Though the campaign ended in 2019, this organizing toolkit was developed over the past year plus by #NoCopAcademy youth and adult alumni who wanted to share out how we did what we did (because people kept asking us), to document our work, and to share it with the hundreds and thousands of young people taking action today to defund policing, get cops out of our schools, and build abolitionist futures. Campaigns are an important tool for building power, and we wanted to break down all the parts that went into ours.
And don’t get us wrong, we don’t think this is the only way to organize, or even the best way. There’s a lot we didn’t figure out with this campaign. And we don’t think we invented organizing. We just tried to make note of our practices and intentions, as a humble offering to the vast histories, legacies and movements that we see ourselves as a part of. Our focus on disruptive power comes from the Black radical tradition, and we figured out a lot as we went, messing up and trying different things constantly.
We hope that anyone looking at this will find something useful that they can experiment with in their own organizing. No one needs to be an expert – we all need to share about what we’re trying so we can become strategists together and win power as young Black and Brown and queer and migrant and trans and Palestinian and Native and undocumented people, fed up with the white supremacist capitalist police-state nightmare we are currently attempting to survive.
Download it, skim it, share it, and let us know if or how you use it. We can’t wait to see what campaigns continue emerge as our movements to reclaim life, dignity and healing grow and empires fall.
Like the campaign itself, so many people contributed to make this toolkit happen.
Thanks to Erin Glasco, Page May, David Moran, Monica Trinidad, Benji Hart, Debbie Southorn, Olivia Abrecht, and Destiny Bell for writing segments of this toolkit.
Destiny Harris, Ana McCullom, Asha Edwards, Citlali Perez, Veronica Rodriguez, Jen Nava, Joey Mogul, and more reviewed and o ered feedback. Copy/edits were generously provided by Janet Shenk. Cover design is by Citlali Perez, illustrations by Melisa Stephen (pg. 28), Monica Trinidad (pgs. 5, 15), Asha Edwards (pg. 2), Naimah Thomas (pg. 42), Danbee Kim (pg. 45), and icons designed by Grae Rosa (pgs. 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 23, 25, 27, 30, 31, 37, 38, 56). Rachel Hoffman did the beautiful layout and design. We’re grateful as always to the incredible Love & Struggle photos for her gift and documentation of our campaign, featured throughout the toolkit.
Spanish language translation for the Spanish language version of the toolkit was provided by Bárbara Suarez Galeano, “Bee” Kay Peñaloza and Crystal V. Guerra. The design of the Spanish language version of the toolkit was generously and graciously done by Melisa Stephen with additional translation support from David Moran – thank you Melisa and David!
Erin Glasco went above and beyond in curating the digital campaign timeline, and huge appreciation to the dozens of people who o ered first-hand testimonies of their experiences within the campaign.
Thanks to Caullen Hudson, David Moran, and Ari Mejia with audio collection and editing for the nocopacademy chant playlist, Ana McCullom for chant research, and to Page May for support with uploading everything and o ering instructions.
Many thanks to the Logan Foundation for their financial support to document our e orts with this toolkit, and to Mariame Kaba for teaching us to document everything because we make our own history.