In the wake of the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States, university campuses across the country have become the site of protest action and debate. In an effort to turn a moment into a fully-fledged, sustainable movement, a group of Harvard graduate students founded Resistance School, a program where the objective is to mobilise against the current administration.
Likening their efforts to that of Dumbledore’s Army – the fictional student-led movement organised to lead the battle against Voldemort in the Harry Potter series – the Resistance School is not an official Harvard course and participants don’t receive a physical degree. However, the program is 100 per cent free and open to participants all over the world offering participants activism tools that can be relevant within a variety of contexts.
At the Ivy League campus in Boston, a couple hundred people attended the first lesson while about 15 000 people of all ages tuned in via live stream from 50 states and 20 countries. A four-week long program of interactive workshops with renowned political campaigners, communicators, and organisers, Resistance School touts a curriculum based on bridging the gap between a desire to effect change and the knowledge of how to effectively do so.
In an interview with Teen Vogue, Resistance School co-founder and Harvard graduate student Shanoor Seervai explained some of the goals behind the project:
“What we were seeing amongst our friends and ourselves is that there was great energy in the country and people wanted to be politically active, but if there wasn’t a way to develop tools and skills, that momentum wouldn’t move forward.”
“We’re hoping Resistance School will give communities around the country that have decided there is a local issue they really care about, what they need to organise around it and take it on as a long-term effort.”
To participate in the Resistance School, head over to its website to sign up.