FOSNA Activist Network FAQs
1. What is the FOSNA Activist Network?
The FOSNA Activist Network is a powerful force made up of individual FOSNA activists throughout North America. FOSNA local activists work with diverse local groups, coalitions, and allies within their community on BDS campaigns and other educational and nonviolent advocacy efforts to end the occupation of Palestine. They have become connected to FOSNA in one or more ways: being an active member of a FOSNA local group, having helped with a Sabeel conference; having attended a FOSNA leadership retreat, having participated in a Sabeel witness trip, or having given FOSNA substantial financial support.
2. What does it mean to be a FOSNA local activist?
The FOSNA activist is inspired by the moral principles expressed in liberative theology and is eager to join forces with all who take ethical action against injustice wherever it exists. The activist struggles for the liberation of Palestine within the concept of praxis—the translation of moral reflection into informed and effective action—which is the underlying framework of the nonviolent engagement. He or she offers not only a clear vision of the moral imperative for justice in Palestine, but also offers tools for effective advocacy to that end.
3. What can the FOSNA activist bring to local groups and coalitions?
The FOSNA activist not only helps provide the moral grounding necessary for effective and ethical advocacy, but also has immediate access to an impressive range of tools to assist his or her local group or coalition in its work for justice in Palestine. These tools include:
- Access to national campaigns. FOSNA’s national organizer works in coordination with major coalition partners to set national and international campaign agendas, e.g., the campaigns to de-shelve HP, drop contracts with G4S, and create municipal boycotts. The organizer can introduce local groups and coalitions to these campaigns and help create effective local actions in their support.
- Assistance with local campaigns. The national organizer can also assist with local campaigns, not tied to national programs, by helping with technical assistance, strategy, and guidance on how to pick the best project for the local community. FOSNA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in assisting groups and coalitions in the successful financial management of local projects. Depending on the project, staff can assist in locating seed money. FOSNA also has an impressive team of interns available for research and other support where appropriate.
- Assistance for witness trips. FOSNA offers opportunities for individuals to see firsthand liberative theology and popular resistance at work in Palestine and Israel. For those planning to put together their own witness trips, FOSNA offers access to its Witness Trip Advisory Panel, an unmatched collection of witness trip leaders extensively experienced in organizing and conducting both educational and advocacy-oriented trips.
- Assistance in conference planning. Should the local group or coalition decide to hold a conference, staff can offer a full range of assistance from beginning to end: strategic advice, speakers, publicity, financial management, and/or clergy support. FOSNA has successfully supported dozens of conferences over the last 20 years. Staff members are eager to help the local conference committee fashion a conference that brings in diverse participation and an effective advocacy focus.
- Access to paid resources and platforms. FOSNA maintains accounts with Brown Paper Tickets for event registration, Facebook, and Twitter; and maintains the national website (fosna.org), as well as national and local listservs. FOSNA also hosts petitions and letter writing campaigns through NationBuilder. The FOSNA activist has access to these resources where appropriate.
- Help in amplifying the voice of Palestinians. FOSNA seeks to center Palestinian voices and leaders in all educational and strategy gatherings, and can help local groups and coalitions achieve as much Palestinian participation as possible. Staff members’ goal is to maximize Palestinian involvement in all projects.
4. What is asked of the FOSNA activist?
The FOSNA activist looks for ways to bring a moral voice and effective advocacy for Palestine to his or her local community. Besides financially supporting FOSNA, he or she actively engages with a local group or coalition in support of Palestine and keeps staff informed of local action by engaging with other activists on FOSNA’s listserv, attending FOSNA webinars, participating in occasional conference calls, and participating in the bi-annual leadership retreat. He or she remains ready to draw on FOSNA’s resources to make local action as effective as possible.
5. How do I join and how do I participate?
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Join FAN! and include a bit about where you are located and your current advocacy efforts.