During the co-creation of the Grassroots Solidarity Revolution, the group of Grassroots Changemakers highlighted that activists need informal spaces to connect among peers beyond their work agendas, cultivate relationships, unwind, support their individual and collective well-being, and exchange knowledge and skills. They proposed to schedule a few meetings outside the co-creation process, where there would be space to meet the people behind the activists, play games, sing, dance, practice relaxation exercises, and explore new ways for collaboration. They call them Jam Sessions.
The team enjoyed the Jam Sessions so much that proposed to promote them as part of the campaign, inviting other activists to host their own events.
In 2021, eight grassroots activists from different countries received guidance and financial support to host virtual Jam Sessions for peers within and outside their groups and movements!
This is a Jam Session
Jam Sessions are informal, intimate, and vibrant spaces designed by and for activists to promote human connection, joy, collective healing, and well-being. These are also spaces to explore and reimagine new organising realities and visions, share skills, and establish collaborations.
A Jam Session can be a virtual or in-person event and can be as short or as long as your group needs and wants. Hosting a Jam Session should not always involve a lot of preparation work and planning (therefore the name), but it is good to have some plan and activities in mind to be sure that everyone enjoys and values the experience.
Stay tuned because we will soon publish a Jam Session toolkit for those interested in these types of spaces!
Why are spaces like Jam Sessions important to grassroots activists?
- While activism is all about human relationships, activists spend most of their time planning, organising, mobilising, doing lobby, looking for resources, and many also have other jobs to earn a livelihood. This grueling pace often limits the time they can spend among peer activists connecting beyond the day-to-day activities and urgencies related to their activism.
- Grassroots activists have very limited resources for their activism and most receive zero support for activities that are not related to projects, including team building, skill building, mental health, and well-being.
- Grassroots groups and movements lack opportunities to connect with others, build alliances, and create shared visions.
It is therefore imperative to facilitate more support and resources that enable grassroots activists to organise spaces for peers that nurture them at an individual and collective level.
2022 Jam Sessions are about to kick off!
We are excited to announce that a new group of grassroots activists from around the world have been selected to organise and host more Jam Sessions for grassroots activists during the last months of 2022 and early 2023. They come from Algeria, Belarus, Colombia, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, and Thailand and are part of groups and movements working on the right to protest.
If you are interested in learning more about this initiative, please contact us at email@example.com.