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5. Money talks too fucking much here, so make it speak for you. - Wellesley is shit scared of alum backlash, because it means fewer donations. On the plus side, alums have so much power here! Basically, money talks first, yeah, but then so do alums in positions of power or career prestige, and alums who can organize other alums. So if, say, a certain organization suddenly has a nice fancy office on campus and a high-ranking dean tells you “I mean, when anyone donates two million dollars, they’re going to get an office,” remember they’re not the only ones with influence! - Mobilize alums via making noise. Hold a protest and utilize points 1-4! This has been shown time and time again to really, truly matter. 6. Make sure administrators commit to something, with a deadline, at the end of a meeting. - Recaps are so importantWhen Acorns was first being proposed, the college wanted it to be a space for Latinx students, students of Asian descent, and all LGBTQ students (which make up 38% of campus, at last count). In other words, white queer and trans students would have had access to this space that had long been campaigned for by students of color (and white students utilizing the house would have been implicitly outting themselves). Zero students actually wanted this: the college just wanted to get giving a space to LGBTQ students over and done with, so tried to lump everyone together). A series of meetings with the Provost happened as a result. In the middle of one meeting he committed to Acorns not actually being for LGBTQ students, but during the recap at the end he did a total about-face and showed us his real intentions. - Make sure everyone is on the same page -- take notes! Bring those notes up during the recap. - Include deadlines in any commitment you ask for, otherwise the likelihood of never hearing back increases exponentially.


7. Stage a protest. - Campus protests can be so impactful (see: WAAM-SLAAM, Taxi Cab 1969, Raíz’s work to make us a sanctuary campus, protesting the Freedom Project speaker who harms trans women by promoting the theory of autogynophilia, Renew Wellesley’s work) and have real tangible impacts on Wellesley policy, as administrators hate when we get visible. - Make sure protesters are on the same page. - At that Freedom Project protest, we all agreed not to engage with the speaker whatsoever, but many students still did (at a certain point, myself included). I didn’t really prepare everyone for the fact that she was going to attempt to goade us into speaking, and I should have presented that as a reality (students took it to mean she wanted to engage in good faith -- her blog post afterwards, which painted us as ignorant and straight up lied, shows otherwise). - Leverage campus media to engage alums both during and afterwards. - We had 24 hours to put together the Freedom Project protest, and we couldn’t have done it without alums venmoing us for supplies, food, etc. All it took was a sympathetic alum (use your friends who recently graduated!) to explain the situation and post our venmo in alum groups. - Our Counterpoint “The Day After The Protest”, which came on the heels of Boston Globe articles revealing Koch money behind the Freedom Project that had come out earlier in the semester, really incited alums to call the college and led to huge change.


SlAp Gives Lessons Learned from student activism This piece was first published in Counterpoint, Sept. 2017 On working with administrators: - Administrators will never acknowledge the necessary role student activists play in pushing forward institutional change. - When the administration decides to set up a “committee” to address your concerns, beware: committees are where dreams go to die. The administrator or faculty member assigned to the committee will likely not show up, or leave you scrambling, and those who insisted that such a committee be created will shut it down under the pretense of it “not being effective.” That’s on them—you lacked the resources you were promised and never received—but good luck getting administrators to admit it. - The administration plays hot potato with responsibilities. During our second campaign, we bounced around between three different administrators who kept redirecting us to each other. - The administration will make it seem as if they care about and will support your demands, then pull the rug out from under you the last month of the semester. This is done deliberately so students can’t visibly organize. - Some administrators who promise you the world will straight up leave without putting in place what they promised. (Where’s that work study job fair you promised to include in this year’s student orientation, Scott AKA former SFS director? Hope the shiny new Yale job is going well!)


