Brigade Program January 2022 Priorities

Aloha Brigade Network!

In our work, there is always so much to know, learn and discuss. That’s especially true this year as we roll out new program initiatives to implement the ReVisioning Recommendation, develop leadership throughout our volunteer network, and continue to grow our impact.

Iʻm planning to share priorities for the Brigade Program each month for a specific reason: to request your help! Impact at the scale we are aiming for is only possible if we are aligned and moving together. I hope to provide you with enough information with these monthly updates for you to consider whether the initiatives resonate with your own goals as volunteers, organizers, and leaders in your community and for you to take action!

I would love your comments and thoughts on the priorities as well as what kinds of information would be helpful! In the meantime, without further ado:

January Priorities at a Glance:

  1. Network Welcome Campaign
  2. Brigade Strategic Consultations
  3. Inclusive & Restorative Communities Work
  4. Piecing Together the ReVisioning Puzzle

1. Network Welcome Campaign

You might have already seen some welcome messages posted on multiple platforms. Throughout Quarter 1 of 2022, we will continue to send out a series of emails + Discourse posts to share Network updates, timelines, new programs, and additional resources that we hope will help Brigade volunteers navigate the new year. See the first couple of posts here:

2. Brigade Strategic Consultations

Introducing Brigade Strategic Consultations! These consultations are intended to be an extension of the 2021 Peer-to-Peer (P2P) program that emerged from Network ReVisioning. Starting in January, we will be offering Brigades the opportunity to meet with our Brigade Program team for a guided strategy workshop. Each workshop will be tailored to each Brigade to:

  1. Help Brigades identify their goals for 2022
  2. Help Brigades develop a concrete strategy that aligns with their goals & vision
  3. Provide Brigades with resources that they may need to implement that strategy

Brigades will have the option to hold their Brigade Strategic Consultation during a Meetup with their entire member base or schedule a call with just Brigade leaders and core members. Details will be announced next week!

3. Inclusive & Restorative Communities Work

Another priority we have this month is to begin more robust training on Code of Conduct implementation. From January through March, the Brigade Program Staff and Open Oakland leadership will be participating in a 3-part workshop on Building Restorative Spaces hosted by SEEDS Community Resolution Center. We plan to take our discoveries from this training to develop Code of Conduct implementation resources and training programs for the entire Brigade Network.

In addition, we will also begin to develop the Community Care Coaching program. This is another extension of the P2P program and will aim to provide direct support for people who have been impacted by their participation in the CfA Network in the form of trauma-informed community-care practices.

4. Piecing Together the ReVisioning Puzzle

And lastly, some items we haven’t covered yet:

1. Brigade Basecamp Development:
Another component of the ReVisioning strategy is a structured community that enables Brigade organizers to connect with other organizers, incubate their Brigade teams and partnerships, and discover or share robust, educational resources helpful for organizing Brigades. This project is currently in the planning stage.

2. Direct Democracy Pilot / Brigade Congress:
This project will integrate previous Network leadership structures, primarily Brigade Congress and NAC into participatory democracy and decision-making work. We plan to work with Brigade Network members to pilot this structure during Brigade Congress.

For more information about the other aspects of the ReVisioning work (such as C. Participatory Governance Bodies and D. Emphasizing Partnerships), see the Strategies section of the Network ReVisioning project.

Conclusion

We are over halfway through the month of January, so much of what was shared here is underway and you can expect February priorities from me in the next few weeks! In the meantime, I would love to hear what you’re working on, and whether these priorities are coming into alignment with those of your brigades and your communities. Better yet, as we mentioned in item 2 (Direct Democracy) above, we would love to collaborate with you on Brigade level strategy for 2022–so look out for that signup link coming next week!

Overall, 2022 will be about getting all of the pieces of the Network ReVisioning strategy into motion. It’s a year of designing, piloting, iterating, and implementing. Because we will be trying new things, I think we can expect some error; however, if we focus on sharing what we try and sharing what we learn, I expect we’ll start to see our collective vision come into focus!

Want a deeper dive into these projects?

See the full Brigade Program - January Priorities deck here.

6 Likes

Thanks for sharing this Ben! Maybe jumping the gun, but would a communications basecamp be a possibility? It seems like a couple of brigades have recently onboarded new communications leaders.

4 Likes

Thank you Ben, it seems a good program.
It seems very much brigade centered, is there any thought on how to include individual volunteers in the conversations?

2 Likes

Aloha @giosce ! That is a great question. These priorities will continue to center- brigades and brigade-style volunteer engagement as they is a core part of our Network strategy (and my core responsibility as Brigade Program Director), but that said, inclusion of all volunteers is a network-wide goal and shared responsibility across the portfolio and I think there’s some good opportunities for that in a few of the priorities above, especially the ones that deal with the Basecamp Program.

I believe that the Brigade Basecamps will end up functioning as their own kinds of communities, not rooted in geography like brigades, but directed at supporting Brigades’ place-based work. We’ll be sharing more about the basecamp structures and specifics in the coming weeks, but we are planning for one of them to be focused on supporting projects. The kind of network-spanning work that the Brigade Project Index team has been working on might find one or more of the basecamps a good “home base” for that work supporting projects and way to attract more individual volunteer energy.