Below you’ll find a basic overview of Hubs as well as strategies for effective Hub organizing.
What Are Hubs?
Hubs are community sites that allow members of the movement to connect and organize with others. Whether you share a home city, a skill set, a common identity, or an issue you care about most – Hubs are a mobilization strategy that activists everywhere can use to effectively fight for climate, jobs, and justice in 2018 and beyond. Each Hub page provides tools to help you get connected, share resources, and build momentum. All Hubs can be structured into the following categories:
• Geographic location
• Identity groups
The goal of a Hub is to create a space for folks interested in organizing in the same constituency to find each other, share what they are doing, and work together. Hubs are about coordination, not replication. The aim is to have one place for everyone interested in the same constituency to coordinate to the degree that they see fit. Hubs do not require that everyone in them organize or mobilize in the same way.Hubs should be general enough to connect folks who don’t already know each other, but specific enough to connect folks interested in organizing in the same sphere (ie: Instead of creating a Hub for a specific network of community gardens, it’s more effective to create a Hub for food justice). We ask that folks avoid branding their Hubs with a specific organization or network as this makes them an exclusive space.”
Why Should I Join A Hub?
Hubs help veteran climate activists and first-timers participate in a large and powerful network. In particular, Hubs:
•Help those engaged in the climate change movement understand all the sectors and communities concerned with and eager to organize around climate, jobs, and justice.
•Create greater network awareness and powerful alliances that allow us to amplify our work and build a mobilization infrastructure that can support future work.
•Provide an opportunity for activists and organizers from various constituencies to interact with each other, share resources, and support one another’s work.
How will people find my hub?
All Hub organizers are supported by PCM staff, who will work to promote the Hubs and drive folks to your Hub site. However, we encourage you to take the lead by conducting outreach to your community, family, and professional networks using social media, email blasts, and word of mouth. If you are coordinating a regional Hub, you can also request that PCM staff email members in your area and invite them to join the Hub.
How can Hubs help us mobilize for climate, jobs & justice?
Hubs can amplify your organizing by providing organizers and participants with the following opportunities:
•A way to connect with others interested in organizing around the same issue, skill, or geography so that you can create long-lasting alliances.
•A platform to communicate with other organizers and a mechanism to recruit new participants, as opposed to relying on one-directional communication from staff.
•A way to organize outreach and mobilizing activities specific to your constituency.
•A platform to build media buzz in constituency-specific media – both online and offline within your circles and in your community.
How should partner organizations engage with hubs?
The Hubs are meant to be an unbranded, collaborative platform for individuals and organizations interested in organizing with the same constituency. We encourage organizations to plug into appropriate Hubs. However, we ask that organizations encourage bottom-up organizing and work in collaboration with the Hub leaders as well as other individuals and organizations in the Hub.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON ORGANIZING HUBS
This section includes information about Hub communication infrastructure; how to create organizing teams; and how to conduct outreach, create buzz, and launch mobilizing events.
Aligning Hubs with the PCM Platform and Principles
It’s up to members of a Hub to work together to plan how they can best contribute to the goals of the Peoples Climate Movement in 2018. However, it is critical that your Hub aligns with the Peoples Climate Movement vision, platform and organizing principles. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with our strategies and actively use them as guidelines for your Hub activities.
Members of the PCM team review all Hub submissions to ensure they align with our strategy and vision. PCM staff also provide regular trainings and are available to answer any of your questions.
Hubs allow different constituencies to connect, speak for themselves, and share their own stories. A crucial part of this, is creating and managing a communications infrastructure to create network awareness.
Network awareness means understanding who is working on similar issues, how best to engage them, and how to support each other’s work. Hubs allow organizers to connect existing networks, communicate with each other, and identify work synergy. So, whether it’s “mothers working for climate justice”, “vegans for compassion over killing”, or “veterans working for healthcare access”, our struggles are connected. We hope that Hubs create a communication infrastructure that will connect these constituencies and amplify their work.
Below is an explanation of various communication tools available to Hubs and how they can be leveraged to achieve network awareness and support climate, jobs, and justice.
• Slack is the best platform on which to coordinate, organize, and communicate. Once Hubs are started, the PCM team will set you up with a Slack channel on the Peoples Climate Movement Slack. You’ll be able to talk with other people in your Hub, and have access to insights and advice from other Hub channels.
• Meetings/Conference Calls can help organize an event and share updates with your Hub members. Several free conference tools are available. For phone calls, you can set up a free account with freeconferencecall.com. You can also use Google Hangouts if you want to use video conferencing or share your screen. Please note that if you are using Google Hangouts, you will need to set up a google account.
• Facebook Groups are a good place to bounce ideas around, share articles, memes, and have longer discussions that aren’t directly related to the organizing.
• Google Groups are another way to stay connected and involved, if you prefer it over Facebook or slack. Click here, to learn more about setting up a google group.
