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Galvanizing Tomorrow's Civic Leaders

Community Organizing Institute

What is the Community Organizing Institute?

Community Organizing Institute 1

CCESL offers an annual community organizing institute that equips participants with tools to effectively bring about social change. Community organizing topics covered include: privilege and oppression, identities, self-interest, collective self-interest, power, one-to-one interviews, and planning and implementing a public action plan.

The institute features innovative, small-group activities as well as large-group discussion and a working lunch, during which participants can practice one-to-one skills.

The event is open to DU students, faculty, and staff and kicks off with a keynote address from a leading community organizer.

This year the Community Organizing Institute will be held on October 5th with speaker Regan Byrd.

All students in CCESL programs should plan to attend this institute. Students who have previously completed this institute are eligible to serve as student leaders/facilitators at the institute.

For more information, please contact Alexandra Schweigert at [email protected], or at 303-871-3328.

Community Organizing Handbook

Community Organizing Institute

The CCESL staff has written a Community Organizing Handbook (PDF) that we use in the institute, civic engagement programs and courses.

This handbook can be used to develop public skills and organize people for change. We provide this online tool as a public resource.

If you have questions, or would like to print or distribute this handbook, please contact us at 303-871-3706, or at [email protected].


Registration for the 2018 Community Organizing Institute is available here

2018 Keynote Speaker

reganRegan is an award-winning community activist and non-profit professional with over 11 years of experience in grassroots and social justice non-profit organizations, formerly working for The Arc of Jefferson County, 9to5 Colorado: National Association of Working Women, and Hunger Free Colorado. Regan Byrd is currently the Data and Systems Manager at The Bell Policy Center, a progressive progressive research and advocacy organization focused on economic mobility, working in operations, HR, IT, and financial management. She has served as the co-chair of the board of directors for 9to5 Colorado for 7 years and treasurer of the board of directors for Colorado People's Alliance for 1.5 years. Regan is also a former commissioner on the Aurora Humans Rights Commission, and former board member for the youth mentorship non-profit "YESS Institute". She is a graduate of the Transit Alliance's Citizen Academy and Emerge Colorado, a training program for women running for office. She is a recent graduate of the Denver Metro Chamber's "Impact Denver" leadership class of Spring 2018.

Regan is also a recognized anti-oppression activist, speaker, and trainer. She has trained various organizations on anti-oppression and allyship, including the Colorado Women's Bar Association, the Colorado Mid-Wives Association, the Sierra Club, and Denver Public Schools. Regan has served as the morning keynote speaker for the DU Women's Conference in 2017, the DU Allyship Summit in 2018, and was a trainer at the 2018 HerDU conference. She participated in various expert panels on topics ranging from critical race theory, the history of police, and housing justice.

Regan has a deep commitment to social justice, institutional systems change, and collective liberation. She believes this is best done through self-reflexivity, strong allyship, knowledge cultivation, intentional inclusivity, coalition building, and dismantling systems of oppression.

Regan Byrd is an alumni of the University of Denver's undergraduate program, with dual B.A. degrees in Public Policy and Sociology, and minors in Gender and Women's Studies, and English. Regan has been named a "Woman to Watch" by the Denver League of Women Voters, and is the winner of the 2015 Lilly Ledbetter award from 9to5 Colorado.

In her free time, she enjoys making fun of bad movies, exploring the Denver dining scene, competitive video gaming, and fawning over new technology.


Last Update: 9/14/18