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Changemakers Skills Camp: Building Skills and Energy for Our Democracy

March 25, 2024

2024 is a critical year for changemakers. In the face of uncertainty and chaos, how are we equipping each other with the tools, strategies, and energy required to build a multiracial democracy? To change the U.S. for the better?

That’s why from March 5 to March 8, 2024, State Voices, The Movement Cooperative, 8 training organizations, 50 trainers, and over 350 attendees came together for Changemakers Skills Camp.

Amid the uncertainty of 2024, we have to come together to strategize across organizations and across movements. To learn from each other. To challenge each other. To ask critical questions and to try new innovative strategies and tools together.  To energize each other and provide one another with joy and hope.

Authoritarianism has been steadily rising this year, where dissent is stifled, and oppressed communities of Black and brown folks and trans folks are targeted with increasingly hateful treatment. People are struggling to feed themselves, to make enough money to have housing or health care, to access equitable education. That’s why Changemakers Skills Camp and the work all of our partners do is important. We all have a role to play in the fight for multiracial democracy and liberation for us all. We all need to be changemakers in our own way.

Participants in the Data tracks for the Changemakers Skills Camp pose for a fun picture

Changemakers Skills Camp was a collaborative track-focused learning environment first ideated by State Voices’ Data and Technology Department last year. The 2024 training tracks included Digital & Communications, Data Level 1, Data Level 2, Development, and Operations & Finance. 

We held the in-person/virtual hybrid event in Atlanta, Georgia, with the support of our incredible State Table ProGeorgia and the Loudermilk Conference Center staff!

“I feel like I gained more community and was able to connect with folks even being virtual, which I absolutely loved! So appreciative of the labor that went into hosting this virtually.” — CSC Attendee

Mishara Davis, Lariena Matthews, and Bill Shiebler (State Voices) at the Changemakers Skills Camp registration desk

On the first day, we held a powerful panel of women of color who are incredible leaders in the movement, including Gigi Pedraza (Latino Community Fund), Serena Rodrigues (March for Our Lives), Helen Butler (Coalition for the People’s Agenda), Shakya Cherry-Donaldson (1000 Women Strong), Britt Jones-Chukura (Protect the Vote), Jocelyne Soto (Mi Familia Vota), Bridgette Simpson (Barred Business), and Christina Marikos (Rural Arizona Engagement).

One the second and third days, we held track-focused sessions and lunch-and-learns. One of the sessions included a session on Generative AI and Ethics attended by both the Data tracks and the Digital & Communications track.

“Thank you for creating this necessary space for those of us that want these skills, but on the nonprofit and progressive side of things. I truly can’t wait to see what happens to these fields as a whole when corporate and more “traditional” industries and orgs aren’t the only ones educating our professionals in these areas. Please do keep communicating with us until the next gathering, and let us know how else we can help make the next gathering happen too!” — CSC Attendee

A panel of women of color who are incredible leaders in the movement, including Gigi Pedraza (Latino Community Fund), Serena Rodrigues (March for Our Lives), Helen Butler (Coalition for the People’s Agenda), Shakya Cherry-Donaldson (1000 Women Strong), Britt Jones-Chukura (Protect the Vote), Jocelyne Soto (Mi Familia Vota), Bridgette Simpson (Barred Business), and Christina Marikos (Rural Arizona Engagement), and the moderator Mishara Davis (State Voices).

Changemakers Skills Camp brought together the movement makers, role models, organizers, and data practitioners who power our movement at all levels of our work.                                                  

The Movement Cooperative and State Voices offer our sincere thanks and heartfelt gratitude to the 60+ trainers and partners who made CSC 2024 possible. From our training partners at Re:Power, Generation Data, Change the Game, Arena, Pro-Georgia, Donor Organizer Hub, Personified, and Swell Collective to our sponsors at GetThru, TargetSmart, NGP VAN, OpenField, and Catalist. Thank you.

And thank you to the State Voices Data & Technology Department and our Director of Data & Technology, Angela Tombazzi, for envisioning this camp alongside The Movement Cooperative and making it happen.

If you want to learn more about tools, training, and resources State Voices’ recommends, check out our 2023-2024 Tools and Tech Guide.

Angela Tombazzi (State Voices) welcomes attendees to Changemakers Skills Camp