’s hard enough to keep up on events and key developments within our respective organizations, much less those of others in the CAPACES network. And yet, every CAPACES leader, in the course of his/her daily activities, has opportunities to make connections that would benefit other CAPACES organizations. Most of these opportunities are wasted, unrecognized, because we lack basic information. Conectas (“connections”, but also “get connected”) is a partial, but highly efficient and sustainable remedy to this syndrome. On the first Friday of the month at 9 AM, a one-hour conference call is convened. Every participant (or participant organization) is afforded a few minutes to describe who s/he is “moving” or needs help moving. More in-depth coordination occurs off-line. Some leaders phone in simply to listen and get better informed.
- CAPACES Calendar The Institute compiles a calendar monthly, projecting three months out, listing public meetings which CAPACES organizations have firmly or tentatively scheduled. Scheduling coordination—preempting avoidable conflicts—is the prime goal. The Calendar is circulated via email to the CAPACES network staff.
- Concientízate en Cinco Minutos “CE5M” Raise Your Consciousness in Five Minutes) began in January 2009, bringing to life an idea surfaced in the Mass Gathering on the changes set in motion by the November 2008 Election. Throughout 2009 and 2010, between eight and fourteen CAPACES organization leaders met in Salem for an hour every Monday morning to sound out themes and decide on the topic for a 300 word message. The following Wednesday, the message—plus translation and bi-lingual event announcements—was emailed to the CAPACES leader network plus 250 key allies. In 2011, meetings and message production were scaled back to semi-monthly. CE5M has also proved a valuable laboratory for critical thinking, framing, messaging, prompting the newer leaders who participate to monitor and analyze press reports.
Seven Dimensions is an exciting new method which the CLI developed in 2014. It focuses on leaders who have made or are making a long-term commitment to movement work and who face many competing pressures—personal and work-related—that jeopardize that commitment.
In movement work, we expect and we give much of ourselves—be it an “investment”, an obligation, a sacrifice—and there isn’t enough time, energy, empathy or money to go around. This reality creates conflicts and tensions and we make choices, too, about how to deal with, deflect or deny those conflicts and tensions.
The Seven Dimensions method’s thesis is that movement leaders cannot expect to definitely “solve” these “problems”, because we don’t individually or collectively have sufficient power or resources. Most likely, we never will. Rather, we can strengthen our cause, our organizations, our co-workers, our families, and ourselves by recognizing that they present dilemmas that call for proactive management, for strategies that enhance balance, and for continually taking the “long view.” We do have the power to adjust and to re-engage in ways that make tangible and intangible improvements. We open paths in ourselves and our organizations to becoming stronger people and more effective leaders.
The Seven Dimensions to seek a better balance are: Personal health & physical security, Family and loved one, Finances, Roles & skill set, Vision & big ideas, Example in the community & the organization, and Personal spirit,
As with most CLI programs, Seven Dimensions utilizes a form of “popular education” seeking to identify key questions, facilitate expression of group experience, and synthesize people’s wisdom into strategies that make sense in practice. This approach is premised on the belief and the experience that committed participants bring most of the knowledge and experience that is needed. Therefore, we do not regard the Seven Dimensions as “training”, but rather a convening (in Spanish, we call it a “capacitación”). “Training” can connote that some will “teach” and others will “learn.” In the Institute’s experience and belief system, all who participate are both “teachers” and “students”. The Institute’s role is to facilitate the process by framing issues or questions, by organizing useful materials, and by borrowing or creating techniques for dynamic interactions.
In June 2014 and again in June 2015, the CLI welcomed a cohort of the organizing directors or lead organizers from organizations in the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (“FIRM”) network for three and a half days engaging the “seven dimensions”, mostly in small group discussions and building peer relationships. In 2015, 29 organizations participated, including PCUN and Causa.