Previous Workshops

Announcing the workshops at the next We the People Summit on November 4th, 2017!

Download the Workshop Schedule here 

  • 2018 Legislative Preview
  • Addressing Police Brutality As a Community
  • Arizona Legislative Basics
  • Avoiding Burnout: Stay Strong For the Fight
  • Be Your Own Advocate: Crafting Your Story
  • Beyond Borders
  • Campaign Volunteer Roles
  • Civil Dialogue 202
  • Criminal Justice: Disrupting the Status Quo
  • Environmental Justice: Crisis in Communities of Color
  • ERA: A Woman’s Place is in the Constitution
  • Every Child Counts: Foster Care System in Arizona
  • Examining Systemic Racism
  • Faith and Your Activism
  • Government from the Ground Up
  • Healthcare On Life Support: Solutions and Strategies
  • How to be an Effective Ally and Partner with Under­-Represented Communities
  • Income Inequality and Wealth Redistribution
  • Intersectionality of Gun Violence
  • Navigating the Intersectionality Matrix
  • Not My Box: Women’s Reproductive Rights
  • Outlaw Dirty Money
  • Protesting in Perpetuity: Know Your Legal Rights
  • Reaching for the American Dream: The DACA Struggle
  • Restoring and Defending Voter’s Rights
  • Saving Our Kids: Protecting Public Education
  • Say What? No Promo Homo (SB1019) and other Anti-LGBTQ Laws
  • The Big Con: Article V and the Constitutional Convention
  • Understanding and Confronting Privilege
  • Unions in Unity in the Community

