Class Action Training of Trainers

Class Action is pleased to announce that we will be hosting East and West coast Training of Trainers in 2013. This intensive, hands-on training is the first step in becoming a recognized Class Action Associate Trainer.

West Coast Training – Friday, February 15 – Sunday, February 17

Oakland, California

West Coast Training – Sign up HERE

East Coast Training – Friday, January 11th – Sunday, January 13th

Amherst, Massachusetts

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Class Action conducts workshops for schools, non-profits, religious organizations, social change organizations, and other groups to identify class issues impacting their work. Download our workshop brochure  for more details about the types of workshops you will learn to facilitate.

Class is so pervasive to our experiences, it’s hard to realize until you have specific space in which to talk about it.

Non-profit director

Why become a Class Action trainer?

  1. Meaningful contribution to society and, in particular, to ending classism
  2. Opportunity for learning and personal growth (e.g. content development; co-facilitation with other trainers)
  3. Income
  4. Community and belonging

Core Frameworks

This is where we are coming from – what we do will not be in contradiction to these basic values/beliefs.

  1. People of all classes and class backgrounds can be allies and leaders towards ending classism [neither the framework of higher class paternalism, nor the framework that the poor are the only ones qualified for leadership]
  2. People from all classes can take responsibility to move towards ending patterns of internalized classism in themselves.
  3. All isms matter and intersect. Any individual may frame the world from their own ranked order of isms. Class Action does not rank the isms. What we do is focus on the world through a classism lens.
  4. We aim to explore classism with curiosity and compassion, not with blame.
  5. Exploring class is both an intellectual and emotional journey. We seek to make space for both elements.
  6. We understand class to be multi-dimensional, including income, wealth, status, social capital, cultural capital, and the power to make decisions and allocate resources
  7. We understand that class operates personally, culturally, institutionally – consciousness affects conditions and conditions affect consciousness.

Is this training right for you?

This training is intended for individuals who have some experience teaching or training anti-oppression or economic inequality.  

We want Associate Trainers who support Class Action’s mission, vision and core frameworks and who:

  1. See themselves as life-long learners (humility, openness)
  2. Have great capacity for empathy and compassion (able to be with the emotional intensity that can arise in workshops, curious rather than judgmental about what lies behind people’s emotions)
  3. Are skillful in communication (able to communicate concepts, activity directions, logistics and plans clearly)
  4. Are skillful as workshop leaders both in content and process (able to design, able to shift design on the fly; knowledgeable about class, classism, economic inequality, popular education methods)
  5. Are willing to support the well-being of Class Action as an organization (has identity with Class Action and acts in partnership rather than seeing CA as only a source of income; see list below for what supports the well-being of CA)
  6. Are willing to help develop CA training program, e.g. mentor less-experienced CA trainers, share some of own materials and exercises with CA, participate in face-to-face meetings and conference calls, as time allows.

Meet your facilitators

Jerry Koch-Gonzalez

Jerry grew up in La Habana, Cuba until his family moved in 1961 to Queens, New York City, when he was eight years old. Since then he has lived on the bridge of identity between middle class and working class Latino and white, heterosexual and gay, Catholic and Atheist/Buddhist. Jerry has worked as a trainer and consultant with the Institute for Peaceable Communities, the Center for Peaceable Schools, the National Coalition Building Institute, and the Association for Resident Controlled Housing. Currently he teaches Compassionate/Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and dynamic self-governance (Sociocracy). He served on the Board of United for a Fair Economy for a number of years before becoming a founding Board member of Class Action. He served as Class Action’s Interim Executive Director from February to September of 2010.

Phyllis Labanowski

Phyllis Labanowski, co-author of Created Equal, is a stepmother, grandmother, godmother, and aunt-so she takes our future seriously. She suffered 12 years of bad teachers growing up in the public schools of rural, up-state New York-so she became a teacher. She was raised in a racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, working class, Polish family-so she became an activist. As a result of hearing the collective visions of activists and organizers nation-wide and the role of artists in those visions, she went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston at age 50. Now she is a graphic messenger supporting people and organizations that are doing good work in the world and is also working on contemporary public ceremony through Water Dances and Land Rituals.

Tanya O. Williams

Tanya O. Williams, Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion at Mt. Holyoke College, was born and raised in Houston, Texas by working-class African American Southern parents.  Tanya first encountered experiences with racism and classism when she was bused to the predominately white, public Poe Elementary School in a wealthy part of Houston where she also attended junior high and high school. After attending college and working in higher education student affairs, Tanya returned to school to study Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts where she completed her doctorate. Her dissertation is on internalized racism and a path to liberation for African Americans.

Training Schedule

Friday Evening

  • 6:00 – 6:30pm  Register, meet-and-greet with current trainers and other trainees
  • 6:30 – 8:30pm  Basic Exploring Class workshop, co-led by current trainers (limited spaces will also be open to the public)
  • 8:30 – 9:30pm  Debrief


  • Breakfast (provided)
  • 8:30am – 9:30am  Introductions, Agenda, Guidelines
  • 9:30am – 12:30pm  Class Intersection, Personal Testimonials, ID/NVC
  • Lunch (provided)
  • 1:00pm – 3:30pm  Race & Class, ECCW
  • 3:30pm – 5:30  Exercise practice, workshop prep & evaluation
  • Dinner (provided)
  • 7:00pm – 9:00pm  Approaching classism through the arts


  • Breakfast (provided)
  • 8:30am – 9:30am  History of Class Action & What it means to be a Class Action trainer
  • 9:30am – 12:30pm  Practice Leading
  • Lunch (provided)
  • 1:30pm – 4:00pm  Practice Modules
  • 4:00pm – 5:00pm  Marketing gigs, evaluation


Cost is calculated on a $0-$1,000 sliding scale based on the size of your organization. Suggested rates are below:

$1,000  Organizations and Institutions with annual budgets over $1M
$500     Organizations with annual budgets between $500-999K
$250     Organizations with annual budgets between $150-499K
$100     Individuals & Organizations with budgets under $150K

West Coast Training – Sign up HERE

There is very limited scholarship funding available to cover the cost of the workshop and/or travel and accommodations. If you wish to apply for scholarship funding please fill out this form once you have completed the sign-up form.