The Grassroots School Advancing Transformative Community Organizing, Movement Building & Popular Education Beyond Borders
European Alternatives' Berlin Hub is running the »School of Transnational Organizing«. A grassroots school where everyday people, social movement builders, trade union organizers, migrant workers, climate justice activists, community artists as well as marginalized communities meet to learn the tools and skills to master the lost art of organizing solidarity and together shape the landscape of what we think is possible.
We create brave spaces involving different people: allowing us to overcome the deep sense of powerlessness many of us share and enabling people "to turn the resources they have into the power they need to make the change they want" (Marshall Ganz). With a wide community of trainers, facilitators, and educators, we inspire, train, and support new popular pioneers, organisations, and movements to lead more hopeful, more joyful, and more powerful struggles in their countries, cities, and communities.
Our offline and online educational trainings and workshops are free of charge and do not require prior academic knowledge or activist experience. So everyone can become part of the next generation of organizers and movements caring for people and the planet – united across the divisions and borders of struggles, communities, and nations. Because only when we see more and more people acting collectively and building capacity for a common future can we keep believing in democracy and solidarity.
Both externally in collaboration with partners, collaborators, participants, and funders, and internally as a team and with our community, we are guided by the values that everyday people have the power to make progress. This guiding values are also reflected in our 10 principles:
1. We are grassroots as it has always been the movements on the ground who made better worlds possible when everyday people organized where we live, work, and care for each other.
2. We think popular because we take a side and do not want to promote any kind of disempowering elitist styles, exclusionary jargons, and ideological clichés so formal education, theoretical expertise, and activist engagement are met by lived experience and popular knowledge.
3. We see the intersectional dimensions of the struggles against racial, gender, and class discrimination, exploitation, and violence we citizens, workers, and communities face – because single-issue lives do not exist.
4. We create brave spaces for all people involved to not be afraid of our differences so we feel safe and free to speak up, emotionally engage, and relate with each other – and make diversity and inclusion more than just empty slogans.
5. We trigger emancipatory processes which allow all of us to become different, to carry hope for a better future, and to move each other to action.
6. We believe in egalitarian learning journeys, environments, and experiences where the people involved meet on the basis of shared values and interests to fight for equal rights for all.
7. We understand democratic ownership, responsibility, and accountability as key not only for the educational and political work we do, but also as the foundation for the lives, workplaces, and societies we strive for.
8. We trust in solidary relationships which allow people to build trust and relationships leading to mutual aid and communities of passion, courage, hope, joy, and generosity willing to share resources, skills, and tools together.
9. We act on a transnational scale as we do not only understand the crises of our time to affect all people on the planet, but also the unequal struggles to be more hopeful, more joyful, and more powerful when we unite across borders with people inside and outside Europe.
10. We foster transformative change on the individual, relational, communal, structural, and systemic level as our collective efforts should not just be focused on merely symbolic democratic participation but also confronting the existing inequalities of powers.