Workshop Descriptions

2018 Legislative Preview:
This panel will discuss various organizations’ perspectives and knowledge about what legislation is likely to be introduced in the 2018 AZ Legislature, with a focus on both positive and negative impacts on the issues of great interest to those attending the Summit such as: voting rights, dark money, healthcare, public education, criminal justice/prison reform, child services, and reproductive rights to name the most prominent.
Panelists: Will Gaona, Dana Naimark, Lordes Pena, Monica Trejo.
Addressing Police Brutality as a Community
Police brutality is reported in all areas in America however, certain communities are affected differently by it; some, more often than others based on race, income levels, and gender. This workshop confronts how communites discuss and can resolve issues regarding violent police interactions.
Panelists: JJ Johnson, Scott Sefranka, Kyra Climbingbear, Antonio Espree
Arizona Legislative Basics:
The process of a bill becoming law in Arizona is serpentine and often confusing. How can citizens get involved? Learn how to follow the process and make your voice heard to support legislation that reflects your values.
Panelists: Melinda Merkel Iyer, Sharon Kirsch, Damian Preciadio, Dana Naimark
Avoiding Burnout: Stay Strong for the Fight
We all hit that time when we get burned out. Come hear how to live thru it and get your groove back.
Panelists: Sara Joenek, Warren Padgett
Be Your Own Advocate: Crafting Your Story
Craft your story to get the attention of the media, legislators and the public. Your voice can make a difference for your cause – use it!
Panelists: Liz Warren, Marrilyn Torres
Beyond Borders
Overview of the US immigration system and policies, “sanctuary cities”, sanctuary congregations, street sanctuary; refugees and immigrants. Learn the facts and hear storytelling to help non-immigrants better understand the root causes of migration and current effects of immigration policy. Topics covered include immigration as a faith issue; root causes of migration; an overview of the immigration and deportation systems; realities immigrant communities face today; and what you can do to help.
Panelists: Zaira Livier Serrato
The Big Con: Article V and the Constitutional Convention:
We’re moving closer and closer to having enough states for a constitutional convention to be called. It’s a provision in the US Constitution that allows states to circumvent congress by making amendments to the US constitution if 34 states agree to do so. Common Cause is sending experts from D.C. to discuss where we are with the various proposals including the BBA the Arizona legislature passed last session becoming the 30th (?) state to do so.
Panelists:Jay Reistenberg, Isabella Brothstein, John Phebus, LaShanda Jackson, Rebecca McHood
Campaign Volunteer Roles
“In this day and age, campaigns need more help than just canvasing and phone banks. Come and learn all the different ways you can be of help to a campaign – from working on social media, to scheduling to entering finance forms. Then you can help get your candidates elected from school board all the way up to the Governorship!”
Panelists: Serah Blain, Adrian Fontes, M-Corey
Civil Dialogue 202
Explore “hot topics” with “cool heads” at our hands on Civil Dialogue workshop. At this session, no matter how much previous experience you might have (or don’t) you will get to actually practice fostering participation in communication and have a hands on experience in honoring all points of view without demonizing. Join Katherine Roxlo with the Civil Dialogue Institute, Lisa Hamilton with Shoulders Down and Corey Harris, Executive Director of the Arizona School Counselors Association to share stories and perspectives in a structured format.
Panelists: Katherine Roxlo, Lisa Hamilton, Corey Harris
Criminal Justice: Disrupting the Status Quo
This panel will discuss the current situation relating to prisons/criminal justice (i.e., the numbers of people in prison or under the control of the criminal justice system, sentencing, the disparate impact on various ethnic/racial groups, the costs of imprisonment vs. the cost of alternatives etc.), various reforms being developed nationwide, by a wide range of organizations as well as the work being done and proposed here in AZ to reform AZ’s criminal justice and prison system.
Panelists: Tony Cani, Michael Moynihan, Joe Rodriguez
Environmental Justice: Crisis in Communities of Color
This workshop will cover enviornmental policies with a focus on how enviornmental issues disproportionaly affect communties of color. We will have an interactive discussion on strategies to better integrate social justice into policy deisgn and integration
Panelists: Zulema Rodriguez, Sonja Climsky, Sandy Bahr
ERA: A Woman’s Place is in the Constitution
The Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution is as relevant today as when it was passed by Congress in 1972. A brief history of the ERA will be reviewed, and we will discuss why the ERA is vital today.  Senator Pat Spearman who shepherded the ERA to passage in March in Nevada will outline their strategies. Action items and strategies for securing passage of the ERA in Arizona will be disseminated.
Panelists: Dianne Post, Pat Spearman
Examining Systemic Racism
Systemic racism refers to institutionalized structures, practices, and policies that result in disparate treatment and the maintenance of white supremacy. This workshop will explore ways to begin dismantling systemic racism, and to work towards creating true equity in our society.
Panelists: Shannon Rivers, Parris Wallace, Anabel Maldonado
Every Child Counts: Foster Care System in Arizona
We will discuss the foster care system as it follows in three areas: Culture: Keeping Cultural/Familial Connectedness, Prison: Foster Care to Prison Pipeline and Health/Education: Disparities amongst Children of Color/LGBTQ+.
Panelists: Elisia Manuel, Pastor Warren Stewart Jr., Tamanie Sheldon, Naketa Ross
Faith and Your Activism:
Some people are scared to bring their faith into their activism. But for others of us, our faith demands that we become activists.
Panelists: Warren Stewart Jr., Rev. Erin Tamayo, Francisca Portia
Government from the Ground Up
It’s all about “being local”. We “eat local” and we “shop local”. When we want to effect change and explore civic engagement that can have an immediate impact, the best way to do that is starting local. Come learn how to talk to your City Council, how to get appointed to a Board or Commission, how to be an integral part of the local democratic process at “Government from the Ground Up”.
Panelists: Abraham James, Bill Mundell and Dr. Paul Hirt
Healthcare On Life Support: Solutions and Strategies:
Healthcare has dominated our news cycles for months now, pitting parties against each other like we’ve rarely seen before. But how can we revive a system that seems to be careening towards a DNR outcome? Learn the systems we have in place, and the future of what could be healthcare for all.
Panelists: Siman Qaasim, Morgan Tucker
How to be an Effective Ally and Partner with Under­-Represented Communities:
Many people would like to support underrepresented communities, but they don’t know how. Often times, support does not appear in ways that best support those communities. Sometimes, attempts to support underrepresented communities can inadvertently come across the wrong way, and thus don’t accomplish the goals that were intended. On this panel, learn from people from underrepresented communities about what they need and how you can be a good ally.
