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Welcome to Organizing 2.0, the premier digital organizing training conference!
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Saturday, April 17 • 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Text Banking 2.0: How to Strengthen your Advocacy Program by Integrating Mutual Aid Work

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New technologies have provided organizers with ways of reaching far beyond our previous capacities, speaking to broader audiences, and taking action at a rapid pace at a large scale. However, as we do this, we run the risk of losing the personal connection we have with our members, and the opportunity to engage new members through in person outreach. In using peer to peer texting (P2P) as a way to communicate urgent needs and calls to action, we could be missing out on the opportunity to build human connections.

As organizations are still trying to move urgent issue advocacy in the space of Covid, we also need to be aware that folks’ basic human and emotional needs may not be met at this moment. By connecting with folks via P2P and offering our support, we can open up new pathways toward trust and communication, and bring folks closer to our work.

Movement Labs is innovating how P2P can be used to reach members of disenfranchised communities and work to change their material conditions. Traditionally we see P2P being used as a tool to get folks out to vote, but we're thinking differently. How can P2P truly work for the folks who are organizing for justice? Within the session we’ll share case studies of work Movement Labs spearheaded with partner organizations:

• With Black Voters Matter, we reached out to community members in Louisiana to participate in a Warrant Clinic, a one day community court event where people can eliminate their warrants. Our volunteers sent 40,000 texts to Black Voters; 2227 people self identified as impacted; 1,000 folks showed up; and the organization was able to clear 250 warrants and over 1000 attachments while saving folks $2,000,000.

• Movement Labs and our trusted ally Black Voters Matter used SMS for early Covid response in March of 2020, at a time when our government failed to take swift action. Our campaign reached 295,000 vulnerable Black folks in the rural South to get them real time updates on Covid-19, stay at home orders, and resources to meet their needs. Through this process we were able to help nearly 7,000 people get crucial information and PPE, and recruit 130 new volunteers for the organization.

• With Forward Tennessee, we are currently texting low propensity Black voters across Tennessee to offer mutual aid. If they are in need, we are connecting them with groups on the ground offering any manner of support, from medical care, PPE, testing, and vaccinations; to childcare, food, and financial support or support applying for unemployment benefits. When we find folks not in need, we get them to take action immediately to call on the Governor to help Tennesseans in need of immediate support during Covid and the economic crisis.

This session will teach organizers how to use SMS as a tool to build affinity with their base through mutual aid work and meeting members’ personal needs, and follow this throughline to deepen and strengthen their advocacy programs.


Saturday April 17, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
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