2023 Socialism is the Future Conference – Workshop Schedule

During each workshop block you can attend either one 90 minute workshop or two 40 minute workshops. Each 40 minute workshop will run twice, so you can choose any two to attend.

Workshop Block #1 – Saturday, 10:30 AM

From Conversations to Cards: Student Labor Organizing Student workers across the country are standing up for what they deserve and building power to win it. Hear from YDSA student worker organizers from around the country to learn how you can bring the student worker union wave to your campus!

Towards a Multiracial YDSA If we want YDSA to change the world, we need a membership just as multiracial as the whole working class – and this starts in each and every local chapter. Come to this workshop to learn how to make your chapter a truly representative democracy! -By the BIPOC Socialists Caucus @ University of Central Florida YDSA

“You should write about that for the Activist!” In this workshop you won’t just learn how to write for YDSA’s national publication, you’ll actually do it! Members of the Activist editorial board will teach you the best ways to write convincing arguments and share your chapter’s most exciting work. Then you’ll get a chance to write a short article, get feedback from experienced editors, and submit it for publication!

Demands that Meet the Moment The first step towards winning big is identifying a demand. If your chapter wants to run a campaign and make real changes on campus and in your community, this training is for you! You will leave this workshop with a clear, specific, and powerful demand that you can bring back to your campus – and win!

Running a Reproductive Justice Campaign Post Roe Reproductive rights are under attack in a way they haven’t been since the 1970s. Now is the time to fight back at every level, starting locally. At this workshop you’ll hear from the student workers of Columbia YDSA who successfully demanded better access to reproductive health care at their campus. You’ll hear about the types of campaigns that students are running, learn how to assess your local conditions to pick the best demand, and make a plan to make that demand a reality.

The ABCs of Socialism and how to teach them! The ABCs of socialism is a classic democratic socialist text. This workshop will go over a wide variety of ideas discussed in the book. This workshop is very much about sharing ideas and walking away with a better understanding of democratic socialism. Political education plays an important role in every YDSA chapter. In this workshop, a model poli-ed curriculum will be discussed, and you can walk away with a good understanding of how to distinguish and utilize the different approaches to Poli-Ed.

Workshop Block #2 – Saturday, 2:30 PM

90 minute workshops

Rebuilding the Militant Labor Movement: Rank-and-File Strategy Teamsters for a Democratic Union and Unite All Workers for Democracy won historic victories by electing militant union leaders in 2 of the country’s biggest unions. Their victories were the result of decades of organizing by rank-and-file members. Join YDSAres and rank-and-file union members to learn how you can stay involved in organizing after graduation and help transform the labor movement.

Plan to Win: Creating a Campaign Timeline  You have a demand, you have a target, now it’s time to chart a path to victory! In this workshop you’ll learn how to plan out a pressure campaign from start to finish and identify key milestones along the way. If your chapter has a goal in mind but you’re not sure about how to escalate tactics and win, this workshop is for you! Consider attending “Demands that Meet the Moment” before this training if your chapter doesn’t currently have a campaign.

Why we Talk about the Working Class + Socialists and the State The working class is at the center of all the work we do as DSA, but why? At this workshop we’ll discuss our long term strategy, its historical roots, and how to carry out that strategy through the day to day work we do in our chapters. Plus, we’ll do a deep dive into the necessity and limitations of taking state power and what it means for our electoral strategy as socialists.

40 minute workshops

Making the Ask: How to have effective organizing conversations  The 1:1 conversation is an organizing fundamental. In this workshop, we’ll go over what exactly it means to have a 1:1 conversion and 6 steps that will help guide you. You’ll learn how to structure 1:1’s so that they can be as effective as possible, and you’ll practice using real asks that you can make of your members when you get back to campus.

Maintaining Member Involvement Building a huge list of interested students is easy – but getting them involved in your chapter is hard. This workshop will teach you how to keep your membership big and active, and you’ll make a plan to funnel all that energy into big wins for the working class.

The YDSA Tech Toolbox (Action Network Spoke etc.  Did you know that official YDSA chapters get access to exclusive digital organizing tools? Learn how to use Action Network and Spoke to strengthen your campaigns and activate your membership!

Building healthy organizing spaces  Hopefully your chapter will never need to use a grievance process, but every chapter needs to have one! This workshop will give you everything you need to establish a comprehensive process and ensure that your chapter is a safe organizing space for everyone.

Workshop Block #3 – Sunday, 1:00 PM

Solidarity Forever: Standing with the Working Class Solidarity actions are a great way for YDSA chapters to get involved in the union struggle! This workshop aims to explain exactly what labor solidarity looks like, what is involved in a strike, and what your chapter can do to support any and all organizing workers on your campus.

Know Your Enemy: Power Mapping for Campaigns Power mapping is an essential campaign skill that lets you visualize your political terrain and identify strategic pressure points. In this workshop you’ll learn by power mapping for your current campaign with a group and walk away from this workshop with a better understanding of your school’s power dynamics.

All-Aboard ⛵ How to Engage your Whole Chapter in Campaigns Your YDSA chapter is running a strong campaign, but it feels like the same few people are doing all the work. If this sounds familiar, this training is for you! You’ll learn how to use your strategic campaigns to train new leaders in your chapter and activate members who are still on the sidelines. If you want your chapter to be big, dynamic, and democratic, don’t miss this workshop!

Students and Workers Winning at the Ballot Box Has your YDSA chapter ever thought about running a student for office? At this workshop you’ll hear from University of Vermont YDSA about the city council campaign that they ran from campus – and came within 40 votes of winning! Student organizers will share best practices, lessons learned, and other electoral info you need to turn your YDSA members into elected office holders.

Staying on Message: Comms for Campaigns Stay on message and make sure that what media time you get, you win. Learn how to control interactions with the press, manage social media, and prep speakers at events!