Panelists:Alejandro Chavez, Miriam Weismen, Usama Shami
Income Inequality and Wealth Redistribution:
There has been an enormous upward redistribution of income in the United States in the last four decades. Baker will show that this upward redistribution was not the result of globalization and the natural workings of the market. Rather it was the result of conscious policies that were designed to put downward pressure on the wages of ordinary workers while protecting and enhancing the incomes of those at the top. Baker explains how rules on trade, patents, copyrights, corporate governance, and macroeconomic policy were rigged to make income flow upward.
Panelists:Dean Baker
Intersectionality of Gun Violence:
Gun violence is a national epidemic and national disgrace. 321 Americans a day are shot, but the issue of gun violence is generally misunderstood. The gun culture and gun policy impacts so many other social justice issues such as domestic and sexual abuse, criminal justice, mental health and the environment. This workshop will explore the intersection of guns and these topics in our community.
Panelists:Thea Walsh, Jill McMahaon, Tomiko Holms, Gerry Hills
Introvert Movie Screening – Lunch Activity – Play The Documentary:
Play the documentary is a film to inspire more people to play music. This independent, crowd funded film features musicians, educators, and organizations from all over the world.
Navigating the Intersectionality Matrix:
Each individual lives in a unique and delicate system of interdependent social groups, and finding the balance can be emotionally taxing. Learn the basics on how to support and navigate through each one of your distinct social identities, to create an self-sufficient environment you can thrive in.
Not My Box: Women’s Reproductive Rights
Women’s reproductive rights are being eroded in many ways. Attend this session to learn about the work that is needed to move us forward here in Arizona. Listen to a diverse panel including the voices of women of color, local organizations and national organizations that fight for women’s rights. Perspectives of women who are in the fight to advance women’s autonomy of their bodies will be given space to be heard.
Panelists: Jodi Liggett, Kristy King, Kat Sabine
Outlaw Dirty Money:
It isn’t “Dark Money,” it’s “Dirty Money” and it has to be outlawed. That is the proposition being discussed at the “Outlaw Dirty Money” workshop. The “Outlaw Dirty Money Constitutional Amendment” requires full disclosure of all anonymous political contributions after $10,000 is spent within 2 years of an election. Former Attorney General Terry Goddard, Sharon Kirsch of Save Our Schools Arizona, and Jevin D. Hodge, National Engagement Coordinator for Link Strategic Partners, will discuss the corrupting influence of “Dirty Money.” Panelists will review effects of “Dirty Money” on recent candidate campaigns. The “SB1431 Voucher Expansion” referendum’s ongoing assault by anonymous opponents will also be featured.
Panelists: Sharon Kirsch, Jevin Hodge, Bob Grossfeld, Terry Goddard
Protesting in Perpetuity:
Know Your Legal Rights: This workshop will cover your legal rights while protesting and if you are arrested. It will train you to be a legal observer and how to document violations of legal rights for yourself and others. 15 min Q&A at the end.
Panelists: Victor Aronow, Dianne Post
Reaching for the American Dream: The DACA Struggle
This workshop will focus on federal and local legislation and policies, how they impact DACAmented folks and immigrant communites, and concrete steps that participants can take to advocate for positive change.
Panelists: Maxima Guerrero, Francisco Luna, Francisco Salcido
Restoring and Defending Voter’s Rights:
This panel will provide: a) a brief history of voting rights to include the disparate impact of laws and actions on various racial and ethnic groups, including since the demise of Sec. 5; b) discuss the current situation regarding such both here in AZ and nationwide; c) describe new and growing threats to voting rights and finally d) outline strategies being undertaken nationwide by various organizations/institutions to restore/defend such rights.
Panelists: Darrell Hill, Adrian Fontes, Michael Ingram
Saving Our Kids: Protecting Public Education
This workshop will cover the ins-and-out of HOW Arizona’s public schools are funded, then the Save Our Schools Arizona team will provide you with the tools needed for the upcoming Proposition 305 fight.
Panelists: Beth Lewis, Sarah Richardson, Monica Gellman, Sharon Kirsch
Say What? No Promo Homo (SB1019) and other Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws:
This panel will discuss the various anti-LGBTQ+ laws and ordinances in effect in Arizona, who is driving the anti-LGBTQ+ agenda in Arizona, and who the LGBTQ+ allies are in state and local government. They will provide tools towards a path forward to equal LGBTQ+ rights in AZ and talking points to educate lawmakers across the aisle.
Panelists: Kelley Dupps, Angela Hughly, Brandie Reiner, Sentari Minor
Understanding and Confronting Privilege
How do we recognize and understand power, privilege, and inequity? Once we identify our own, what’s next? Join us for interactive dialogue exploring the roots and impact of privilege and power in America.
Panelists: Richard Crews, Senior Pastor James Pennington
Unions in Unity in the Community:
This workshop will focus on the function of Unions in a Right to Work state. The role of Unions in protecting the LGBTQ+ community will be discussed. The ways in which Unions serve the community will be highlighted, with emphasis on LCSA and CASE.
Panelists: Jim Volpe, Dawn Schumann, Rebekah Friend
Shoulders Down Lunchtime Conversation Circles
Shoulders Down BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch): As friends and neighbors draw into separate ideological bubbles, relationships and diversity suffer. Shoulders Down aims to change the nature of oppositional discourse by providing a structured framework for conversations where we practice listening to understand and crafting our story. To ensure respect, we follow guidelines that include no persuasion, no attacks, no judgement. In Shoulders Down Conversation Circles, by sharing stories around the selected topic, we hope to weave our fractured communities back together, one conversation at a time. At gatherings of like-minded folks, our Conversation Circles offer safe spaces to practice two critical skills required for effective activism: active, engaged listening and authentic, relevant storytelling. These conversations can surprise us – “we” are not uniform in our like-mindedness. We invite you to share your lunch hour and your story with us in Conversation Circles around our nod to Michelle Obama with the topic: What Does It Look Like To “Go High”?
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The views expressed by the presenters at the We the People Summit are their personal views
and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the We the People. We the People is a nonpartisan civics education nonprofit who produces the We the People Summit.
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