People's Organizing Weekend Empowerment Retreat (POWER) 2023

On the weekend of January 20-22, 2023, Northern Illinois University will be sponsoring a three-day student retreat, People's Organizing Weekend Empowerment Retreat (POWER), focused on community organizing. 


The purpose of POWER is to empower student activists, who have previous experience planning and/or participating in activities centered on the tenets of social justice, to enhance their tool kits for the purpose of community organizing.  Our goal is for student activists to strategically and effectively create spaces for intentional and culturally-specific planning focused on coalition building while allowing participants to work as allies and collaborators.


POWER was developed utilizing many sources, one of which is the Grassroots Organizing Weekend, sponsored by the United States Student Association. In January 2017, we held our own community-organizing weekend called, Community Organizing Retreat Experience (CORE). Students who attended the retreat reported that it impacted their activism and certainly helped in solidifying coalitions that were necessary to support particular groups of marginalized students that felt a heightened sense of trauma and of being targeted. The tentative schedule (please email us for that) is our best attempt at offering student activists the tools they need for community organizing.


Friday, January 20 – WHY?: A conversation of why you should be engaged in social justice and coalition building.

Saturday, January 21 – WHAT?: Various sessions on skill building and providing you what you need for community organizing.

Sunday, January 22 – HOW?: A conversation of how you should engage in community organizing using hands-on and role-playing activities in the creation of specific work plans.


It is important to note, participants are expected to be in attendance for the entirety of the weekend program and should plan adequately to ensure full participation including subsequent follow-up sessions


Participants will work together in small groups to construct and implement an action plan to address social and economic justice concerns at NIU. The topic(s) of interest(s) will be guided by your input about current concerns across identity categories.


Complete the registration form to apply for this opportunity. Completed applications must be submitted by Friday, December 9, 2022 for priority registration. The committee will be in touch with you to share if you have/have not been selected as a participant by Monday, December 19, 2022. In the meantime, additional inquiries can be directed to

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Holmes Student Center, Regency Room
600 Lucinda Ave, DeKalb, IL 60115