What if I can’t make every class?
No problem. Each class is recorded, and I usually send out the recording within 24 hours.
How does an online course work? What equipment do I need?
We will be using the Zoom platform, which is really cool and pretty simple to use. Each week I’ll send out a link, and you can join the group through a computer, tablet, or smart phone. Most devices today come with everything you need, but if you are using an older device and want to test it or your Internet connection, you can do that here. You can also call in from an old fashioned landline, but you’ll miss the class visuals.
What is nonviolent direct action?
There are different definitions, but my favorite is the simplest: it is action that is nonviolent but which puts direct pressure on the decision makers you’re trying to influence. It goes beyond letter writing, phone calls, and other tactics typically encouraged by institutions and shakes things up by actually challenging the status quo. Think of Gandhi, walking to the sea to take salt from the ocean in defiance of the British Empire, which controlled the salt trade. For a fuller definition and more examples, see this piece by Daniel Hunter.
How many people do we need to make a group? And how do we register as a group?
If you have six people, the group rate for this course will be less expensive than the individual rate. Obviously, the more people you recruit, the less it will cost per person. When you are ready to register, please fill out the registration form and make one payment on behalf of the group. (You all can figure out how to divide the cost among you.) I will send you another form to collect the names of everyone participating (up to a maximum of twenty), so that each participant can have access to all the materials of the course. If you are getting financial support from your faith community or some other organization and need to wait for that to come through, or if you would rather send a check, please send me a message through my site contact page, and we’ll work it out.
What if I don’t have a group, or we only have a few people?
You can certainly take this course as an individual or with a few friends. In fact, understanding direct action campaigns may help you see what kind of group you’d like to form or join. That said, nonviolent direct action is a team sport, so you’ll need a group to carry out the kinds of tactics we’ll be discussing. If you are thinking of rounding up some folks, check out this article by George Lakey about what kinds of skills are needed in a campaign.
What if I can’t afford it?
I want to make the empowering material in this course available to as many people as possible. If you are an individual for whom cost is a barrier, please click here to apply for financial aid. Whether you are an individual or a group, you may have resources in your community that can support you, which will also help your community become more invested in what you’re doing. Groups in particular might consider doing a Kickstarter campaign or other type of fundraising event, both to defray the cost of the class and to help you identify future potential supporters.