Activist Graduate School is a new educational model for the next generation of activists.
Whether we are campaigning on civil rights, environmental justice, refugee rights or LGBTQIA and women’s rights, the first prerequisite to success is a theory of social change that guides the methods we employ as activists. The range of potential protest tactics is so plentiful—from direct action in the streets to silent prayerful vigils and self-organized worker cooperatives to electoral ballot initiatives—that every activist, whether consciously or not, relies on a theory of change to decide their actions. If the theory of change underlying our activism is false then our protests are bound to fail. This is precisely the precarious situation activists find themselves in today. The difficulties faced by recent social movements in achieving immediate change, despite their tremendous speed and overwhelming size, is a sign that activism as a discipline must embark on a period of paradigmatic reevaluation. What is needed now more than ever is an educational institution that is designed specifically with the needs of experienced activists in mind: an environment where activists can collaboratively study history, theory and strategy in search of the next theory of change that will spark a successful transformative social movement. The pressing social issue that Activist Graduate School endeavors to solve is the declining effectiveness of contemporary activism. Our goal is to create a safe educational environment for the practical, urgent and important task of addressing the deep theoretical and strategic challenges facing social movement creators.
Activist Graduate School received start-up grants in 2018 from the Roddenberry Fellowship and the Voqal Fellowship.
Provost - Chiara RicciardoneProgram Director - Micah White