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Organizing For Social Change
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Organizing For Social Change

The Midwest Academy advances movements for progressive social change by teaching strategic, rigorous, results-oriented approach to social action and organization building. The Academy provides training (introductory and advanced) and consulting, equipping organizers, leaders, and their organizations to think and act strategically to win justice for all.

8/13/2012 to 8/17/2012
When: Aug 13, 2012 - Aug 17, 2012
Where: Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center
513 W. Fullerton Parkway
Chicago, Illinois  60614
United States

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Organizing for Social Change is the Midwest Academy’s signature training. Progressive organizers from a wide variety of organizations and varying years of experience spend five days honing concrete skills that enable them to build power, recruit and develop leaders, think strategically, win issue campaigns and develop strong organizations

 The Midwest Academy offers a five day, residential, comprehensive "Organizing for Social Change" training throughout the country. Participants come from a wide variety of organizations. Most are working on specific issue campaigns and building powerful, progressive organizations. The training helps them to be more strategic in their fight for social, economic, racial and environmental justice.

There are different methods of organizing or ways of making social change, and all have their uses. Midwest Academy uses and teaches the "Direct Action Organizing" concept. Direct Action Organizing is based on the power of people to take collective action on their own behalf. The point is not that one approach is better than others. In fact, often many kinds of organizing are needed, but the Midwest Academy focuses on Direct Action Organizing.


Aug 13, 2012 - Aug 17, 2012

LOCATION:  The Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center is located on a tree-lined street in the lively historic Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago.  North of Michigan Avenue's Magnificent Milen and downtown Chicago. Within easy walking distance are lakefront parks, restaurants, shops, cultural institutions, theaters, the zoo and Lake Michigan's lakeshore. 

Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center
513 W. Fullerton Parkway
Chicago, IL 60614
Sample Agenda

TIMES: Please arrive for registration between 9:00AM and 9:45AM on Monday, August 17th. The training will begin promptly at 10:00AM. We finish at 1:00PM before lunch on Friday.

COST: Tuition and room/board is:

  • Private room with Monday arrival:  $1100
  • Private room with Sunday arrival:  $1200
  • Double room with Monday arrival: $1050
  • Double room with Sunday arrival: $975
  • Commuting (lunch and dinner  included): $800

Full payment is due August 1.  

ACCOMMODATIONS: There are no private baths, radios, TV or phones in rooms. There is a bath and shower on each floor. Linens are provided. You may commute, but we encourage everyone to stay if at all possible. If you intend to arrive Sunday, please indicate that on your registration form.

MEALS: We share our meals in the dining room. The Cenacle will do its best to accommodate special diets if you inform the Midwest Academy staff at least two weeks in advance. Vegetarians - please let us know!

OTHER: Bring a notebook and pens to take notes. Guitars and other musical instruments are also welcome for nighttime recreation. Please dress comfortably. Casual dress is fine.

FREE EVENING: Wednesday evening is unscheduled. In past sessions, groups have gone dancing, joined events at local organizations, or thrown parties. The group will decide how it wants to spend its free evening.

PHONES: The conference center has very limited access to telephones and phone lines for e-mail. Pay phones are available for outgoing calls. Messages can be left at (773) 528-6300.


The beginning builds a foundation for the later sections.

If you have any questions about the site, please email Tony or call 312-427-2304 x303.

Date Range: 
Aug 13, 2012 - Aug 17, 2012


Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center
513 W. Fullerton Parkway
United States