In March and April of 2022, The Action Lab led a learning delegation of some of the most dynamic community and labor organizers in the US and Puerto Rico to build with left and base organizations in Chile around the shared international project of ending neoliberalism and constructing a world based in human dignity and liberation. This is the first of many opportunities The Action Lab will organize to build relationships and solidarity with aligned partners across the world.
The dramatic events in Chile that unfolded over the past few year, which culminated in the election by plebiscite of Constituent Assemblies charged with rewriting the Pinochet constitution, creates a once in a lifetime opportunity for community organizations in the US and Puerto Rico to learn about models of structurally reforming the ravages of a neoliberal political economy. The combination of mass mobilization, democratic political engagement, base organization support, and participation from working class feminist, youth, and indigenous sectors creates a dynamic mix of emergent models from which US and Puerto Rico organizations can learn.
Our delegation included both people with deep roots in Chile and its movements and those with the ability to move people and resources in the US and Puerto Rico. In addition to leaders from The Action Lab community, we brought:
- THE CENTER FOR POPULAR DEMOCRACY, the largest national organization of member-based community organizations in the US, working directly with 53 affiliates and partners in 131 cities across 34 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC.
- COMMUNITY CHANGE, a national organization founded in 1968 that builds power from the ground up guided by the belief that effective and enduring social movements must be led by those most impacted by injustice themselves.
- CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK / PROFESSIONAL STAFF CONGRESS (CUNY/PSC), the union that represents 30,000 faculty and staff at the City University of New York (CUNY) and the CUNY Research Foundation.
- NEXTGEN AMERICA, which harnesses the power of young voters to reshape the political outcome of our country — not for an election cycle but for a generation.
- THE URBAN DEMOCRACY LAB, a meeting space for movement activists, practitioners, established and emerging scholars to dialogue, learn and and imagine together, housed at the NYU Gallatin School.
- VAMOS POR PUERTO RICO, a group working towards Puerto Rico’s decolonization via food sovereignty, education, community organizing and leadership development.
- LA ESCUELA DE LIDERAZGO POLITICO Y COMUNITARIO, a group building the leadership pipeline of black Puerto Rican youth in the southeast of the island into politics and policy making positions in Puerto Rico
- LA CLARA, which promotes youth participation in Local Puerto Rican elections, primarily via social and earned media
- AWOOD CENTER, which builds East African worker power and focused on improving standards for Amazon’s mostly east African workers in Minneapolis, MN.
- CENTRO DE TRABAJADORES UNIDOS EN LA LUCHA, which organizes low-wage workers in Minnesota with education and empowerment to fight for a voice in their workplaces and in their communities.
- INQUILINXS UNIDXS POR JUSTICIA (IX), base-building nonprofit working with low-income renters working to transform the Minneapolis housing system.
- SEIU LOCAL 26,a union of predominantly Black and Brown low-wage workers.
- UNIDOS MN, an immigrant-led, multigenerational, Latinx based community organization that builds power for social, racial and economic justice.
- NEW JUSTICE PROJECT, an African American worker center, a black-led organizing hub focused on building power for and with low income and no income Black Minnesotans by organizing in the policy areas of jobs, housing and supporting the ongoing work of reimagining community safety.
- ISAIAH, a multi-racial, state-wide, nonpartisan coalition of faith communities, Black barbershops, childcare centers, and other community based constituencies fighting for racial and economic justice in Minnesota
- BLACK VISIONS COLLECTIVE (BLVC) is a Black-led, Queer, and Trans centering organization whose mission is to organize powerful, connected Black communities and dismantle systems of violence.
View the itinerary below, which lists the many inspiring and courageous activists who shared their perspectives in conversations with the delegation.
In June 2022 a delegation of seven activists from Chile will travel to the US in a reciprocal exchange with The Action Lab and other allies across the country.
“El Encuentro” will be a traveling knowledge exchange that will shine a spotlight on the role women, particularly women who identify as indigenous, are leading and shapeshifting Chile’s path towards structural change. El Encuentro will feature an in-person screening of Primera, an award winning documentary film that tells the story of the 2020 social uprising in Chile that began with a student-led protest over a 30 pesos transportation fare hike, and ended with a historic plebiscite that propelled the writing of a new constitution. It will be followed by two days of workshops on narrative change, coalition work , and peace and security. Workshops will be led by Chilean activists in conjunction with activists of color from North America.