Winning Campaigns To Transform
Criminal Justice System

2021 FICPFM Organizer Training Fellowship

"Now is the time for an organizing training like this for our movement. I never had organizing 101. I learned on the fly. Here’s an opportunity now for people to actually get organizing 101 and become really skilled advocates."

Norris Henderson, Founder and Executive Director of Voice of the Experienced, FICPFM Steering Committee member

People everywhere are rising up to challenge the criminal justice system. The COVID-19 pandemic and the long-standing pandemics of police brutality and racism, make it more urgent than ever for directly impacted people to fight for change.

To seize this moment, we must strengthen our abilities to organize and strategize in new ways amidst rapidly changing conditions with our political climate, organizing online and on the ground, and race wars.

​This is the second year we will host the FICPFM Organizer Training Fellowship. This Fellowship is a two-phase certified online program for system impacted people aimed to equip participants with leadership skills and the capacity to respond with agency to the world's urgent challenges.

Last year, over 70 participants across the country had the opportunity to join the program and learn how to organize people to build the power they need to make change. Don’t miss the opportunity to continue developing your leadership skills!

All sessions will be conducted online via Zoom

Phase 1: Organizing Training

  • Two-day introductory workshop: September 11th and 12th, 2021 (Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 - 5:00 PM ET)

  • Four online sessions: September 16th to October 7th, 2021 (Every Thursday from 4:00 - 7:00 PM ET for 4 weeks)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS AUGUST 16th, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET! We have limited space in this program, so not everyone who registers may be able to participate this year. Register right away if you and/or your team are interested in participating!


  • Build the power of formerly incarcerated people;

  • Win local, state, and national campaigns to transform the criminal justice system;

  • Develop leadership skills to effectively organize online and offline;

  • Strengthen collaboration, strategizing, and coordination across groups;

  • Grow local chapters and membership; and

  • Develop a cohort of trainers to train and coach formerly incarcerated people.


Phase 1: Organizing Training 

Over this two-day introductory workshop and four-week free online course, formerly incarcerated and directly impacted organizers will build their capacity to organize by learning six leadership practices (see curriculum below) which can be used online and offline for base-building and winning campaigns.


WhenSeptember 11th and 12th, 2021

             Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 - 5:00 PM ET


             September 16th to October 7th, 2021

             Every Thursday from 4:00 - 7:00 PM ET for 4 weeks   

Who: Formerly incarcerated people (FIP) and directly impacted people from across FIP-led organizations. Participants may include, staff, directors of organizations, organizers, organizational members, and volunteers. We encourage campaign teams to join together.


WhatParticipants will join a 3-hour online experiential workshop designed to directly strengthen their work on the ground. Each session will feature a new skill, with hands-on opportunities to practice and receive feedback. Participants will receive a Certificate from the Leading Change Network upon completion.

Cost: This fellowship program is sponsored by CZI and it is fully paid for any participant that gets accepted into the program.

Registration deadline is August 16th, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET

About The Curriculum & Certification  

The Fellowship program’s curriculum is based on the Leading Change Network’s 6 core leadership practices, originally developed by Marshall Ganz and his associates. Throughout Phase 1 of the organizing training, participants will learn each of the 6 core leadership practices (coaching, public narrative, building relationships, team structure, creating strategy and action). Participants of Phase 2: Training for Trainers will learn how to coach and teach others each of these practices.

About the core leadership practices:

  • Coaching You can’t build a Super Bowl championship team without great coaching. Practice coaching and getting coached by directly impacted people in order to strengthen and deepen all of the leadership skills above. Coaching is the fundamental practice of enabling others to build their power and capacity as organizers and leaders. 

  • Public Narrative Learn how to tell your story, the story of this movement, and the story of this moment in a way that inspires hope and courage and moves people to take action for social change. Building your capacity to tell stories will boost public speaking skills that you can use to talk to the media, lobby legislators, and inspire others in your community to get involved. 

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  • Building Relationships — Movements grow at the speed of trust. Practice building trust and commitment with deep relationships based on authentic stories, shared values and interests, and mastering the organizing one-to-one conversation.

