Go local: STAND CNJ “huddles” now forming
STAND CNJ is taking the lead from the Women’s March and forming our own small group huddles! These huddles, or hyper local groups, are an important piece in organizing a widespread grassroots movement. It allows us to organize for action right in our towns and then come together with other groups for actions that need mass participation. Your huddle can comprise of you, and a guest list from a few people to twenty– and can be held in a coffee shop, community room, or even your home. We do ask you to allow space for a few like-minded STAND members who may have not yet found a local huddle in their area. By hosting a huddle, you can act as a liaison between STAND and your group–which will help your group be kept well informed on not only STAND, but their partners action activities. Ready to organize a huddle? Then send us an email and read the following tips!
Resistance Huddles: How-To and Tips
As huddles are hyper-local gatherings of individuals looking to participate in hands-on activism in a community-building, social environment. In essence these are activism parties – designed to take immediate action, share ideas, inspire further activism, and socialize with like-minded individuals.
To make a huddle both productive and enjoyable, try to include a combination of 2-3 simple hands-on activities and free time for open discussion and mingling.
- Postcard writing: Come prepared with postcards stamped with postcard stamps, a handful of current issues and sample scripts and/or a sample written postcard, addresses (bonus points for pre-printed labels) of recipients, and lots of pens, all set up on a work area. Colorful, eye-catching postcards are most likely to get noticed! For ideas, addresses and scripts, visit the Facebook group Postcards for America.
- Phone calls. If there is a current call-to-action for phone calls, have the sample script(s) out and call! If it’s off business hours, calling and leaving a voice mail makes for good practice for those who are nervous to call.
- Twitter session: Twitter primer for beginners, and Twitter share for those already on Twitter. Follow one another, share good accounts to follow, look for trending hashtags, and send some strategic tweets on current hot-button issues.
- “What have you read lately?” Ask attendees ahead of time if they have read any interesting articles or books on current issues or activism, and if so, to share key points with the group. Bonus points if you, as the host, have come across a particularly interesting article and have copies on hand for attendees.
- Brainstorming and committing on individual activism plans. Evidence indicates that people have more success in following through on plans if they declare their plans to a group, and this is a great opportunity to discuss ways that each person can become involved in ways that fit their interests and schedules and commit to doing so.
- Share ideas and contact info for special issue-focused organizations that can guide you to ways to publicly comment on regulations being considered in legislation. More on this here:
- Plan a group volunteering project to help marginalized groups, or groups who will need more help due to loss of funding. Alternatively, share ideas for volunteer opportunities based on individual interests.
Try to keep the tone positive. Some venting is healthy, but try to keep the environment hopeful and action-oriented.
- Food, beverages, music! This should feel be a fun, positive, energizing experience.
- Put out a collection jar for anyone who would like to contribute to the costs of the supplies used.
- Before people leave, ask people to commit to a date to host a huddle of their own in the near future! If this is a group of friends, ask people to put it on their calendar; if it’s a more loose group, ask future hosts to commit to host, and offer them help and guidance in getting started.