I AM 2018 Civic Engagement Campaign

I AM Activist Training

April 2 – 4, Memphis

Apply for the activist training today

How it works

The I AM 2018 Activist Training will arm participants with the tools they need to mobilize and educate around local issues in their neighborhoods, and connect them with community experts and activists.  Applicants from around the country will be selected to participate in the activist training during the commemoration events in Memphis on April 2-4, 2018. After Memphis, activists will be connected with a local I AM 2018 City Mentor and/or I AM 2018 partner organization to set goals and support organizing activities.  Additional resources include national check-ins, online toolkits, and additional training opportunities.

What’s in it for you

This historic moment is an opportunity for you to learn from and collaborate with social justice leaders, be a part of the continuation of the work that Dr. King began and commemorate a spirit of solidarity and activism. If sitting in the same room as the Memphis sanitation workers and Dr. King did in 1968 to strategize actions after the death of their union brothers does not do it for you; maybe being mentored by leading experts, strategizing with other change agents or sharpening your toolbox, digital, and leadership skills WILL!

Topics for the training will include:   issue education and messaging, creating literature, one-on-one organizing conversations, preparing door-to-door and phone banking programs, volunteer turnout, nonpartisan organizing (the do’s and don’ts), and digital organizing.

What you need to know

  • Availability to dedicate an average of 20-30 hours a month to civic engagement efforts
  • Personal laptop and smartphone
Application and Registration:
  • Applications Deadline: Feb 23
  • Notification of Acceptance: March 2
  • There are no registration fees. However, selected applicants, or their sponsor organization will be responsible for covering hotel and travel costs.
  • Applicants are responsible for identifying their own sponsor organizations to cover travel and hotel costs. Non-sponsored applicants will be notified if financial assistance is available upon acceptance.
  • Hotel rooms have been blocked at a rate of $175-200 plus tax per night.

Apply for the Activist Training today


I AM Activist Training

Location: (Where it all began) Mason Temple Basement

Dates and Times:

  • April 2, Monday 12 PM- 6 PM
  • April 3, Tuesday 8:30 AM- 5 PM
  • April 4, Wednesday 9 AM- 2 PM (I AM March, Rally, and Musical Guests)

Selected applicants will help achieve the Dream through the I AM Civic Engagement Campaign

Community mobilization and voter contact
  • Issue Education and Advocacy (Primarily Criminal Justice and Economic Equality) 
  • Voter Registration
  • GOTV efforts
Providing resources and an online toolkit to support
  • Digital Organizing
  • Messaging and Talking Points
  • Organizing Best Practices
Exposure to expert and peer coaching and network building
  • Access to a local anchor organization partnered with I AM 2018
  • Opportunities to coordinate with national and local coalition partners
  • Ongoing connection with other I AM 2018 activist from around the country


About the Civic Engagement Campaign

In 1968, After the tragic and avoidable deaths of their coworkers Echol Cole and Robert Walker, Memphis sanitation workers went on strike to demand fair wages and safe working conditions. That spring, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. traveled to Memphis to join the strikers — future members of AFSCME Local 1733 — in solidarity. On April 3, he delivered his prophetic “Mountaintop” speech at the historic Mason Temple, the global headquarters of Church of God In Christ (COGIC). Less than 24 hours later, he was assassinated.

On April 2-4, 2018, AFSCME, COGIC, civil, human and other workers’ rights leaders will gather in Memphis for a series of events honoring Dr. King’s legacy and the courage and sacrifice of the sanitation workers.

This is more than a commemoration; it is a call to action. The I AM 2018 campaign, whose theme is taken from the strikers’ iconic slogan, “I AM A MAN”, will train and mobilize activists to make a change in their communities in 2018 and beyond. The initiative will include organizing, community actions, and strategic partnerships.

We are asking YOU to help build a movement of dedicated activists who can continue the unfinished work of realizing Dr. King’s dream.