The heart of ATN rests on the network’s Activists in Residence (AiR) and the sites in which those AiRs organize. We are no longer accepting applications to be considered for the 2021 AiR cohort. However, the application remains open and will be reviewed on a rolling basis for future cohorts.
An Activist in Residence (AiR) is a local organizer with a current or prospective focus on educational liberation. Activists in Residence will lead abolitionist educational organizing in their respective cities, bringing together those who are looking to change their education infrastructures from ones that harm Black and Brown educators, staff, students, and parents to ones that uplift them, their stories, and arm them with the freedom to become their full selves. Activists in Residence will strategize and implement tactics for collective growth focused on Black and Brown abolition specific to education by strategizing alongside the Director of AiR and other ATN staff and board members, engaging periodically with local teachers, staff, students, parents, and invested community members, and conducting an evolving material analysis of local conditions.
Activists in Residence organize through a Black queer feminist lens. Charlene Carruthers’ book Unapologetic: A Black Queer, & Feminist Mandate for Radical Movement along with the book We Want To Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching & The Pursuit of Educational Freedom guide the work of the Activists in Residence.
Activists in Residence are paid for their work.
By choosing you as an Activist in Residence, we are choosing your city as an ATN Site. You may be a capable grassroots organizer, but if your community is not interested in advancing the abolitionist struggle, then sadly, it would not make sense for ATN to choose your city.* When ATN chooses you as an AiR, we are choosing to invest resources not only in you, but in your community. It is imperative that you have some understanding of your local conditions, groups, and potential sympathetic allies.
We ask for a 3-5 year commitment. The first year is spent preparing the site and the organizers, including focusing on the desired outcomes for the site. This is followed by 2-4 years of action to accomplish these outcomes.
*If you are an organizer, teacher, student, parent, staff member or concerned community member who doesn’t yet have a community, please know that we are currently working on programming that will also help to benefit and support you outside of our Activist in Residence program. For now, please check our site for upcoming webinars and resources such as this Guide for Abolitionist Social & Emotional Learning and our ATN podcast.
An Activist in Residence will do the typical work of an organizer, including but not limited to power mapping, canvassing, building groups and/or coalitions, creating media and propaganda, planning events, and more. You will be supported in the work that you do and you will have organizational resources at your disposal in order to help you not only with bird eye strategizing, but with day to day tasks. An Activist in Residence will report directly to and work for ATN, but be in close conversation with and embedded within their communities. ATN’s goal is to have Activists in Residence in place for a minimum of two years and depending on funding, for 3 to 5 years--longevity and persistence is integral to this work.
At this time, the Activist in Residence position promises $30,000 per year and approximately 20 hours per week. There may be opportunities for more hours and increased pay depending on funding. Activists in Residence will begin their position in Spring/Summer of 2021.
An organizer or an activist is someone who is interested in collaborating with others to dismantle oppressive structures while creating more liberatory practices and structures. You could be a parent who has been raising hell at your child’s school to challenge disciplinary punitive measures that affect Black and Brown students, someone who has been working to shut down your local prison or jail, or a community member who has set up a food pantry for their neighbors most affected by COVID. Organizers/activists, by virtue of what they do, have local knowledge: they know of official and unofficial leaders, what peoples’ pains and joys are, and how to empower people. Whether you call yourself an organizer/activist or not, you may in fact be one, and we challenge you to apply whether you are sure if your experience “counts” or not. You do not have to be directly involved in education at the moment for your application to be considered. However, you will become involved in education if selected as an AiR.
Though ATN wishes to partner with all of the activists and communities looking to create spaces of resistance and healing, we do not have the capacity to do so at this time. In order to grow sustainably and to give each site the attention that it needs and deserves, we will only be selecting 2 to 4 Activists at this time. ATN will be selecting and notifying Activists in Residence of their acceptance by March of 2021.
ATN is also working to create an authentic network. This means that we are committed to supporting abolitionist dreamers and doers wherever they reside and in whatever ways possible. We are currently working on programming and expanding our capacity to integrate any and all interested abolitionists into our network. Stay up to date with ATN social media and other platforms for announcements on these opportunities as they become available.
Lastly, please know that we support your freedom dreams and abolitionist struggles! We are honored that you are considering ATN as a way to amplify and develop your abolitionist freedom dreaming and doing, and we hope to fight stronger, together.
Please fill out the application here if you are interested in becoming an Activist in Residence with ATN. The deadline for applications is Monday, January 25th, 2021. Applications submitted after that date will be reviewed on a rolling basis in order to help inform potential future ATN sites as more funding becomes available. Those who submit on or prior to January 25th, 2021 will be considered for the first round of the Activist in Residence program.
If your application is selected, you will be contacted for your resume, an optional cover letter, and a phone/video interview. There may be additional rounds of interviews/conversations as the application process continues.