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Building Power, Building Coalitions: Student Organizing Workshop

A Report-Back

Image of CRES minor, Marilyn Downing

The CRES Building Power, Building Coalitions Workshop was a two part workshop in which we learned from local community organizer Kristian Hernandez, CRES professors, and CRES students on how to organize around a common problem, on or off campus. This workshop included mostly students from TCU. The first day started off with Dr. Sylvia Mendoza presenting a brief history of resistance and why it is important, leading into Kristian Hernandez’s session on relationship based-organizing, recognizing who has the power to do what, recognizing leaders, making demands, and actually building these coalitions.

Students sitting at table and discussing the workshop

Between Kristian’s two sessions was an active lunch where everyone talked about the climate on campus and what they wanted to see changed. Day two of the workshop included TCC, TCU, and UTA students and included Professor Max Krochmal who talked about coalition building in Texas, Senior Hope Bentley, who talked about recognizing power structures and finding the correct person in power to ask, and Kristian Hernandez, who spoke on how to get things done once coalitions are actually built.

This workshop gave many, like myself, the opportunity to learn how to fight back against dominant power structures and help the voice of myself, and others, to be heard. Now that we have learned these skills, we can go out into our schools and communities and build coalitions around the issues that we care about most.

Political Science Major and WGST and CRES Minor, Marilyn Downing