The mission of the Veterans Organizing Institute is to support the leadership development of progressive military veterans. Our vision is to develop a network of highly diverse, former service members, with sophisticated political analysis and practical organizing skills to play an important role in reshaping the long-term American political landscape.
We introduce the core concept of the Veteran Mystique, which captures the symbolic role veterans carry in national narratives. We connect this concept with our analysis of group solidarity as a central force in politics and social change efforts.
We break down elements of effective political narratives, and introduce practical tools that can help changemakers to engage with these elements more strategically.
We explore how grassroots groups and social movements can effectively "tell stories" that mobilize people, give coherence to their campaigns, pressure the powerful, and affect change.
Our training team comes to this work with extensive experience from across a broad range of movements and praxis, as strategists, movement educators, academics, facilitators, and on-the-ground organizers in domestic and international issues.
We are committed to creating training opportunities for all veterans, especially those who represent directly impacted communities, including women, people of color, Indigenous, Muslim, LGBTQ+, and disabled veterans. Our trainings are unlike nearly any other veteran space in that they reflect the full diversity of veteran community .
Everyone from big corporations to politicians (from both parties) love to use veterans as political props, but too few people in charge care what we actually think. We have the power to change that. Our stories are powerful, and veterans are the most trusted group of people in our society. It’s time we stop letting others use us, and take charge of our own stories.
Learn more about our upcoming cohorts, events, and more!