2023 has been a great year for political education, with no shortage of opportunities for the socialist-curious to find their place in the movement and for socialist organizers to advance working class power. Now with 2023 coming to an end, we in DSA’s National Political Education Committee wanted to take a moment to reflect on our organizing efforts over the last year.
Events and Speakers
This year, we hosted six panels viewed by over 3500 people, covering party building, the far right, imperialism, policing, Reconstruction, and Palestine. To hear from speakers like Luisa Martinez (@LuisaKnuckles), Gerald Horne, Sumaya Awad (@sumayaawad), and more. Check out our Events Catalogue.
We also launched our Speakers Bureau, an ever-expanding resource connecting DSA chapters with experienced organizers and subject experts to support political education at the local level across the country.
In 2023, we organized 13 trainings over seven topics, from organizing socialist night schools to child watch, from public speaking to Palestine, reaching over 750 people with hands-on experience and resources.
We also supported dozens of DSA chapters through our mentorship program, connecting experienced organizers with those looking to start up or improve their local political education efforts.
As one of the most successful areas of NPEC’s organizing, we look forward to continuing to develop and expand our role in making DSA chapters powerhouses of political education.
Earlier this year, we launched our new curriculum site for DSA chapters to use in their Socialist Night School events, featuring three introductory modules (What is Capitalism?, What is Socialism?, and Why the Working Class?) and a new deeper dive module (The US Labor Movement and the Socialist Role).
We also held our first-ever Foundational Political Education series, a three-part event based on our introductory modules, featuring guest speakers Sanjiv Gupta, Meagan Day, and Eric Blanc.
Our monthly Red Letter email continues to keep subscribers apprised of upcoming NPEC events, and helps direct them to educational materials on our website. In 2023, our email list grew by over one hundred to 4,912 subscribers. We have also added a public facing Google Calendar for events that people can follow.
When it comes to social media, we have remained most active on X, formerly Twitter, with 2,122 followers, reflecting a steady growth over the year. On Facebook we keep up a modest presence of 314 followers, regularly advertising committee events. And most notably, we began an account on the increasingly popular Bluesky platform, which we treat much like X with event updates.
Our committee podcast launched in late 2022 and has since seen explosive growth, with a 400% increase in listenership, 21 episodes released, and 10,000+ listens in the last year alone, putting it in the top 10% of podcasts.
This year’s episodes supplemented our curriculum modules like Why the Working Class?, explained DSA’s internal democracy at its 2023 Convention, and explored topics like labor organizing with guest speakers from @EWOC and In These Times’ @MilesKLassin.
NPEC and the NPC worked together to bring DSA to Haymarket Books’ Socialism 2023 Conference in Chicago, featuring seven panels on labor organizing, bodily autonomy, housing, ecosocialism, and more. You can see a full list of our panels here, and audio recordings from the conference here.
Looking Forward to 2024
All of the organizing we’ve undertaken this year is part of the continued growth and development of the socialist movement, but there’s much more work to be done. We hope to make 2024 an even bigger year for political education, building up class consciousness and a body of organizers with the ample knowledge and incisive critiques necessary for realizing the socialist horizon.
In the words of Marx, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” And together, we’ll do just that. So don’t wait, and join DSA today.