The Survival & Thrival Guide is meant to catalog and share our hard-won wisdom for intersectional justice work on campuses where religion is an obstacle. This information will be kept confidential, you may remain anonymous, and members of this community at the center of this struggle will be able to access this information by vetted membership to the online guide. Your participation here guarantees your membership to the Guide. If you have any questions, please contact Jordyn@soulforce.org

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* 1. First let's do demographics (we need this so we can provide you your access code!)

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* 2. What issues and models of activism have you been a part of re: campus?

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* 3. Now on to the details of how you find your comrades.

The first challenge or task some people face is finding their theological and political comrades. How have you tried (successfully or not) to reach your "team of the willing"? What kind of advice can you give for what works, what's (too) vulnerable, what is appropriate to your unique environment? Were pre-existing student groups a helpful place to start? What's the politics of that?

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* 4. This next question is about building shared space.

Assuming that you have worked with at least one other person re: campus change, how do you all build shared ideas, language, politics, and theology? Has that been necessary? If yes, how has that common cause help your work?

We're wondering about blogs you read, ways you stay connected to people in similar situations, the kinds of discussions you hold among yourselves, where perhaps some campus classes have fit into the picture. All your tips, experience, and advice is welcome.

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* 5. Now on to what you have done or hope to do. What kinds of activities have been necessary or desirable, on and off campus? What kinds of organizing help you build capacity? Alliances? Awareness? Courage? Healing? Self & Community care?

We're curious about your thoughts on the decisions you make re: public vs. private change work. What is gained by either approach? What is lost?

What have been your goals (reducing isolation, surviving, getting comfortable in your own skin, building up your identity, changing policies, meeting with admin, changing curricula, etc.) and why did you choose them? Did you have a strategic plan going in, or does it feel more ad hoc? Why is that?

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* 6. What makes it possible to do your work? Some areas to consider...

Logistically: physical materials, transportation, space to meet, food, etc.

Personally: self-affirmation, affirmation from others like church or faculty/staff, building kinship with students or alumni who sustain me, etc.

Relationally: Professor support, admin relationships, relationships to existing student groups, the school newspaper, the student government, etc.

Environmentally: campus current events, the way campus is laid out, the power that certain groups or employees hold, the explicit values or commitments of campus, religious tenets of the campus, classroom curricula, etc.

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* 7. Let's talk about challenges and opportunities.

What are the unique challenges and strategic opportunities that are presented by your campus? Are there any challenges you are running up against that you just can't "crack"? What has made your activism surprising or challenging, in ways outsiders might not expect? 

Conversely, what about your campus has offered up opportunities and neat points of leverage to accomplish what you want to do? What have been unexpected inroads, tips, tricks, and solutions that have made it possible to accomplish your goals?

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* 8. What have you learned?

What are your gains in political analysis and strategy design? We're wondering about what's worth your effort, what's not, the political dynamics of talking about race and queerness and religious spaces, navigating administration and staff and professors, etc.

This is the time and place for documenting "institutional" memory of your hard won political smarts so that others get to benefit from your trials, errors, and gains.

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* 9. Final wisdom for the road.

What are your cautionary tales? The hand of god moments where you had a breakthrough? The unbelievable gains you have made and how that impacted you, your group, or your campus? The guidance you would pass on to an incoming freshman, professor, or staff member?

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* 10. What question did we not ask but should have? Let us know, and then answer it here!

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