WILD Academy: Impact Report, Spring 2021
A report about an online organizing course run by the WiLD Academy (Wisconsin Leadership Development) in 2021.
“In November, the second WiLD Academy was announced as a 10-week online opportunity for ongoing learning, developing organizers and campaigns that can rise to the challenges of the moment. The course was modeled after celebrated civil rights organizer Marshall Ganz’s Leadership, Organizing, and Action course offered at the Harvard Kennedy School and learnings from WiLD’s first online course offered in 2020.” p. 1
“The 10-week WiLD Academy curriculum was based on an approach utilizing five basic organizing leadership practices that draw upon a rich history of community organizing, social movements, and campaigns. This framework has been adapted in cultures and contexts launching grassroots efforts around the world through a WiLD-affiliated organization, the Leading Change Network. Each participant learned these practices with the goal of returning home to apply their learnings: 1. How to articulate a story of why you were called to lead, a story of those whom you hope to mobilize, and a story of action: self, us, and now. 2. How to build intentional relationships as the foundation of purposeful collective actions. 3. How to structure a team with shared purpose, ground rules and roles for effective leadership. 4. How to strategize turning resources into the power to achieve clear goals. 5. How to translate strategy into measurable, motivational, and effective action.” p.7
“Conclusion: WiLD’s second endeavor in bringing the organizing training online was promising. The desire for quality community organizing training here in Wisconsin and beyond remains. The reach offered through this virtual training platform has tested these waters, expanding the scope to engaging leaders in 11 other states this year. With this virtual platform, not only are more people able to access the experience, but it creates potential for greater intersectional learning with a more diverse community of organizers across the country. This opens up a whole new opportunity for WiLD to explore becoming more national facing as the organization continues to find creative ways to thoughtfully build leadership capacity and a beloved community. Looking ahead, the WiLD Project has launched a new 3-month campaign coaching program with 8 organizations from the Academy. The WiLD Academy course will be offered again in 2022. WiLD will continue connecting the dots among organizers and causes by developing authentic learning spaces so the aspirations for change behind each of these campaigns can be realized.” p.17