The Yes Men are partnering with the Bertha Foundation to develop an exciting new program we're calling the Yes School. The Yes School trains "Yes Guides" to coordinate actions of the sorts that the Yes Men are known for, using on-the-ground, hands-on training as well as an 11-session series around key skills.
The "hands-on" part centers on projects that grantees of Bertha's Challenge program develop together with the Yes Men and Yes Guides, to help solve a critical problem in their particular context, according to a theory of change. Yes Guides and other participants gain essential experience, and help formulate insights to assist future activists. Ultimately, Yes Guides are able to coordinate whole projects by themselves, with the help of the Yes Guide network.
In 2019-2020 the Yes School partnered with:
- A group of occupiers in Cape Town, with whom we developed a crazy piece of creative protest supporting their occupation of disused public hospitals—in the process learning how creative protest can further community cohesion, along with a few other things.
- A group of homelessness advocates in Belfast, with whom we developed some pieces of a long-term campaign to turn unused land, derelict for sectarian reasons, into public housing; there, we learned a lot about subvertising, the long view to winning, and more.
- A group that helps Tanzanian women assert their legal land rights, with whom we're developing a series of invisible theater pieces to help spread legal knowledge far and wide. (We've already learned plenty of lessons with this one, but we're keeping the details hush-hush till it's completed.)
We'll shortly have info on our trainings page about how to become a Yes Guide. If you're already a Yes Guide, you'll soon be able to access our schedule of trainings and connect with other Yes Guides and teams. Meanwhile, you can email us to get on our "Yes Guide" list, and visit our resource guide to get a sneak peek at some of the material that we cover.