  • Team BuildingWhat does it take to win the Super Bowl? A championship team with great coaching and training. Learn how to build strong interdependent leadership teams online and offline. Meaningfully engage your people around a shared purpose, community agreements, and clear roles that enable you to have productive meetings, develop sharp strategy, set goals, and achieve your goals. ​​

  • Creating Strategy  — What’s your campaign goal right now? What’s your theory of change? Who is your target? What tactics and timeline will engage your base and build your power to win? Whether you are working to get people released from prisons and jails right now, supporting reentry programs, or changing state policy, the capacity to develop strategy, especially when the environment is rapidly changing, is critical in order to build your base and win. Learn what others in the movement are doing and strategize together to develop creative new strategies and tactics.

  • Action — Recruit and mobilize large numbers of directly impacted people to take action in ways that will not only advance your campaign goals, but also motivate them to stay engaged for the long haul.

All participants will receive a Certificate from the Leading Change Network (LCN), along with a one-year membership of LCN's Community of Practice, giving access to learning opportunities and connections with over 6,000 organizers in the US and the world. 


What the
FICPFM Organizer Training Fellowship 2020
Participants Said

I have more confidence in my public speaking, and I don't view my past incarcerations as a stigma or, for lack of a better word, bad mark. I now understand my lived experience is an asset to my community and I can use my story of self to inspire hope and be a testimony of redemption, second chances and what can happen when you support and invest in those who come from impoverished backgrounds.

I loved having the opportunity to practice leadership in a way that has helped me to grow as leader and engage in relationship & team building. I now have an extended network of directly impacted people to work with across state borders.

I feel like the training was very influential and had a good impact on my life in certain areas I really needed to grow in such as the 1 to 1 engagement, speaking in public, sharing my story, and helped me really build my confidence in these areas with the practicing and the teachings on these subjects.

A special thank you to last year’s FICPFM Fellowship 2020 Coaching Team: Abel R. Cano (Lead Trainer), Anjali Rodrigues (Head Coach), ​Nneka Akubeze, Kortni Malone, Marissa Ocampo, Miya Cain, R. Akwese Nkemontoh, Anjali Rodrigues, and Kai Mateo (Coaches for Phase 1), Andrea Ornelas (Shadow Coach), Nneka and Kortni (Coaches for Phase 2), Maggie Hughes (lead on technology support), and Core Team: Sarah ElRaheb (Fellowship Manager), Kai Mateo (Program Assistant) James Sleep (Communications Lead), Jeff Roussset (Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Liaison), Ana Babovic (Former LCN Executive Director), and Mais Irqsusi (Current LCN Executive Director).

About The Training Team 

The training will be delivered by a skilled team of trainers and coaches from the Leading Change Network. Rooted in community organizing, social movements, and civic traditions, the Leading Change Network's approach to change is an adaptive four-step pedagogy based on five key organizing practices that equip people with the leadership skills and capacity to respond with agency to the world’s urgent challenges. 

This approach was originally developed by world renowned organizer and professor, Marshall Ganz, in collaboration with a global community of activists and organizers. This framework is rooted in a rich history of organizing on the ground in the US and abroad — from the Civil Rights Movement and the United Farm Workers movement, to contemporary movements in a wide range of issue areas such as criminal justice reform, climate change and labor movements, education and healthcare reform, gender equality and political campaigns.

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Nneka Akubeze was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI to two incredible parents who taught her the value of faith, education, community, and justice. From the Catholic social justice teachings of her upbringing to her application of the same throughout life, Nneka discovered her voice at a young age. She went on to become a community organizer who works tirelessly with communities of color in an effort to secure collective liberation.


Nneka earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011. After graduating she worked as Executive Director for United Council of UW Students in the non-profit sector, endeavoring to improve access and affordability for students in Wisconsin and across the country. Over the course of her tenure, she served on the Wisconsin Leadership Development Project core team, cultivating new leadership and lasting change in the state of Wisconsin. She went on to join the Leading Change Network – a collective which supports new civic leadership that organizes communities to build power and create change. In 2016, Nneka examined her role in addressing broader, systemic harms and made the decision to step back from front line organizing to pursue her law degree.

Nneka Akubeze - Lead Trainer

About The Formerly Incarcerated &Convicted People’s Movement

The Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People & Families Movement (FICPFM) is a network of over 50 civil and human rights organizations that are led by people who are living with criminal records and their family members.  We are a national movement of directly impacted people speaking in our own voices about the need to end mass incarceration, America’s current racial and economic caste system.

The mission of FICPFM is to change the criminal justice system and find alternatives to incarceration and work toward a society where prisons do not exist.

