Democracy Camp 2017

Democracy Camp 2017

A Training Summit for European Immigrant & Minority Leaders
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Attendance by application only

In the face of rising anti-immigrant and anti-democratic movements across Europe and the US, the National Partnership for New Americans, the Migration Policy Group, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America are collaborating to host a three-day intensive training program for migrant and minority leaders. The Democracy Camp 2017 will bring together leading immigrant organizers from the US and Europe to share strategies for movement building and strategic political action with approximately 30 carefully selected participants from across Europe. The training philosophy builds on the firm conviction that vibrant democracies require the full political engagement and social inclusion of immigrant and minority communities—especially at a time when democratic pluralism is fundamentally threatened. To this end, the Democracy Camp 2017 will strengthen transatlantic collaboration between US and European immigrant and minority leaders and better equip participants to effectively advocate for their communities. 

To see the tentative three-day program, click here. To learn about the organizing team, click here

The Democracy Camp 2017 is part of the larger Transatlantic Migrant Democracy Dialogue (TMDD). Launched in 2015, this ongoing dialogue brings together U.S. and European migrant leaders to share best-practice strategies on migrant-led civic engagement and immigrant integration policies. The Democracy Camp 2017 is the third activity of this dialogue.

Trainings will focus on:

  • Building and winning migrant-led justice organizing campaigns and actions,
  • Effective organizing, including leadership training and selecting winnable issues,
  • Alliance, solidarity and welcoming strategies, including choosing effective partners and building solidarity within and between immigrant/minority communities,
  • Civic participation and electoral strategies, including local voting, naturalization, and year-round civic engagement.

Participants will be carefully selected based on previous organizing and leadership experience in immigrant and minority communities. Eligible participants will come directly from immigrant/minority communities and organizations. Each participant should bring a proposal for a migrant-led justice organizing campaign or action to workshop during the training, and will receive ongoing mentorship and support to carry out this campaign/action over the following year. The overarching goal of the Democracy Camp is be a launch pad for continuing actions and partnerships that promote the political participation of immigrant and minority communities across the US and Europe.

What is a migrant-led justice organizing campaign or action?

Our definition of a “migrant-led justice organizing campaign” is an advocacy campaign that is genuinely conceived and led by migrants, with migrant spokespeople, to gain better rights and improve solidarity and social justice in their local or national communities. We use the term “migrants” broadly to include both first-generation immigrants and refugees and second- or third- generation persons whose immigrant background makes them a minority in their country.

migrant-led justice organizing campaign is the embodiment of grassroots democracy. Migrant leaders organize migrant communities to act together toward specific goals; strategically organize allies from the majority community; build political will; and communicate through the media to both migrants and to the larger community. The goal is to strengthen migrant leadership, win specific improvements in rights, solidarity and social justice, and build a more inclusive, responsive democracy. Migrant-led justice organizing campaign strategies may involve community organizing, alliance building and welcoming activities, and civic and political engagement.

Why participate?

Participants will have the unique opportunity to:

  • Learn action-oriented strategies, frameworks, and tools for successful community organizing and for the civic participation of immigrants from the best trainers in the US and Europe
  • Meet other immigrant and minority leaders from across Europe and US and help build a growing transatlantic training and mentoring network
  • Hear case studies of successful immigrant/minority organizing campaigns from the men and women who led them
  • Workshop your own campaign ideas, hear what other immigrant/minority organizers across Europe are planning, and develop partnerships and collaborations
  • Receive ongoing mentoring from leading organizers following the training
  • Be inspired to action!


We seek participants who:

  • Represent the diversity of immigrants and minorities across Europe
  • Have demonstrated leadership experience, particularly in mobilizing their communities for political action
  • Are proficient in English
  • Have strong references that can speak to their experience in migrant/minority movements
  • Are deeply committed to organizing a campaign or action following the training

Applicants who can show that they have the support of others, of an organization or a network, to carry out the proposed campaign or action will be given stronger consideration.

Note: This training is open to all ages. Participants with no or limited organizing experience are encouraged to explain how this training will enable their future organizing work and to describe other relevant experience that they bring. 


The application period for the Democracy Camp 2017 has ended. 


To the extent possible, travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the sponsoring organizations. Final information on funding will be communicated to the selected participants.