2013 Summer Organizing Retreats

"I attended REC's Summer Organizing Institute in 2009 and it was truly inspiring! ...  I met a bunch of smart, fun students from other campuses, learned about the initiatives they were undertaking, and applied their ideas and tactics to my school's campaign.  The skills I learned at the Summer Organizing Institute have been integral to my organizing and I strongly recommend it for any student that also wants to create change on their campus." Mary Schellentrager, American University '10

About REC Summer Organizing Retreats

How would you change the world with one million dollars? What about $10 million, $100 million, or $1 billion? Students across the country are standing up to corporate power and demanding control over their universities' money!

Universities, as major institutional investors, are failing their communities by supporting the financial status quo in higher ed: maximizing profit over all social or environmental considerations; choosing high-risk, high-reward dealings; investing in highly complex financial instruments with little transparency; banking with Wall Street, instead of equally sound local community institutions; and choosing to not engage or influence the corporations in which they’re investing.

Youth are getting together and piece-by-piece, campaign-by-campaign, building an endowment movement. We invite you to join other students from around the country for a week-long training retreat to develop your endowment knowledge and share strategies from across the movement! Our summer program is perfect for someone new to the responsible investment movement in higher education, or for someone looking to develop a strong campaign plan for next year. There is no previous experience or knowledge required.

What will be covered?

We will be discussing a number of subjects relevant to today’s student leaders, including:

  • Confronting corporate power: corporations and universities

  • How to understand your endowment and the responsible investment strategies that can develop alternative economies

  • How to be an effective student leader: recruiting, engaging, and organizing your campus

  • Analyzing success stories! How has responsible investment impacted workers’ rights; environmental justice issues such as climate change, hydraulic fracturing and mountaintop removal coal mining; corporate contributions and our political system; LGBTQ nondiscrimination; poverty in our local communities; and much more.

Who should apply?

If you have a passion for social justice and are prepared for an intensive and intimate experience, you have everything you need. The goal of this training is to provide students with all of the knowledge they would need to create change at their university from the ground up. No previous knowledge or experience in finance, organizing, or activism is required.

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Northeast Summer Organizing Retreat

Where: Murray Grove Retreat and Renewal Center, Lakona Harbor, NJ. Within two hours of NYC and Philadelphia by car, and also fully accessible to both cities by public transit
When: Sunday evening -- Saturday morning, July 28 -- August 3, 2013


West Coast Summer Organizing Retreat

Where: Ben Lomond Quaker Center, Ben Lomond, CA. Less than 2 hours south of San Francisco by car, and also accessible by public transit.

When: Saturday evening -- Friday morning, August 17 -- 23, 2013


The suggested tuition -- including food, housing, and staff time for the entire week -- varies depending on the number of attendees from your school:
• If you are the only attendee from your school: $300/person
• If you are one of 2 attendees from your school: $210/person
• If you are one of 3 attendees from your school: $160/person

However, we recognize that not everyone is in a position to pay this much or raise this much money. We hope to work with each attendee to pay on a sliding scale whatever they may be able to. Between REC's scholarship funding and your own fundraising abilities we are committed to making sure that all who wish to attend will be able to. Full and partial scholarships are available and we will also have travel funding available for those who are unable to support their travel. Let's work together to figure it out!


Let us help you find funding! Check out our Fundraising Guide for Students (.doc) to get started on proven strategies to raise money for your summer plans. Email us with questions or for support with fundraising or on the application process.

Apply Now


Email us at [email protected] and we'll answer all of your questions. We look forward to meeting you!

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