Our flagship Building Skills for Change workshop teaches you the fundamentals of community organizing, centered on five key leadership practices:  telling stories, building relationships, structuring teams, strategizing, and taking action.


Expected Outcomes

  • Tell your story to persuade and motivate others
  • Recruit and retain volunteers
  • Structure your team of leaders for growth
  • Strategize and choose tactics that build power and move decision-makers

WHO: New organizers and activists who are passionate about making change in their community.





About the trainer

Olivia Chow

Olivia Chow leads the Institute’s educational initiatives and has helped train over 5000 activists in political organizing. Olivia has two certificates from the Harvard Kennedy School's Executive Education Program and 9 years of teaching experience. Olivia Chow has also been one of Canada’s most effective and well known public figures. She served 2 terms as a school trustee, 4 terms as a Toronto city councillor and 8 years as a Member of Parliament.


10:00 - Lecture: Introduction to Organizing
10:10 - Partner Activity: Organizing Sentence
10:20 - Power of the public narrative: how to tell your story to inspire others to take action
11:20 - Facilitated Activity: Public Narrative, Story of Self
12:40 - Lecture debrief: sharing of 2 stories & debrief
1:05 - Lecture: How to devise an effective strategy
1:35 - Lecture: Theory of Change
1:45 - Goals Worksheet
1:55 - Partner Activity: Theory of Change Worksheet
2:10 - Lecture: How to select tactics that align with your strategic goals, Strategy vs Tactics
3:00 - Refining organizing sentence and timeline
3:30 - Facilitated Activity: Design strategies and tactics

10:00 - Lecture: Building relationships: how to recruit, train and retain volunteers
10:30 - Role Play
10:45 - Facilitated Activity: Practicing one on ones
12:30 - Structuring and building teams
12:45 - Organizing vs Mobilizing: Importance of designing transformative tasks
1:00 - Transformative Task Design Fishbowl
1:20 - Lecture: Public Narrative: Part 2 Self, Us, Now Recap
1:55 - Facilitated Activity: Pulling it all together
2:55 - Summary / Sharing your story and presenting a direct ask
3:25 - Digital Organizing Tools
3:55 - Commitment to work on project for change

The Institute for Change Leaders is brought to you by the Faculty of Community Services at Ryerson University
and the generous support of USW, UNIFOR, CUPE and Birchhill Equity.

  • Ryerson University
  • USW
  • Unifor
  • CUPE