If you are a social activist interested in human rights protection and world-changing, then the project Build a Movement, also called BAM, deserves your attention. The BAM’s main task is to build the skills of frontline activists in the methods of strategic nonviolence, civil resistance, and movement building. The initiative supports activists, organizers, and movements fighting for democracy, rights, and justice around the world.

 

What is the Build A Movement

As mentioned before, the Build A Movement was created as a non-governmental and non-profit union dedicated to assisting civic associations and pursuing the goal to defend human rights and democracy. The BAM spreads knowledge on the nonviolent methods of grassroots activism to encourage democratic values, human rights, and social change. The organization’s staff develops special courses and training for dozens of social activists from hundreds of countries around the globe, including Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine, Cambodia, Burma, Zimbabwe, and Egypt. The team also creates educational materials on building a social movement and on using specialized technology tools to avoid observation, censorship, and persecution. Some tutorials written by the BAM staff were published by the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS).

The Build A Movement takes aim to increase the volume of people-power campaigns and civil society, not only to protest authoritarianism and unfairness but to secure peaceful and durable transformations to democracy. The BAM maintains community organizations in different regions and social levels: the project works with activists in universities (for example, the project’s instructors have worked in some US universities such as the Harvard Kennedy School and New York University) or in the media and with policy-makers around the world. What are the themes that the BAM supports? The organization assists activists fighting, among others, for democracy, transparency, accountability, human rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, environmental protection, racial justice and social justice.

It is considered that the conditions define the appearance and progress of mass movements, that the social organization cannot successfully make changes until all the factors – social, financial, political – are ‚ripe‘. But the Build A Movement demonstrates that the only factor that matters and determines the organization’s promotion and success are skills to generate and support a mass mobilization, skills to plan strategy and a variety of techniques. And that’s the reason why the BAM works together with activists’ organizations in order to teach them how to map out the approaches to start a grassroots movement.

Build A Movement – Join a project

Today, the Build A Movement organization covers three ongoing projects which goals are to protect privacy, security and internet freedom, to track nonviolent demonstrations and to organize the skill-building training and workshops. Pursuing its strategic tasks, the BAM cooperates with different online and offline platforms as well as publishers and companies that produce educational materials. 

1. Skill-building workshops and training. The BAM provides online and offline tutorial courses and video lessons made to instruct the movement’s leaders how to sustain a changing action, motivate supporters to join the project and communicate their power. These practices develop practical skills and teach participants how to invent successfully working strategies. On of the initiative’s tasks is to help the activists remain safe in the face of the government.

2. Tracking nonviolent movements. Unfortunately, all the modern media are busy with reporting about violence demonstrations and protests, while only a few of them inform about proceeding academic researches and policy and political discussions and almost none of them cover the background of the occurred demos. The Tracking Nonviolent Movements project is created to analyze ongoing movements around the world from a strategic viewpoint to evaluate their strengths, faults, and a possibility of success.

3. Privacy, security and Internet freedom. The Build A Movement works together with the Wickr Foundation and the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) in order to devise a toolbox app specifically for social activists even in closed societies and highly repressive environments to fight inspection, suppression, and repression. This app is named Whistler to reflect the idea of the founders. The program will protect journalists, human rights advocates, and democracy defenders and help them stay safe while working on changing projects, both online and offline. The mobile application will carry top-level encryption, an alarm button for an emergency, fast and easy reporting of human rights violations, and give access to education material on public resistance and movement building. It will be available on Android and iOS. 

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