What we do
LibGen provides capacity-building and technical assistance to our grassroots partners to strengthen coalitions, foster alignment, sharpen strategies, and envision and advance transformative campaigns. From being thought partners for organizations as they think through and build campaigns to hosting workshops and facilitating idea generation, we’re bolstering efforts to win racial economic liberation and build political power from the ground up. We also work to bring our partners’ expertise and experiences into LibGen’s policy work, seeding opportunities to co-create our vision for a liberatory future.
Who we are
Our Grassroots Department includes staff with years of experience in organizing, legislative advocacy, policy development, political education, electoral work, and more. Learn more about our team members below.
Who we work with
LibGen is committed to elevating the leadership, power, and influence of leaders of color. We work with people of color-led movement groups and coalitions that engage in base-building organizing because we know that’s how we get free. Our partners are working at the state and national levels on a wide variety of issues that impact communities of color, including housing, decriminalization, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, the social safety net, the solidarity economy, and more.
Interested in working with us or want to recommend a potential partner for LibGen? Please fill out our brief form here and we’ll get in touch!
What we can offer
We collaborate closely with our partners to deliver the types of support they need today to take their work to the next level tomorrow. The following is a partial list of what we can offer to partners, whether that’s in the context of a workshop, group discussion, strategy conversation, or panel. We continuously update our offerings based on what our partners need, so if you’re seeking something that’s not listed here, please contact us so we can talk about it!
Mission & Goal-Setting
|Values||Surfacing the values that you want to uplift in your work, both internally and externally. Can be a step toward creating the group’s working agreements and front-facing values statements.|
|Visioning||Imagining the wildly different future we want to build together. Can be a step toward creating a mission statement.|
|Problem, Systems, and Tools||A deep dive into the biggest problems your community faces related to the issue you’re working on, and some of the systems and tools that have created and maintained those problems. We can work with your group to identify the specific problems you’ll want to work on together, and potential policy solutions to address those problems.|
|Landscape analysis||An examination of the group’s achievements, challenges you’ve faced, and opportunities for advocacy, which you’ll use to set aspirations for your work ahead.|
|Campaign planning||How to draft campaign plans, set advocacy goals, and develop realistic timelines.|
Working Together Effectively
|Coalition Self-Assessment||We’ll help you do an inventory of what each coalition partner brings to the table, and what types of skills, experiences, constituencies and relationships still need to be brought in.|
|Centering Members in Your Advocacy||Many groups profess a commitment to doing advocacy that is led by the base. But what exactly does that look like? We’ll talk through different models of advocacy, strategies to build member leadership, and different ways to incorporate members into your campaign operations.|
|Creating a Strong Coalition Structure||We’ll guide you through a conversation to set expectations about who can join your coalition and how, what work the coalition will tackle together, what members have to commit to, how often you’ll meet, committees, voting structures, and more. (It might sound boring but trust us – it’s worth it!)|
|Leaning Into Principled Struggle||Have some challenging dynamics in your group? We can help you name the elephant in the room, remember why you wanted to work together in the first place, and address conflict in a way that allows you to move together in power.|
|Issue Identification||We’ll help you think through different policy options, assess them, and collectively decide which are strategic and important to pursue based on your coalition’s goals, values and vision, the landscape you’re working within, and the communities you’re working with and for.|
|Basics of Policy Design||An overview of how to shape your idea, conduct research, and create a well-crafted policy informed by your base.|
|State / Local Data Research||We can collect, organize and share state/local data to help inform or support legislative advocacy efforts.|
|Menu of Policy Options||LibGen can create a brief memo summarizing potential policy solutions for your group to consider, with context about other states & localities that have pursued similar ideas.|
|Policy Research Snapshots / Fact Sheets||A succinct document tailored to specific issue(s) or campaign(s) that provides background information, fast facts, and brief policy analysis that can be used to educate and prepare partners to act on an issue.|
|Power Analysis & Target Selection||Identifying the decision makers who impact your issue and assessing which people and institutions to target.|
|Building the Relationships You Need to Win||How to connect and build relationships with elected and agency officials and their staff. Includes a deep dive on how to prepare for legislative meetings, including setting clear goals, getting the info you need, identifying inclusive meeting roles, and figuring out how to follow up.|
|Hosting a Town Hall||How to create a Town Hall to put community members face to face with policy makers/candidates to raise key concerns and solicit policy stances/responses to key issues in a public forum. This session addresses how to’s on crafting impactful questions, preparing your directly impacted leaders to take the lead, promoting your event, and synthesizing policy stances for public consumption.|
|Birddogging 101||The basics around how to push policy makers / candidates to state/ID their policy stances on key issues during strategic public encounters, and hold them accountable.|
|Legislative Meetings / Calls with Elected Officials 101||Learn how to engage with elected officials about your issues and campaigns. From setting up a lobby visit and researching their position, to making your ask and following up, we’ll walk you through best practices to ensure your meetings with electeds and their staff are focused and impactful tools to support your advocacy work.|
|Electoral Questionnaires||Sample questionnaires for candidates running for office. How to draft questions to solidify public stances of elected officials, hold them accountable throughout the campaign trail, source content for score cards, and cement your organization as a go-to place for candidate info.|
Foundational Organizing Skills
|Building a Ladder of Engagement||How to keep folks engaged in the organization via different leadership asks. These asks will help shape and grow the organization also causing new members to be a part of the co creation of the organization! Members that feel that they are a part of shaping their organization are more likely to stay invested for a longer period of time and bring more folks in!|
|1 on 1’s||How to have a 1-on-1 conversation with a directly impacted person / potential campaign leader. How to prepare, tips for engaging folks, tools to track the info given to you, and how to follow up.|
|Social Mapping||How to identify who in your communities to engage (through 1-on-1s, public events, etc.) by mapping your social circles.|
|Research for Organizing||Involving community members in research can be a powerful way to build leaders, bring personal stories into your advocacy, and surface specific problems you might not have been aware of. In this session, we’ll review some basic tactics to use research to elevate your organizing & inform your campaigns.|
|Creating a Values-Based Message||Organizers are storytellers, and we can only succeed when the stories we tell paint a picture that speaks to our people. In this session, we’ll talk through the elements of a values-based message and practice crafting messages that center what we want, name who’s causing harm, and provide a vision of the way forward.|
|Speaking to Your Audience||We’re all passionate about our issues, but sometimes, there’s a big gap between what we want to say, and what people need to hear. We’ll talk through how you can figure out what motivates people, approach their concerns with curiosity, adjust your message to your specific audience, and build trust to begin to move them in your direction.|
|Public Narrative & Story of Self||How to turn the lived experiences of directly impacted leaders into tools for advocacy. Anchor your issues in the narratives your base to advocacy at the legislature, address the media, inform written materials, and shift public sentiment towards your cause.|
|Individualized editorial support||Working on an op-ed, blog post, talking points, or something else public-facing that you’d like a second set of eyes on? LibGen’s Communications team can provide high-level editorial support to help you strengthen your messaging and get to the heart of the issue.|