FAQS About Rebranding
Why the change from coalition to network?
As we enter our 20th year, we are adapting to the shifting context of the U.S.-based Palestine solidarity movement and the overall U.S. progressive political scene. By transforming into a looser network formation, we’re embracing our identity as a political home for all who believe in Palestinian rights. As Palestinian rights become more embedded in the progressive agenda and are embraced by increasing numbers of people in the U.S., we want to remove the barrier for entry from the solidarity movement. As a network, anyone—students, individuals, activists, and organizations—who sees their values reflected in ours can find a political home in USCPR without being shut out for lack of a member group near them, or deterred by member group dues, especially if they are a newer or less-resourced group. And as a network, we have more flexibility to work with others who have the same ultimate goal of building a just world without oppression, even if their focus isn’t specifically on Palestinian rights.
What does this change in terms of what USCPR does?
Over the last 19 years, we seeded, built, and supported dozens of BDS campaigns across the country; hosted 16 national conferences where we convened the movement for Palestinian rights; provided countless resources, trainings, and workshops to activists and organizers from St. Louis to New York City; pounded the pavement on Capitol Hill to demand accountability from lawmakers; and taken to the streets for Days of Action where, shoulder to shoulder, we marched to demand an end to U.S. complicity in Israeli oppression. As a network, we will continue to do all of this work, and more.
What does this mean for my group’s relationship with USCPR?
USCPR will continue providing organizing and advocacy resources, as well as action alerts, as we’ve done for the past 19 years. There will be plenty of opportunities to work together on campaigns and actions to further our collective goal of ending U.S. complicity in Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. As a network, we will have a less formal relationship with you and other groups. That means the label of “member groups” is going away, and financial contributions from groups, while still appreciated, will become optional, and you will not have to elect USCPR Steering Committee members. Your group will still be listed as a resource on our People Power for Palestinian Rights map, so folks near you can find a place to plug in. Regional list-servs will also remain active.
Will our group still get help for our organizing and advocacy in support of freedom, justice, and equality for the Palestinian people?
Yes! Member groups helped build USCPR into what it is today and we want to continue to hear from you, support your efforts, and build towards freedom, justice, and equality together. Becoming a network is about opening our doors as a political home and making the movement for Palestinian rights more accessible to more groups and individuals. So, to ensure you keep getting the support you need:
- Make sure you are on our email list so you have the latest actions and ways to get involved
- Check out these resources on our website: uscpr.org/resources
- Contact us! We’re still here to support: firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 312-6360
What about membership dues and contributions from groups?
Membership dues and contributions from groups have helped fuel the growth of our work in the movement for Palestinian rights over the past 19 years. In early years, donations from groups represented as much as 10% of our annual budget. We owe big thanks to the many groups who have shown their solidarity and made tangible impacts on our operations over the years. But at the same time, the notion of “dues” was a barrier to entry for some groups. The new network model allows us to continue to invite contributions from solidarity groups and individuals who wish to continue helping financially to support USCPR’s mission, while not necessitating it as “dues.”
If your group is interested in continuing to contribute to our work for freedom, justice, and equality, we welcome it (find our new and improved group contribution page here)!
Will USCPR still be hosting national conferences and convening the movement?
Yes! We’ve hosted more than a dozen national conferences since our founding in 2001. Conferences have evolved from a space where dozens of organizers representing member groups come together to decide on a set of campaigns to work on, to events where hundreds of people—students, activists, and academics—come together to share knowledge and skills, and showcase the growing power of those dedicated to Palestinian rights (watch panels from our 2018 conference!). We’re committed to continue providing such spaces, as well as other regional and campaign-based convenings, for activists, organizers, and supporters to learn and strategize.
Follow-up: Can we still give workshops at USCPR conferences?
Of course! USCPR national conferences have always been a space for groups and individuals to present about their Palestinian rights advocacy, leading workshops and networking sessions about campaigns, sharing best practices and organizing/mobilizing lessons learned. That won’t change. For every conference we host, we’ll still ask anyone interested to submit workshops.
- How will USCPR’s Steering Committee members be chosen if member groups are no longer voting?
Our amazing Steering Committees (all volunteers!) once managed the day-to-day operations of a small staff; in the past 5+ years, as our staff has grown to ten, their role has evolved more into that of a traditional governing board.
- How can our group continue to connect with others working on similar campaigns or projects?
USCPR either runs or is part of several list-servs/coordinating groups. Contact us (email@example.com, (703) 312-6360) to find out if there’s already something set up for a campaign you are running. If so, we can plug you in! If something does not exist already but there are others we know are working on something similar, we can make connections.
Still have questions? Contact us!