Events can be used to educate the public, to recruit members to your organization, to build relationships with other organizations, to get press coverage, and to raise money.
This allows you to bring people together, to educate them about the issues, and to begin a process of discussion and decision-making. To ensure that the event is well planned and runs smoothly, we suggest that you first assemble a small initial planning group of 3-8 people. This group should put together a program, choose a date and location, and plan a publicity strategy. After identifying all tasks that need to be accomplished, divide them among the members of the planning group.
Speakers Panel or Teach-In
A public forum featuring a series of speakers is one option. In addition to discussing Citizens United, Corporate Personhood and the need to amend the Constitution, you can ask your speakers to talk about how corporate power affects your community. Try to schedule speakers that reflect the diversity of your community and who can speak from a variety of perspectives.
Good speakers do not need to be experts or have impressive titles; while it is fine to include a university professor or elected official, also consider high school students, members of communities of faith, and individuals with compelling personal stories. Assign each speaker a different topic, and let each person know how much time they will have and the order and topics of the other speakers on the program.
Arts and culture events are other possibilities. Feel free to be creative! You can put on a play about Citizens United (we have several scripts to choose from), sponsor a children's art contest on Corporate Personhood, or host a concert or poetry reading. Street theater, guerilla art, or flash mobs are other ways to creatively send a message to the public and garner media attention.
Screen a Movie
Movies are a great way to bring people together and educate them on important issues. This can be as simple as inviting a group of friends to watch a movie at your house. Or, you can reach out to the wider community and publicize the screening in newspapers, blogs and on the radio. We've compiled several great selections to consider.
If you coordinate your screening with relevant current events, holidays or occasions, you may increase the number of people interested in attending.
Also, many great independently made movies do not get shown widely, so maybe you can help bring a new topical release to your local independent movie theater.
Consider asking other organizations to endorse your event. Endorsing organizations may be willing to donate money or resources, and can also help you publicize the event. For other suggestions on publicity.
- Tips for Event Outreach
- Using Social Media to Promote Events
- Also check out our "Events" section of the toolkit