On working with students - Wendy culture makes Wellesley students flaky as hell. Allies and even organizers will flake on your campaign because they’re doing a million other things. If you want people showing up to your action, you have to hound them constantly for days. November and April especially will wreak havoc on your organizational capacity - plan ahead, and make sure nobody’s taking on more than they can chew. - The best way to keep an organization together is to keep yourself open to new people, value everyone’s contributions, and get to know and care about each other on a personal level. Build community & avoid hierarchy. - There’s a dedicated circle of students committed to activism that will show up for you. Find them in SLAP, Raíz, WAA, Ethos, EnAct, SJP, JVP, and others. - Activism is hard: it takes a mental, emotional, and physical toll. Make sure you have a support system—you’ll need it when the going gets tough. On making your voice heard - There are three megaphones on campus. To use one, ask an activist who might know who currently has them or post on Facebook about it. We are at a crucial point right now in campus organizing. A lot of different forces are mobilizing, coming from many different backgrounds. Right now, activists at Wellesley desperately need to communicate, strategize behind the scenes, and form coalitions with each other. It’s all too easy to get swept under the rug, but students have more power than we might believe. We hope to see you at our actions and at yours (hopefully, you’ll join SLAP and they’ll be one and the same), kicking some ass!


Renew Wellesley gives a roadmap to action 1. You are qualified! You don’t need to have studied theory of change or know the shakedown of every movement. You don’t need experience. If you see something that needs to be done, begin. Remember that all those studies and examples are out there to guide you. Look for help, ask for others to bring their passions and skills that you don’t have. When someone else steps up that is more qualified to speak, yield your voice and continue to support. But the movement cannot wait for your insecurities. 2. You can do a lot of things on your own, but this isn’t on one of them. -To change everything you need everyone If you realize you’re doing everything yourself: -You’ll burn out quick, and that’s no good because the movement needs you -If others aren’t actively involved, it is the sign of an unsustainable campaign 3. Create as many ways as possible to let other people into your campaign, use their skills for social justice, and empower them to take leadership -We’re frustrated with the bureaucracy that keeps things slow and makes us feel powerless, and yet in organizations we drift toward centralized leadership. -You might need megaphones, connections to other orgs on campus, video-editing skills, spam, social media expertise, people who know how to use 25 live, people who can write punchy emails, etc. This is a good way to allow people to spearhead their own projects 4. Asking for commitments without relationships usually equals poor commitment


5. Remember that you live in a community of other organizers in the greater Boston area! Support their rallies and invite them to yours (Thank you Brandeis Climate Justice for showing up!). Social justice coalition of the greater Boston area schools? Lets go. 6. When you take videos of your actions, do it horizontally. Vertical videos don’t look good on youtube/facebook 7. Paula Johnson is diplomatic and very warm. When she calls you into a meeting because you told her you were going to do a banner-drop at Al Gore’s talk, she’s going to make you feel heard and valid and she is paid a six figure salary with a huge bonus in part because she does this exceptionally well. Thank her for listening, but don’t lose sight. Smile back and her and say: “I’ll know I’m heard when your actions match your talk.” 8. Speaking of Wellesley finances, make a free account at guide star to view Wellesley’s financial data and 990’s 9. Board of Trustees? Their names and meeting dates are public on the Wellesley website. Need to know meeting times? Call the College Club, they’ll let you know! - At the College Club where the Trustees meet for lunch has big windows facing out to the lake with a big lawn that is great for people to gather. Trustees are always wondering what students are up to. Let them know... (insert eye looking emoji) - You know the trustees will be entering the front of the College Club so feel free to chalk a message to them on the walkway and/or tape some pictures of Wellesley students holding signs with loud statements on the front doors - Research the Trustees to determine who is your ally, opposition, and somewhere in between 10. Megaphone? SLAP has one that I’m sure they’ll lend to a good cause 11. Make sure someone knows how to use 25 live, Christ it’s a nightmare - Not a bad idea to piggyback on a constituted org for booking ability, money, general membership! Just clarify the boundaries between your organizing leadership and the club leadership 12. Reach out to the Community Organizing Research Network (CORN) for mentorship and campaign strategy ideas 13. Internalize all of the support and encouragement you receive (especially when older people say, “you’re doing the Lord’s work”) because there are plenty of critics, moments of doubt, etc.


