Economic Activism Summer School 2021: How to Take on a Corporation?

The Economic Activism program of the American Friends Service Committee is excited to announce our second annual summer school: How to Take on a Corporation?

Large corporations hold immense political power and enjoy legal impunity. When such economic actors profit from mass incarceration, military occupation, immigrant detention, surveillance, or policing, they tend to use their political influence to deepen and entrench these harmful activities.

Our program aims to expose and isolate corporate complicity in state violence through strategic campaign support, corporate research, training, and coordination. We publish the Investigate database of corporations involved in mass surveillance and the U.S.-Mexico border, in mass incarceration and detention, and in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Syrian land.

Our second annual summer school will bring together a small cohort of participants for online training on targeting corporations with successful campaigns, on strategic research for such campaigns, and on strategies such as divestment and boycotts. This 2-month course will consist of weekly 3-hour sessions, from mid-June to mid-August. All participants will receive a certificate of completion attesting to their newly acquired research skills and experience.

This program aims to increase the capacity of organizations and groups to plan and lead strategic economic activism campaigns. Preference will be given to student activists and to candidates nominated by an organization or an activist group.

Dates: June 15 to August 17, 2021

Times: Tuesday 10AM-1PM Pacific Time / 1PM-4PM Eastern Time

Tuition: Free. However, we are asking for donations to help us cover some of the costs of this course, which are about $1,000 per participant.

Optional Paid Service-Learning Track

We have a limited number of stipends to offer to students who would participate in service-learning research during the summer. Service learners’ tuition will be waived and they will receive $1,000 for their work in the duration of the program.

Service learners will be assigned research projects investigating companies involved in border militarization, immigrant detention, and mass surveillance. In addition to the Tuesday sessions, they will be expected to participate in weekly 1-hour skills lab sessions and to complete 6 additional hours a week working on their assigned research task.

Skills labs sessions will take place on Thursdays at 9-10 AM and 10-11 AM Pacific Time /  12-1 PM and 1-2 PM Eastern Time.

To apply:

By May 16, send a 1-page cover letter to, answering these questions:

  1. Why are you interested in this summer school? How do you think you might use the skills from this course to support activist initiatives in the future?
  2. What is your organizing experience working for immigrant justice, prison abolition, Palestinian rights, or against mass surveillance and the militarization of borders and policing? Are you currently involved in any economic or corporate activism campaign?
  3. If you are participating on behalf of an organization, group, or campaign, tell us about it. How do you think this training can support this group or campaign?

To apply to the paid service-learning track:

Follow the instructions above, and add your resume and a short (2-page) writing sample of your choosing.

While participants can be located anywhere during the summer school, in order to receive a stipend you need to be eligible to work in the U.S. and be able to be paid in the U.S.

This page was last updated on
29 April 2021