Course One: Seminar and Symposium
This course is for activists, movements, organizers and protesters who wish to increase the efficacy of their activism. You’ll receive a six-session seminar on theories of change and a symposium on “why do protests fail?”
Included in your tuition:
Both the seminar and the symposium. That is 5 hours of thought-provoking videos.
Syllabus plus all of the course readings in pdf format
Three months of access to the course videos
Lifetime access to discussion forum for enrolled students and alumni
This online course begins today. Space is limited: enroll to reserve your spot.
Tuition is $150. Financial aid available.
You do not need a college degree to enroll at Activist Graduate School. Our courses are open to activists of all ages and educational backgrounds.
Here are answers to other frequently asked questions.
Summary of Course One
Seminar: How to Change the World: Theories and Practices
Professors: Chiara Ricciardone, PhD and Micah White, PhD
Taught and Filmed at Bard College’s Hannah Arendt Center
Seminar Content: Six hours of video plus 120 pages of reading.
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 our methods. The range of potential protest tactics is so plentiful—from direct action in the streets to silent prayerful vigils, 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.
At the same time, social change is constant and complex, involving factors both within and beyond human control. Often, an unexamined set of assumptions govern—and limit—our attempts to make change. This course intends to refresh and expand our thinking about activism by studying theories of change.
Over the course of the six-session seminar, online students will develop campaign proposals on an issue of their choice.
Symposium: Why Do Protests Fail?
Guest Lecturers: Souta Calling Last, Dr. Lenora Fulani, Alicia Garza, and Micah White (moderator)
Filmed at the All Stars Project of New York City
Symposium Content: 90 minutes of video
A stimulating evening of revolutionary discussion with Alicia Garza, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Dr. Lenora Fulani, the first woman to run for President and get on the ballot in all 50 states, and Souta Calling Last, the founder of Indigenous Vision. Moderated by Micah White, co-creator of Occupy Wall Street.
Each of these thoughtful activists responds to this provocative question—Why do protests fail?—with reference to a specific protest, historical or contemporary, small or large. Lecturers are followed by discussion and questions from the audience.