Organizer Training for the Community Rights Movement

Organizer Training for the Community Rights Movement

June 30-July 1, 2012 
Portland, Oregon

Please consider registering for a weekend intensive June 30-July 1, 2012, led by On Earth Peace’s Matt Guynn and national community rights organizer Paul Cienfuegos. This training will help you become a more confident and capable leader in the growing Community Rights movement in the Pacific Northwest.

Saturday, June 30, 9am to 9pm

Sunday, July 1, 9:30am to 5:30pm 

Please register for this training ONLY if you are able to attend the entire event.

Seeking logistics help: Quite a few folks will be coming from distant Pacific Northwest communities, and will need basic sleeping bag accommodation, most likely for both Friday and Saturday nights. Would anyone like to offer housing to these out of towners?  Also, we are still seeking the right space to use. Can you help us find a suitable workshop location? In either case, please contact

Context for this training: 

There are now 150 communities in seven states which have successfully passed Community Rights ordinances over the past decade. Developing and passing a Community Rights ordinance takes tremendous stamina and focus. It took the Bellingham, WA, folks almost two years between their introduction to the Community Rights movement, and the launching of their Coal Free Bellingham campaign. It took the Spokane, WA, folks three years of intensive community-building and educational work before they launched their Community Bill of Rights campaign. We need to be in this for the long haul if we are to witness the kinds of structural pro-democracy changes that are so desperately needed in our society today. And I believe that the Community Rights movement offers our best hope to accomplish this big task.
Outcomes you can expect from this training:
  • Strengthen your Community Rights group internally and externally, considering key perspectives on both group life and organizing theory. Groups need to effectively communicate, have healthy conflict, and make good decisions - and do all that "activist stuff."  Skill-building segments will include skills and perspective in two broad categories - organizing and group life, including: information-gathering, strategic thinking, campaign-building, mapping allies, decision making, public speaking, and more.
  • Root your leadership in a broader context of nonviolent social change movements. Examine a framework for nonviolent social change emerging from the US Civil Rights movement (Kingian nonviolence), as well as other key strategic perspectives for insights relevant to your organizing. (For more on the direct relevance of nonviolent social change to the Community Rights movement, click HERE.)
  • Develop a strategy for outreach and information-gathering to help address the Chicken and Egg Dilemma (Pick an Ordinance Issue First or Do Outreach First?). Think through a process by which an ordinance issue can be developed through relationship-building and social action investigation.
  • Practice speaking about the Community Rights movement in ways that excite and inform people. Whether in conversations on the bus or presentations to community groups, how can you maximize interest and spread the word about this growing movement?
  • Network with others in the region and get the latest news and analysis about the Community Rights movement, including a report on Paul's three-week east coast workshop tour in May 2012.

We are offering this two-day training on a quite affordable sliding scale fee structure of $60 to $260. (We raised the fees by $10 because we'll be including three meals as part of the workshop.) We can't reserve a spot for you in the workshop until you pre-register. To do so, or for more details, click HERE.

Lastly, here's a brief bio about each of us...
  • Matt Guynn (Portland, OR) is an activist and nonviolent social change trainer grounded in the philosophy and methodology of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the broader US Civil Rights movement. Matt works with the church-based nonprofit On Earth Peace, working with church and community groups around the United States to offer leadership development for efforts to challenge violence and build reconciliation. Since 1993, he has been involved with Training for Change, an international training center working with social change activists. Matt previously worked as co-coordinator of training for Christian Peacemaker Teams, preparing people to carry out nonviolent direct action and unarmed accompaniment in conflict zones, and served as an unarmed bodyguard in Chiapas, Mexico. Matt's leadership is rooted in direct mentorship from women and men involved in the US Civil Rights movement, the pacifist and anti-war movements of the WWII and Vietnam eras, the feminist and LGBTQ movements, and the Quaker-inspired Movement for a New Society, which through its Life Centers across the United States inspired and equipped generations of environmental, anti-nuclear, and other activists. In 2010-2011, Matt consulted with both Greenpeace USA and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), providing skill-building and resources on topics including facilitation and nonviolent direct action.
  • Paul Cienfuegos (Portland, OR) has been doing grassroots community organizing since the late 70's. Paul moved to Oregon in 2011 to work full time on building a Community Rights movement across the state to enshrine authentic local democracy and end corporate constitutional so-called "rights". He is a founding member of CommunityRightsPDX. Over the years, dozens of Paul's articles and speeches have been published in journals and online, and broadcast on "Alternative Radio". Paul co-founded Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County (California) in 1996. He is the co-author of 'Measure F: The Arcata Advisory Initiative on Democracy and Corporations' which was passed by the voters in 1998. Paul was a founding member of the City of Arcata Committee on Democracy and Corporations which had its origins in 'Measure F'. It is the first committee of its kind in US history, and works to "ensure democratic control over corporations conducting business within the city". Paul (and co-author) are currently working on a book for mainstream Americans on how to dismantle corporate rule. Trained by Joanna Macy, Paul spent three years in Scotland in the early 1980's leading "Despair and Empowerment" workshops to help people to learn how to deal with their painful feelings about the state of our world. During that same period, he created a new workshop titled "Active Listening For Activists". Paul owns, an online bookstore, which carries thousands of books to help create a better world. More info at