Personal Security Training for Activists

Instruction in English & subtitled in French

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Some of us face threats to our personal safety when we take action or speak out, or even when we go about building relationships to build community power or when we’re laying the groundwork for a campaign as we gather information. Threats might come from state/government actors, private militias, far-right actors, or people whipped up by disinformation campaigns.

What can we do to increase our safety in the face of these threats? That is what this course addresses. Digital security is not covered. (Here’s a free digisec training for activists subtitled in 7 languages)

In this personal security training we’ll cover:

  • Analyzing and identifying security risks
  • Holistic protection mechanisms
  • Building an organizational security plan

Instructor: Zia Kandler, SMT Staff Partner

Zia Kandler (she/ella) is a Pittsburgh-bred, Bogotá, Colombia-based social justice organizer. Zia specializes in designing and facilitating risk analysis with a differential approach to best support front-line communities. Since 2016, she has worked in international organizations dedicated to accompanying human rights defenders threatened by state-sanctioned violence, most recently in charge of security and protection with Peace Brigades International in Colombia. Zia believes that collective safety is constructed through creating co-responsable community-based alternatives to militarized protection mechanisms and is deeply passionate about accompanying organizations and communities in constructing these agreements. Zia began organizing as a youth in the environmental justice movements in the Rustbelt and continues to support survivors of sexual violence and create accountable spaces for white folks to show up for racial justice and the environmental justice movement.

Photo: The @animalrising movement in the UK uses ∀ as its symbol meaning “for all” life. Goal of the action pictured here: to stop horse races where horses are dying. [Credit: A. Hickson, flickr April 2023]

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