Structuring your Hub
Organizing teams will probably be structured in a range of different ways. Below are some potentially useful roles:
Hub Coordinator: We emphasize bottom up organizing, which means the Hub Coordinator should not aim to do all the work, but encourage everyone to lead or contribute where possible. The Hub Coordinator generally serves as the main point of contact for all communications and helps to ensure that Hub activities run smoothly. The role of the Hub Coordinator is to:
• Encourage bottom-up organizing to make sure everyone in the Hub is engaged and has a sense of ownership in Hub activities.
• Keep the team connected by maintaining a communication structure and holding meetings.
• Distribute tasks amongst the group and support members as needed.
• Create an empowering Hub culture. Help people feel confident, appreciated, and supported by checking in regularly.
• Conduct outreach to grow your Hub.
• Ask yourself – who are our allies, who is here, and who is missing?
Media Point Person: This person will lead efforts to generate buzz for your Hub activities. Some of their responsibilities could include:
• Developing specific talking points about why your constituency is concerned about climate change and what you’re doing about it.
• Sharing any memes/articles about your constituency with your Hub.
• Reaching out to journalists, news outlets, or media agencies relevant to your constituency with a story or article (ie: a local Jersey newspaper).
• Identifying and coordinating “spokespeople” from your constituency that can support this work locally and within their circles.
• Engaging in social media to generate buzz about the Peoples Climate Movement and opportunities to participate in Hub activities.
Other roles: Ideally, everyone in the Hub will take on a role. Depending on your needs and capacity, there may be many opportunities to do so! You might have a Hub Liaison who communicates with other Hubs in the network to report back on their activities and potential synergies, a Hub Outreach Coordinator who reaches out to other organizations and helps with recruitment, or an Events Coordinator to help organize Hub activities. This list is just to get you started – it’s up to you and your Hub team to decide how you will operate.
How to be a good facilitator
Engaging diverse individuals across different sectors and constituencies in a rapidly changing environment can be a difficult task. But if we are going to build solid relationships with one another, it is important to treat each other with respect; commit to non-violent, non-judgemental communication; and create processes for effective organizing. In doing so, we will create the building blocks for an inclusive, effective, and united movement. Below are some general guidelines that can help you in this pursuit:
• Identify your strategy for decision-making (i.e when it happens, who decides, and how it will be executed).
• Create mechanisms for coordination and accountability. Communicate regularly and use the task function, an agenda, meeting notes, and/or follow-up emails to stay organized.
• Address conflict or tension head-on and help participants work through it. Allow time for feedback after meetings and be sure all members know who to contact if they have issues, and how to do so.
• Deal with conflict immediately. Utilize consensus building (i.e. asking “Are we all in agreement? Are there any concerns?”) and agenda-setting (What do we need to accomplish/decide?) during meetings and throughout organizing to reduce conflict and keep members invested.
• Be committed and engaged. Not just to the work, but also to the Hub members and team dynamics. Make relationship-building a focal point of your work to create effective, meaningful, and long lasting relationships.
Some good processes for meetings are:
• Use the doodle website to find a time that works for the most number of people to meet. Consider setting up a regular meeting time and sending a calendar invite going forward.
• Send agendas out ahead of time using google docs or email. Ask for feedback and edits and communicate any deadlines.
• Create accountability by reviewing tasks on the call to identify who has done what and how the Hub members can support them.
• Ask someone to take notes to capture ideas and share with any members who cannot attend.
• Send a follow up email with tasks identified, the next meeting date, and any other next steps
Outreach, mobilizing, and buzz-building events
Recruiting new members and conducting outreach is one of the most important Hub activities. Below are several ways to conduct outreach, mobilize volunteers, and create buzz-building events.
• Organize events for your constituency. For instance, you can host a picnic to meet other Hub members, talk about your Hub’s connection to climate change, and discuss why you’re taking action.
• Attend events relevant to your constituency. For example, the Food Justice Hub might go to a farmers’ markets to talk to people about climate change and invite them to participate in the Hub.
• Identify local projects that will engage folks on the issue. One of the best outreach tools is to engage others in solution-based community action and policy change. For instance, a Solar Energy Hub could create solar co-ops and engage locals in the campaign. Once folks are engaged locally, it is easier to talk about the larger movement and its importance. This also encourages action beyond marches or rallies.
• Create a sign-on letter and ask local organizations, national organizations, and notable individuals to sign on. The letter should be written to speak directly to your constituency, their needs, and concerns.
• Engage others online. Most constituencies have a presence online. You can write articles for blogs, send announcements to listserves, or post on forums and facebook groups. Setting up a social media account can also bolster your outreach efforts.
• Create themed campaigns with a catchy tagline and a specific demand. Let people know what they can do to get involved and take action. Consider creating a petition and delivering it to an elected official or government agency.
• Leverage the power of storytelling. Utilize photos, videos, podcasts, and images that can be replicated and shared on social media or elsewhere. PCM staff can also share, retweet, and post to maximize your reach.