College of Constructive Hell Raising
Now accepting applications for the 2017 semester, beginning January 17th and ending May 23rd.
What is the College of Constructive Hell-Raising?
How do you make positive change? How do “Davids” ever beat “Goliaths?” What’s the Difference between a “Strategy” and a “Tactic?” A “Movement” and an “Organization?”
The College for Constructive Hell-Raising is a semester-long, citizen-friendly seminar class to help DFW activists of all kinds think more like organizers.
We present and analyze basic community organizing principles in interesting and engaging ways, including firsthand accounts from veterans of past and current DFW social justice campaigns.
Whether you’re trying to win a stoplight at an intersection, overcome discrimination, or shut down a toxic polluter, the same principles of organizing apply. Become a savvier citizen of The Republic, and become a better advocate for your cause: raise more constructive hell.
Class meets two Tuesdays a Month, 7 pm to 9 pm, in the Piney Woods Room of the Meadows Conference Center, 2900 Live Oak, in East Dallas
There's a maximum of 15 students this semester. Admission preference will be given to existing DFW groups who want to better train volunteers or staff and help pay for enrollment with scholarships.
The cost $125.
“What is Constructive Hell-Raising?”
January 31st :
“The Four Dirty Words of Organizing”
Guest Lecturer: Peter Johnson
Guest Lecturer: John Fullinwider
“Strategy vs. Tactics”
Guest Lecturers: Lon Burnam/Mavis Belisle
Guest Lecturer: TBA
“Perception is Everything”
Guest Lecturer: Zac Trahan
Guest Lecturer: Don Maison
Guest Lecturer: Luis Sepulveda
“Means vs Ends”
Guest Lecturer: Changa Masomakali
“The Qualities of a Good Organizer"
Veteran DFW peace and anti-nuclear organizer.
Former State Representative and Director of Dallas Peace Center.
Veteran anti-poverty and civil rights organizer. Original Bois D’arc Patriot.
Veteran civil rights activist, former Dallas SCLC organizer.
Over 25 years as Director of AIDS Services of Dallas.
Dallas anti-police brutality campaign organizer.
West Dallas organizer who won clean-up of lead smelter waste.
Former Dallas Program Director, Texas Campaign for the Environment.
Jim Schermbeck, Dean of Instruction
Jim Schermbeck was born and raised in Fort Worth. He attended his first protest on behalf of striking farm workers at 13 and founded his first anti-nuclear group at 19. He’s been a professional community organizer in DFW since 1989 when he opened the Dallas office of the National Toxics Campaign. He’s worked with DFW neighborhoods to discover and clean-up two North Texas Superfund sites, shut an outlaw lead smelter, pass the most protective gas drilling ordinance in Texas, and halted the burning of hazardous waste in local cement plants. He’s currently Director of Downwinders at Risk.
Downwinders At Risk, Board of Trustees
Downwinders at Risk is perhaps the most successful grassroots environmental group in Texas history. It’s certainly one of the most persistent.
Founded in 1994 to stop the burning of hazardous waste in Midlothian cement plants, it broadened its mission in 2010 to include protection of DFW air quality when it won its original fight.
Downwinders board members are all DFW residents. They’re all veterans of their own organizing campaigns.
Since its founding, Downwinders has used basic community organizing strategy to win its victories. Now we want to share what we’ve learned with other North Texas activists who want to increase their understanding of community organizing techniques, as well as learn about DFW social justice history.