Black organizing SUMMER school

In the five years since the Ferguson Uprising, grassroots organizations have been responsible for policy wins including the passage of the Civilian Oversight Board in St. Louis City and increasing the state’s minimum wage. Organizations have also been central to the victories of progressive elected officials who are working to reform systems such as cash bail and policing in St. Louis.

Action St. Louis is committed to training new bold leadership that will continue to build power in our communities and win campaigns that will transform our lives. With this in mind, Action St. Louis has created the Black Organizing Summer School (BOSS). Organizers are crucial to the success of our movement and we created BOSS to ensure we continue to train, mentor and develop new leaders.

Goals of the Black Organizing Summer School (BOSS)

  1. To deepen participants knowledge of political organizing fundamentals and opportunities to apply training to current local campaigns.

  2. To sharpen participants political analysis around race, class and gender grounded in local history and movement building.

  3. To provide local grassroots organizations summer staff capacity, while giving current staff opportunities to sharpen training and facilitation skills.

  4. To foster and deepen relationship between participants and develop opportunities for mentorship with the existing class of Black organizers in St. Louis.

Each fellow will earn a stipend of $3,000 to be engaged in a full-time 8 week program that focuses on the fundamental tenets of community organizing.

Program elements include:

  • Organizing Training: Curriculum for organizing training is being developed by Action St. Louis in partnership with the Movement for Black Lives and Advancement Project.

  • Full Work Day: BOSS participants will be partnered with a local organization where they will apply organizing training directly to current campaigns. Their work will include registering  voters, collecting signatures for ballot initiatives, canvassing, having one-on-one meetings and shadowing experienced organizers in the field.

  • Boss Up Fridays: Participants will spend most Friday’s in deep political education with experienced community leaders and policy leaders. Participants may also be taken on cultural trips to deepen their understanding of local context and history or work on one organization’s campaign collaboratively.


The application for the 2019 BOSS Cohort has closed. Please join our mailing list to learn of any future opportunities!

If you’re a grassroots organization interested in hosting a fellow for the summer, learn more here.