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University conference trains students how to protest

‘Practical Activism’ conference includes ‘Protesting 101’ workshop

A recent “Practical Activism” conference held at UC Santa Cruz trained students how best to protest with a “Protesting 101” workshop that offered “tips and methods for organizing, mobilizing and participating safely in protests.”

It was among nine workshops offered at the activism conference, with the protesting one promising to teach students how to become a “driving force for social change,” according to its online description.

The daylong event was held Oct. 20 at the Northern California public university, located in a city well-known as an enclave for progressive-liberal causes and policies.

Additional workshops offered to attendees included “Intersectional Perspectives on #MeToo,” which addressed the efforts to “reframe the #MeToo movement” with the session geared toward “undocumented women, Indigenous women and students of color.”

Another was “Showing Up for the Transgender Community: Allyship in a Transphobic Society,” which served to “educate cisgender people about the complex intricacies of allyship to the transgender community.” The leaders of the workshop gave “tangible action items” to “counter and dismantle transphobic language, policies, and structures.”

Still another session students could attend was “DACA and TPS in the Trump Era,” which looked to unpack the way the Trump administration has used “DACA and TPS to wage a war on immigration” and would teach conference goers how to be an “ally to the undocumented community.”

“The conference went really well last weekend. Everyone who came was able to hear some powerful speakers and stories, and learn about important social issues,” Wendy Baxter, advisor to the Practical Activism planning team, told The College Fix. “Attendees walked away with some practical ways they could get involved and/or take steps toward change on the topics addressed in workshops. That is the goal of the conference: tools for local and global change.”

The College Fix has reached to the speakers at the event for comment, but has yet to receive responses.

The day long event had two keynote speakers, César Cruz and Terisa Siagatonu. According to the website, Cruz is “an activist and educator fighting for justice in marginalized communities.”

Siagatonu is “a poet, community organizer, and activist fighting for rights for LGBTQ+, indigenous, and Pacific Islander communities.”

Additional workshops included: “The Untold Story: Life After Incarceration,” “Food Systems and Critical Consumption,” “Police Brutality and Militarization of Police,” “Gentrification and Displacement in Santa Cruz County,” and the “Environmental Refugee Crisis.”

When students were not in workshops or hearing from keynote speakers they partook in “Creative Activist Opportunities,” which included areas to learn “De-Weaponizing Whiteness,” understand “Pronouns: More Than Just a Preference,” and engage in “Button Making.”

MORE: Black-clad, mask-wearing demonstrators aggressively protest conservative campus event

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About the Author
Zachary Petrizzo is a political science major and communications minor at George Mason University. Born and raised in Washington D.C., Petrizzo can be found working on the hill by day and going to school at night. His previous higher ed reporting has been cited by Fox News, Washington Times, The Blaze, National Review, the O’Reilly Factor, Daily Mail, The Daily Caller, The Washington Examiner, and many other publications.

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