Trainings Catalogue

NPEC offers a variety of trainings aimed at helping DSA members develop organizing skills and support chapter-level political education. This catalogue includes recordings of a recent session for most of our trainings, as well as slide decks, homework assignments, and other resources. We encourage you to draw on these materials to put on your own chapter-level trainings!

Want to see what trainings are coming up? Check out our calendar to see what’s ahead. Many of the trainings listed here are held multiple times a year, so keep an eye out if you’d like to attend them live. And for recordings of our political education panel events, check out our Events Catalogue!

All recordings and resources linked below are gathered in this folder for you to peruse at your convenience.

Socialist Night School

Session 1: What is Socialism? & how to facilitate – July 2022

This session of Socialist Night School training (the first of a two-session series) covers the basics of how to set up a Socialist Night School in your chapter, including a mini-lesson on what makes a good facilitator and a sample SNS module on What is Socialism?. Participants are introduced to the Five Rules for Feminist Process and the Jigsaw Reading method, with have time to discuss major takeaways and ask questions.

Session 2: What is Capitalism? & backwards planning – July 2022

This session of Socialist Night School training (the second of a two-session series) covers the basics of how to set up a Socialist Night School in your chapter, including a mini-lesson on how to plan a Socialist Night School session and a sample SNS module on What is Capitalism?. Participants engage in a reading exercise and small and large group discussions on the characteristics of capitalism and its defining features, with have time to discuss major takeaways and ask questions.

Child Watch

Session Recording – November 2022

This training, in collaboration with DSA’s National Mutual Aid Working Group, covers the basics of how to establish a child-minding program in your chapter. The training includes a discussion on what it means to do childcare from a socialist perspective, how to ensure kids’ safety and enjoyment, and practical considerations for including children in chapter events and meetings. It also includes time to discuss how we can make DSA events and meetings more accessible to parents, caregivers, and children in general. Slides linked here; additional recommendations from Seattle comrade Chris P linked here.

Strike Ready Child Watch – July 2023

This training covers much of the same ground as our broader Child Watch training, but also includes information specific to the picket line context. It includes a handout on important considerations for including children in strike situations, as well as suggested labor-related activities for our Socialist Sprouts.

Comradely Disagreement

Session Recording – June 2023

This training introduces participants to good practices for having productive, comradely disagreements and debates with fellow socialists, particularly fellow DSA members. It includes an introduction to reframing conflict, addressing value dilemmas and other conflict frames, and determining which specific terms to avoid in order to foster comradely disagreements (slides linked here). Participants are also given time to practice having a comradely discussion about a controversial topic in breakout groups, and these conversations are debriefed in the larger group. Slides for the July 2023 session, which included different and more Convention-specific discussion questions, are linked here. Blank “example conversation” slides for use in your chapter or working group are also included.

Talking to Non-Socialists

Session 1: How to Talk to Non-Socialists About Socialism – October 2022

This training introduces participants to good practices for having meaningful and effective conversations about socialism with non-socialists (particularly those who may be receptive to socialism). The first of a two-session series, this session focuses on the “how”: how do we approach potential comrades with empathy and openness? How can we ask good questions and share a positive vision with a non-socialist interlocutor? How might we use our own journeys of learning about socialism to influence our conversations with others? It also includes a brief intro to combating common capitalist talking points. Participants also have the opportunity to engage in an improv conversation and small- and large-group reflections.

Session 2: What to Talk About with Non-Socialists – October 2022

The second of a two-part session on talking to non-socialists about socialism, this session starts off with small-group debriefs of participants’ “homework” conversations with a non-socialist in their lives. It then dives into a more extensive presentation on how to combat common capitalist talking points. The session closes with a full-group discussion of takeaways from the training, and a Q&A to go over participants’ questions about conducting a similar training in their own chapters.

Civics for Socialists/Electoral Strategy 101

Session Recording – March 2023

Hosted in collaboration with the Queens Branch of NYC-DSA, this training covers the nuts and bolts of socialist electoral strategy. Topics include “Civics for Socialists” (how different levels and branches of government work in the US, and why it matters to us as socialists); electoral strategy for different national, state, and local contexts; how (and when) to mobilize DSA members around particular electoral issues and/or candidates; and real-world examples of how socialists win at the ballot box. Participants also have time to discuss and reflect on their own electoral contexts, particularly in the context of upcoming 2023 and 2024 elections.

Public Speaking Training

NPEC’s Speakers’ Training is by application only and is more intensive than our other trainings, so it is not recorded. Nonetheless, we have resources on public speaking and developing a presentation that can be used outside the context of Speakers’ Training. These include short presentations on how to develop a compelling presentation (slides here) and effective public speaking (slides here); a worksheet for developing a full-length presentation; and a checklist of things to consider when evaluating or providing feedback on someone else’s presentation.

Archives Workshop

This is a workshop for DSA members as part of the DSA Archives Project: a multifaceted, ongoing endeavor to preserve our material and digital culture and learn how to use our institutional histories to strengthen our organization and support the growth of socialist politics. This workshop is offered in happy collaboration with the Tamiment Archives at NYU, where DSA’s national archives are housed, and is co-sponsored by DSA Fund and the DSA National Political Education Committee (NPEC). The workshop is designed to help current chapter leaders and political educators organize their digital materials, learn how to preserve physical materials and educate their membership about how to do that, and begin thinking of projects to use archives for the benefit of DSA, and the wider public. It is framed by several baseline questions for instruction, and large and small-group discussion and visioning: What are archives, and what are they for? Why are archives important to socialists/socialism? What should we save, and how do we save it? What should we (DSA) do with our archives? Materials to aid in starting or improving your chapter’s archival work can be found here [CHANGE LINK TO VIEWER ONLY].