History of Renew Wellesley by Emily Lashelle I am writing this from my experience being a founding organizer of Renew Wellesley. This is a student organized campaign under EnAct that is aimed at pushing the Board and administration to make a commitment to 100% renewable energy in light of our failing power plant. We began in March of 2018. Here are some of our actions: 1. Held general interest meetings 2. One-to-ones to establish relationship with interested students 3. Reached out to Sustainable Wellesley, and alums, and environmental justice groups at other colleges 4. Collected signatures/endorsements for our petition from students, prospective students, alum, community members, orgs, all house councils, and student government 5. Button and sticker campaign to show presence on campus 6. Tabling for signatures and took pictures with students holding sign that say “Wellesley needs renewable energy because…” 8. Asking the Wellesley News to cover our story 9. Leveraging a banner drop during Al Gore’s talk to be in meetings with Trustees and two student positions on the task force committee that is designing the power plans 10. Publically ask Al Gore what the role of students and admin at Wellesley to promote sustainability in response to failing power source 11. Spammed the College Club with chalk and pictures of reasons for renewable energy 12. Held a rally outside of the College Club while the Trustees were having lunch. Included music, stories from students, words from supportive faculty in the ES program, signs, and chants This campaign is not over and will escalate if the Board votes on an insufficient energy plan and/or fails to make a commitment to 100% insu renewable energy. If you have any questions or want to be involved, contact Elashell@wellesley.edu. Let’s get a meal together. Onward! Emily


Lessons Learned by Pris Nasrat

Part of the reason I chose Wellesley was that I thought an immersive campus environment would enable and necessitate experimenting in organizing and activism. Part of my goal is to center sustainable activism in my life. I am and will continue to learn from the history and practice of activism through personal connections, academic study, and engagement with groups.

Structural work such as dismantling white supremacy and anti-blackness and the cisheteropatriarchy is multigenerational and requires a community. Change is slow and is not achieved through exceptionalism or saviors. That can be discomforting. I attended an event by Ethos where Jamira Burley talked about her path to professional activism work. I took two main things from her talking which can help with burnout and ego: - Activism is the continued act of showing up for someone. - If you measure yourself by your vision you will burnout. Instead success is those you introduce to the struggle, those you lift up who go on to continue the work, success is being able to step aside. My own addition for folks is that activism isn't a graded activity, it is a way of life. It is possible for your activism to be in support of those in more visible positions, outreach and invisible support, coalition building, sharing a meal, providing space they can replenish. And you too deserve a space, one option is the "ring model" of support sometimes brought up in discussing grief (search for Silk and Goldman ring theory) and giving comfort allowing yourself space to listen by having your own support network to dump out. In fact without this work the visible faces of an organization will struggle. When folks are in crisis response through activism they are more likely to neglect themselves. Over my first year at Wellesley it’s definitely been something I could do better on. Prior to coming I have definitely struggled with alcohol and mental health. Having reached crisis through burnout working in a very incident response based career I know that I need to do better for myself so I can show up more.


Lessons Learned by Pris Nasrat

Part of the reason I chose Wellesley was that I thought an immersive campus environment would enable and necessitate experimenting in organizing and activism. Part of my goal is to center sustainable activism in my life. I am and will continue to learn from the history and practice of activism through personal connections, academic study, and engagement with groups.

Structural work such as dismantling white supremacy and anti-blackness and the cisheteropatriarchy is multigenerational and requires a community. Change is slow and is not achieved through exceptionalism or saviors. That can be discomforting. I attended an event by Ethos where Jamira Burley talked about her path to professional activism work. I took two main things from her talking which can help with burnout and ego: - Activism is the continued act of showing up for someone. - If you measure yourself by your vision you will burnout. Instead success is those you introduce to the struggle, those you lift up who go on to continue the work, success is being able to step aside. My own addition for folks is that activism isn't a graded activity, it is a way of life. It is possible for your activism to be in support of those in more visible positions, outreach and invisible support, coalition building, sharing a meal, providing space they can replenish. And you too deserve a space, one option is the "ring model" of support sometimes brought up in discussing grief (search for Silk and Goldman ring theory) and giving comfort allowing yourself space to listen by having your own support network to dump out. In fact without this work the visible faces of an organization will struggle. When folks are in crisis response through activism they are more likely to neglect themselves. Over my first year at Wellesley it’s definitely been something I could do better on. Prior to coming I have definitely struggled with alcohol and mental health. Having reached crisis through burnout working in a very incident response based career I know that I need to do better for myself so I can show up more.