FICPFM is led by a Steering Committee of leaders from across the Movement. Participants will get to hear directly from Steering Committee members and learn from their experiences building the movement.

FICPFM Steering Committee 

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George Galvis 


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Daryl Atkinson

Forward Justice

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Norris Henderson

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Bruce Reilly


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Dorsey Nunn

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Rev Vivian Nixon

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Deanna Hoskins


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Desmond Meade 


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Manuel La Fontaine

Burns Institute


Nneka attended Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston, TX graduating Magna Cum Laude. She launched her law practice shortly thereafter working in criminal law and immigration while earning her Master of Laws degree in Immigration and Nationality. Nneka works as an Of Counsel attorney with the Sparks Law Firm, handling anything from terroristic threats to federal drug charges.


In addition to her work as a criminal defense attorney and immigration lawyer, Nneka specializes in public narrative coaching and often works to prepare clients for testimony in court. She brings the same passion and dedication she has as an organizer to every case. In her spare time, Nneka enjoys playing her guitar and watching 90s sitcoms.

Kortni Malone is a community organizer, strategist, and trainer, hailing from Detroit, MI. She has spent the past ten years fighting for the liberation of Black people in Michigan and across the country. A teacher by trade, Kortni left the school system in Detroit to seek new ways to build power with her community. The first such way was as the Director of Outreach at the Brightmoor Alliance, an organization focused on elevating the prosperity of residents in the Brightmoor community--the neighborhood where she was born and raised. She has also worked at the intersection of issue advocacy and electoral strategy with organizations like Color of Change, NextGen America, and Elizabeth Warren for President. Throughout her career, she has trained thousands of folks from teachers in the classroom to professionals in the organizing world to volunteers and community members—always cultivating leadership and building power to fight for change.


Currently she is the Director of Leadership Development at Coworker.org, a laboratory for working people to experiment with power building strategies to win meaningful changes in the 21st century economy.  Kortni believes that everyday folks, with the vision, the preparation, and a good plan, have the power they need to get the change they seek. 

Kortni Malone - Head Coach

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Miya Cain - Leadership Development Coordinator

Miya brings a decade of experience working in public health in the U.S. and globally. She is currently a Senior Consultant at FSG, a nonprofit firm that partners with organizations working to advance social change. Her work at FSG has centered on multi sector collaboration and foundation strategy development, with a particular focus on advancing physical and behavioral health equity for marginalized and underresourced communities.

Before FSG, Miya taught Public Narrative with Professor Marshall Ganz at the Harvard Kennedy School and worked with students on grassroots organizing efforts, such as organizing with hotel workers to secure their rights to fair labor conditions. She continues to coach and organize with community organizers and leaders across the country.  Miya is the Leadership Development Coordinator for the FICPFM organizing fellowship 2021 and was a coach for the inaugural year of the program in 2020.


Previously, Miya worked in Washington, D.C. as a political appointee for the Obama Administration at the Department of Health and Human Services and as a White House Associate in the Office of the Vice President. She also worked as a Supply Chain Analyst for Partners in Health in rural Rwanda, where she helped improve the management and distribution of essential medicines and medical supplies, worked to improve care for premature babies, and streamlined services at an HIV clinic for youth. 

Miya received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology-Behavioral Neuroscience from Yale University and her Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. She was born and raised in Miami, Florida and feels at home anywhere by the ocean. 

Phase 2: Training For Trainers To Continue To Build The Movement

After the six-week online organizing training, a subset of participants will be invited to join a Training for Trainers online program. Over the course of six weeks, participants will develop a deeper understanding of the content and pedagogy, while learning how to effectively coach and train new leaders on the ground.

Newly trained trainers from Phase 2 will be encouraged and supported to provide ongoing training for the FICPFM network, local affiliates, and directly impacted communities.

When: October 28th to December 9th, 2021 from 4:00 - 7:00 PM ET

Who:  A subset of people who completed Phase 1 of the program will be invited to join Phase 2. 

What: Participants will join 6 weekly online workshops over the course of 6-weeks. Participants will receive a Certificate from the Leading Change Network upon completion.

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About Our Partnership

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Movement Capacity Building Team is partnering with the Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People & Families Movement and Leading Change Network to deliver these courses, with the aim to create leadership training opportunities for grantees and members of the FICPFM Network and the State Justice Accelerator Program.