Our 2020 program

Next year promises to be a demanding one for Black organizations, their organizers and members.  Not only is 2020 bringing us the spectacle of a wildly polarized national election, it’s also a census year, and both these projects will present Black organizers with challenging contradictions as well as increased demands on and in their communities. Alongside the current and ongoing work contesting for power and justice in their local communities and states, these national conditions will present Black organizers with important, if sometimes overwhelming, opportunities to advance their efforts.

In response to these conditions, BOLD has reorganized its 2020 programming in order to offer our network a wider range of courses aimed at addressing its specific needs with greater flexibility in terms of scheduling.

Amandla Organizer Trainings

In 2020, as we have for the last two years, we will offer Amandla Fundamentals, our basic organizer training, in two locations, one on the East coast, the other on the West coast.  However, given the breadth and variety of power-building efforts in which Black organizers will be involved in 2020, we will increase the number of times that we’re offering Praxis, our advanced, campaign-based training, and run it three times (instead of once) in three different locations.. 

In our assessment, it’s critical to give more Black organizers an opportunity to practice and learn together on the ground.  Offered in partnership with a hosting organization, Amandla Praxis deepens participants’ organizing skills in the context of a specific “live” organizing effort.  We are prioritizing Praxis in this way in order to add capacity to the critical campaigns Black organizers will be pursuing in 2020 while strengthening their ability to coordinate effectively across organizations, locations and issues.

Amandla fundamentals

Amandla Fundamentals focuses on foundational organizing skills including base-building and leadership development, and exposes participants to core practices from the Black transformative organizing tradition as well as to an embodied approach to learning and developing their skills. The backbone of the course is Transformative Organizing (TO), which seeks to integrate personal transformation and transformation of our relationships into our fight for Black liberation, radical social change, and a just society.

By the end of Amandla Fundamentals, you will be able to:

  • Practice the art and science of Black Organizing with greater understanding, commitment and effectiveness;
  • Recognize what motivates you to organize and how to use that motivation as fuel to drive your organizing work and connect you deeply to others;
  • Assess your organizing with greater accuracy and identify at least one major competency that you’re excited–and committed–to increasing; 
  • Contribute to building and sustaining powerful teams, whether as team lead or as a member; and
  • Integrate the theory and practice of Transformative Organizing in your work.

Training Dates:  March 16-20 | LA & East Coast Locations: TBD

Application Opens:  January 6th

Applications DUE: January 27th

Amandla praxis

We offer Amandla Praxis, our advanced organizing training course, in partnership with a hosting organization, taking participants “live” in a concrete campaign supported by in class training, in order to deepen their understanding of campaign work and their skills while adding capacity to the critical efforts of an organizing drive.

By the end of Amandla Praxis, in addition you will be able to:

  • Participate effectively in an organizing campaign;
  • Contribute powerfully to designing and implementing an organizing campaign, and more accurately measure its impact;
  • Build on and deepen relationships with other Black organizers in the context of shared work.

Training Dates: 3 sessions | Dates and Locations TBD

Application Opens: TBD

Applications DUE: TBD


In 2020, rather than our usual 16-day Directors and Leads training, we will offer three separate 5-day courses, each of which can be taken on its own, though we encourage applicants to consider applying for more than one:

  • Transforming Conflict
  • Beyond the Wound:  Leading from Black Wholeness (offered twice)
  • Mbongi: Assessing Political Conditions Together

We have selected and prioritized these components of our longer training in order to address specific needs that former participants have identified as long-standing issues in their work, each of which seems likely to present even greater challenges in light of 2020’s pressures.

Transforming Conflict

In times of intense pressure, breakdowns and conflict are even more likely, and the goal of this course is to strengthen the ability of Directors and Lead Organizers to facilitate conflicts effectively, whether in their organizations or with allies, for the sake of deepening broad movement capacity to learn from breakdowns, lead towards resolution, and maintain relationships that honor the dignity of everyone involved.  This course will invite participants to know themselves first in relationship to conflict, understand the anatomy and rhythms of conflict, and learn to address issues of organizational culture that perpetuate and cause conflicts.

This course is for those looking to learn skills to navigate movement and organizational conflict more effectively. While it is recommended for those who have completed the full BOLD Directors and Leads course, this is not a requirement.  Preference will be given to those who, due to their roles in their organizations or in movement, are often called upon to manage conflicts.

By end of the course you will be able to:

  • More deeply identify your habitual ways of reacting to pressure and conflict, and the way these shape organizational culture broadly and specifically around conflict;
  • Learn to connect to your primary core commitments and vision in the midst of reactivity, revealing new choices and possibilities;
  • More accurately anticipate others’ reactivity and make choices to cultivate and invite a collective connection to your shared commitments and vision.