● Do your research. The institution rarely answers assertions that are not backed by facts and statistics. If you legitimize your claims with evidence, you are likely to be taken very seriously. This is not to say your claims are illegitimate, but the battle with the institution always relates back to legitimacy and respectability. The Office of Institutional Research is your friend. ;) ● Know your allies and build your network. In organizing, I never knew that there were so many people in my corner until I began putting out actions. Don't wait until there's an issue to connect with people whose struggles are i nterconnected with your own. Allies can provide you so many resources that you might not expect. I remember my sophomore year being offered a megaphone to use in bringing students together in the Taxi Cab 1969 demonstration. That megaphone carried the voices of many students whose narratives have historically been erased or pushed to the margins by the institution. ● Don't be afraid to MAKE NOISE. Use Facebook and other social media. Use the Wellesley News and other student periodicals and publications. Cc the student body on emails calling out institutional oppression. Call the press. Employ a megaphone. In doing so, you force the college's leadership to hold themselves accountable to the community. (In doing this, you should be mindful of how you employ these strategies. Each is not necessary, however, it does you no harm to call people out. It's more likely college officials o will take you more seriously if you speak up and out craftily.) ● Never forget the power of your own voice and the voices of your peers.


● Be consistent. Sometimes this won’t be easy, but it’s crucial to holding those with institutional power accountable. When you’re struggling with consistency, it’s important you have a team behind you to support you and to stand in for you when you’re not able to be present (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.). ● ARCHIVE. It ensures that those who come after you will have the ability to look back on what you created. This is crucial to organizing. ● Most importantly, take care. You cannot give to others without giving to yourself (think: when you're on an airplane and the intercom says to put your own air mask on before giving another person theirs). You know what your spirit needs. Here are some suggestions: ○ Take a lake walk. ○ Call/talk to a friend. ○ Write in a journal. ○ Go sit in El Table or the Hoop and order some tea. ○ Go to El Table. ○ Get on the bus and get out. ○ Meditate. ○ Pray.


- Opening up access to information (via sharing e-board meeting minutes, Team Drives etc.), inviting general members to come into admin meetings is a great way to involve more people! Dealing with admin - Pleasantness/niceness ≠ admin will acquiesce to your demands!! Do not confuse cordiality with a genuine receptiveness to your demands and asks! Folks in positions of power (especially here at Wellesley) will thank you for doing all this research, bringing it to their attention etc. -- do not be lulled into a false sense of complacency! - Go into meetings with 1-2 concrete asks and make sure that everyone on your team knows what those asks are. Repeat and circle back to those asks throughout the entire meeting - since admin will often try to derail and ask about other, tangentially related things which will take up valuable meeting time. - Get someone to take minutes/notes during the meetings. If there’s time at the end of the meeting, recap what admin said to make sure everyone is on the same page. Follow up with an email with the points discussed in the meeting so that it’s there in writing. Other general organizing tools and sources for funding - House Councils have money and are (imho) an underutilized space for organizing). Reach out to HPs and ask to be on their agenda for HoCo meetings. They’re a great way to build coalitions across class years (especially since HoCos are predominantly made up of first years) and to talk to different folks who might not run in established organizing circles @ Wellesley. - The Community Action Network (CAN, the committee which the Multicultural Affairs Coordinator chairs) has $$ for causes related to equity and inclusion. Email mac@wellesley.edu mac@wellesle to ask CAN to vote on funding. - Reach out to other organizing groups on campus (look on the SOAC site for a list of current organizations) and build intentional relationships w/ leaders & members of those organizations so that if an action needs to happen and you need resources (folks to show up, space booked etc.), you already have those relationships to tap into! - Even though organizations may not have spare $$ lying around, constituted organizations can book space on behalf of unconstituted organizations. Also I’m pretty sure there’s a megaphone in the Pub? Either that, or someone from SLAP has a megaphone.


