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Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing: GenPower Labs – Organizing to Win Lab

Deadline: August 20, 2021

The Organizing to Win Lab will support a broad range of youth-led and multi-generational organizations addressing the most pressing issues of the moment. This annual grantmaking and capacity building program will cultivate a peer learning community centered on honest reflection and authentic conversations among organizers. The program will include sessions to strengthen assessments of sociopolitical conditions, tools to internally evaluate organizing methodologies, and opportunities to grapple with peers regarding the strengths and limitations of youth organizing. Organizations completing this program will better understand their organizing in the context of long term power building. Groups selected to participate in The Organizing to Win Lab will strengthen relationships through a peer learning community rooted in vulnerability, transparency, and a commitment to collective movement building, with an aim toward:

* Increasing capacity for long-term strategy and power building by examining organizing campaigns, approaches to base building, and leadership development models.
* Building collective understanding of the conditions that led to the current political moment and assessing the role young people play in catalyzing multigenerational movements

The Lab will present a series of virtual sessions on strategic education, offer capacity building tools, and foster a peer learning space throughout the course of one year. The sessions, facilitated by Grassroot Policy Project, will combine interactive lectures, small group discussions, and space to grapple with various organizing models. There will be assigned readings and/or videos. Throughout the process, participants will complete mini assignments to reflect on their organizing methodology and power building approaches.

The strategic education offered in the program is intended to establish a common framework among participants for assessing their organization’s current work and thinking about what kinds of shifts in organizational strategy may be necessary to win meaningful social change. The program will do an introductory analysis of U.S. Racial Capitalism and the ways in which race, class, and gender intertwine to shape the social and political conditions of this country. This will involve taking a closer look at how the system has functioned over the past 40 years to create the levels of inequality and repression that our communities are currently living through.

Participants: 2-3 participants from each organization are required to participate in all cohort activities. This should include one Executive Director, Organizing Director, or Lead Organizer and 1-2 Youth Organizers or additional staff/key leaders.

Time Commitment: The Organizing to Win Lab will hold 14-16 virtual workshops over the course of one year. Workshops may range from 1.5-3 hours. The total amount of time commitment is 45-50 hours.

Amount: Grants of $25,000 will be awarded to 35 organizations.

Eligibility: Applicants must:
* Have a 501c3 IRS designation or a fiscal agent
* Be a base building organization with an explicit commitment to anti-oppression and a practice of running grassroots organizing campaigns (https://fcyo.org/info/youth-organizing/) ;
* Practice shared decision making power with youth in determining organizational direction and center young people of color, gender oppressed and/or working class young people
* Be committed to grappling with questions of effective power building strategies
* Be willing to be honest and vulnerable about the strengths and limitations of their current and historical approach to organizing and organizational model
* Commit to have at least one organizational leader defined as someone who has significant decision making power or influence within your organization and one additional organizer to participate in the full virtual program

Preference may be given to:
* Black-led and Indigenous-led organizations
* Organizations in areas with less philanthropic resource (refer to FCYO’s 2020 Funder Scan: Investing in the Power of Young People at: https://fcyo.org/resources/fcyos-2020-funder-scan-investing-in-the-power-of-young-people)
* New and emerging organizations looking to strengthen their organizing methodology
* Cohorts of organizations in networks, alliances or regions looking to jointly build power; organizations will apply individually and name their network, alliance, etc

Link: https://fcyo.org/resources/the-genpower-labs-organizing-to-win-lab-request-for-proposals-rf

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