Training Dates:  May 11-15, 2020

Location: Franklinton Center, NC

Application Opens: March 9th

Applications DUE: March 30th

Beyond The Wound: Leading From Black Wholeness

Through this course, Directors and Lead Organizers will strengthen their connection to their own innate resilience, as well as learn practices to cultivate that resilience, a skill that’s even more necessary in times of increased pressure and stress.  In addition to deepening this resourcefulness in service to more sustainable work and greater capacity in general, they will develop an understanding of habitual patterns of reactivity that limit their agency and choice, and keep them from moving consistently and effectively toward their goals.  Without minimizing or ignoring the many significant ways in which trauma and oppression have hurt us, this course will support participants in developing their ability to live and organize from their wholeness.

This course will be offered twice, and is recommended for those who have completed the full BOLD Directors and Leads course, although this is not a requirement.

By end of the course you will be able to:

  • Identify habitual ways you react and the contractions that live inside you, limiting your actions and possibilities, in order to have more choice and agency;
  • Identify what deeply nourishes your well-being and aliveness, including movement work itself, and develop practices for strengthening your connection to that aliveness, for the sake of greater effectiveness, clearer strategies and sustainable leadership; 
  • Understand your relationship to time and scheduling, what creates overwhelm and stress, and strategies for managing your priorities more effectively; and,
  • Live–and lead–inside of contradictions without collapsing or overextending, instead navigating these contradictions toward transformation and possibility.

Training Dates: July 13-17 | August 17-21

(Course will be offered twice)

Location: TBD

Application Opens: March 30th

Applications DUE: April 20th

Mbongi: Assessing Political Conditions Together

(Mbongi is a political concept from the Kikongo language and refers to the coming together of community members to explain and assess the issues and challenges faced by the community, explore possible solutions, and create strategies for action.)

This course is open to Organizers, Lead Organizers and Directors who have completed any BOLD course and  will provide a post-election, end-of-the-year “bookend” to the exploration we begin in our National Gathering at the start of the year.   Through focusing on assessing our work over this year, the lessons, achievements and losses of this electoral period, we will build a shared framework for ongoing coordination.   During the course, we will explore how our politics currently live in our bodies, and how we can shift those shapes in service to embody our political vision and analysis more powerfully, and strengthen our ability to take more effective collective action.

By end of the course you will be able to:

  • Connect with others in principled and direct ways that help to build a strong collective body capable of effective coordinated action grounded in a shared understanding of political conditions;
  • Identify areas of political agreement and disagreement with others without personalizing these, and develop ways to work together  that protect everyone’s dignity as well as the possibility of continuing to learn from each other; and,
  • Authentically share your political assessments, experience, theories, ideas, and questions and invite those of others in order to learn from and strategize with peers; and
  • Build a foundation of equal knowledge and assessment as a ground for coordinated political action.

Training Dates: December 7-11, 2020

Location: TBD

Application Opens: September 28th

Applications DUE: October 26th

NEW COURSE! Maroon Mastery

Out of deep respect for the painful choices and incredible dangers faced by those Africans who chose varying levels of maroonage (escape from slavery), we have named this course in their honor, even while recognizing the vast difference in our contemporary experience — housed in a protected and well-maintained retreat center, guaranteed three meals a day, with medical support nearby if needed.   

This course is open to Lead Organizers and Directors who have completed any BOLD course and are seeking further rigorous, intensive and transformative experience to become powerful catalysts and masterful embodiments of Black Liberation. 

At the center of Maroon Mastery is the belief that leadership is not simply a place in an organizational structure, it is a discipline and a path. In order for us to lead organizations capable of winning liberation, we must be able to break the chains of fear and internalized inferiority, and balance trust in ourselves and our autonomy with interdependence and a capacity to trust and be trusted by others.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Take effective, rigorous, precise and disciplined action–even when you are afraid;
  • Understand, feel deeply, and respond supportively to both the suffering and the joy of others.
  • Stand confidently in your authentic vision, values and beliefs while remaining open to learning and change;
  • Accept responsibility for your actions and their impact on others with dignity and openness to change and repair;
  • Restore your strength, health, and well-being after experiencing difficult challenges.

Training Dates: June 8-12, 2020  | Location: TBD

Application Opens: March 30th | Applications DUE: April 20th

Emergent Strategy Facilitation
Training for BOLD

This course is for Organizers, Lead Organizers & Directors who have completed any BOLD course and would like to increase their facilitation skills for the sake of their leadership roles and responsibilities; creating alignment in groups; moving people into right action and being in right relationship with change. Facilitation is more than having a great agenda; it requires clarity on your purpose, and clarity on who you are serving, who is in the room and what they are trying to achieve. This is an intimate course where participants will increase their facilitation techniques and purpose. They will learn how emergent strategy can be used in their meetings, and how to understand the value facilitation as another critical piece of the work necessary to build power.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Assess your own facilitation skills and development with greater accuracy;
  • Understand the elements and principles of emergent strategy and use these and related tools in your facilitation; Lessons on the elements, principles and tools for emergent strategy; and 
  • Facilitate small and large groups with greater effectiveness and impact. 

Training Dates: September 23-26, 2020 | Location: TBD

Application Opens: March 30th | Applications DUE: April 20th