rds e-boa e r u t u and f , esent, r p Li '19 , , t e s c a i y l a p A , w '17 e ce 9, Allian A along th ya Ross '1 mily Chun n a i s d WA sley A tive (A lair, '17, E Welle ve supporte dies Initia = .C A o’ WA S tu elle St h b n w a a s c e I i s , o er 7 and th Asian Am jin Park '1 = a I H ) , S '19 AA o '19 ca Leu lex Gu n Rebec Bae '19, A e not a edule. ive r t a a i t e y s i i t n s W ) Chri ir sch ican I stage bers. /Amer formation icated mem as it fits the n a i s e us The A s still in its w and ded d leav i n e a n h c r n i i o h o f (w nj ing olks ca s look alway -board so f le officia

The Asian American Studies Initiative began as a sub-branch of WAA and successfully advocated for a tenure-track position in the Asian American Studies program between ‘16-’17. We are in the process of rebranding ourselves to Asian/American Initiative to improve the resources available for Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (A/API) students in all aspects of our experiences at Wellesley, not just in academics. - To use the terms “A/API” and “Asian/American” to distinguish between Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander student experiences is an intentional act, as we are a collective of both domestic and international students, and our differences in culture, language, and migration history have unique impacts on our Wellesley experience. At the same time, we recognize that the United States racializes us in similar ways by clumping us together, so we stand in solidarity with our pan-Asian and Pacific Islander siblings.

WAA’s Legacy and Actions

(for more on WAA’s history/actions, check out Rebecca Leu’s zine: http://bit.ly/WAAzine)


Lessons Learned by Pris Nasrat

Part of the reason I chose Wellesley was that I thought an

immersive campus environment would enable and necessitate experimenting in organizing and activism. Part of my goal is to center sustainable activism in my life. I am and will continue to learn f rom the history and practice of activism through personal connections, academic study, and engagement with groups. Structural work such as dismantling

white supremacy and anti-blackness and the cisheteropatriarchy is multigenerational and requires a community. Change is slow and is not achieved through exceptionalism or saviors. That can be discomforting.

I attended an event by Ethos where Jamira Burley talked about her path to professional activism work. I took two main things from her talking which can help with burnout and ego:

- Activism is the continued act of showing up for someone. - If you measure yourself by your vision you will burnout. Instead success is those you introduce to the struggle, those you lift up who go on to continue the work, success is being able to step aside.

My own addition for folks is that activism isn't a graded activity, it is a way of life. It is possible for your activism to be in support of those in more visible positions, outreach and invisible support, coalition building, sharing a meal, providing space they can replenish. And

you too deserve a

space, one option is the "ring model" of support sometimes brought up in discussing grief (search for Silk and Goldman ring theory) and giving comfort - allowing yourself space to listen by having your own support network to dump out


In fact wi struggl thout this wo e. rk they ar When folks a the visible fa c e re in c risis re es of an orga at Well more likely t niza spo es o Prior to ley it’s defini neglect them nse through tion will tel se ac c mental oming I have y been somet lves. Over my tivism hi he definite f ly strug ng I could do irst year in a ve alth. Having ry incid b r g ent res eached crisis led with alco etter on. do bet p ho th ter for o myself nse based car rough burnou l and e t so I ca n show er I know tha working t I need u p mo re. to

I am opening myself up to re-exploring spirituality - I would have described as atheist a few years ago - now I dunno. Particularly I see it's importance to have practices to keep my activism sustainable. I have been trying to do morning pages/ journaling, and exploring introspection and mindful practices. For some folks making time to exercise (and hydration!). I know that I need space for fo me, but I haven’t always known how to get it.

for d e e n u o h at y w mes u i o t e y m h o c s a e g an t earnin l t nity n u a e m No-one c m m t o i c e nding f or m i F f . l s e g s n r i u yo ays o to th n w y e a s m o o s t you need ou can be hard, in p you build ty hel to suppor h small acts can urn t t n i i w n a g c n i start k that r o w t e n a trust and . you nourish


Questions? Comments? Feedback? Want to add to the digital version of this zine? Inspired to make your own version?

bit.ly/organizineresponses


Organizing at Wellesley  
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