activist afternoons

Activist Afternoons is a beautiful and spacious community activist space open to all political organizations in our community for phone banking, text banking, postcarding, letters to the editor, canvassing, and training to empower and equip volunteers to take action. Volunteers and organizers share plans, exchange information, and find new ways to work together. At Activist Afternoons, we’re building a community of action and you’re invited. We meet every Sunday 4-6 pm in Central Square, Cambridge.

Want to host your own activity at Activist Afternoons? Get in touch—we’d love to help! No activist or organizing background is needed.

Getting started? Check out the official Activist Afternoons Quick Start Guide and Insights for Organizers.

Watch a recent CCTV video about Activist Afternoons.

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What are the key elements of Activist Afternoons?
  • Consistency and predictability: Events are held at the same time and place every week
  • Inclusion: We are open to all progressive activist groups
  • Simultaneous: Each Activist Afternoon features 5+ groups, each with a different activity or activities
  • Well-appointed: Events are held in a large, airy and well-equipped space with plenty of Internet bandwidth
  • Collaborative: We provides unique opportunities for activists from different groups to interact
  • Self-augmenting: We attract “regulars” who look forward to choosing from a menu of different activities each week
  • Paid staff: We pay an organizer approximately $100/week to maintain partnerships with activist groups, develop new ones, promote events on social media and email, check-in and orient attendees, and act as event concierge.
Why do activist groups like Activist Afternoons?
  • Date and Time: Simplifies the process of deciding on a date and time
  • Location: Reduces time spent on finding and securing a location
  • Worry-free: Eliminates liability of hosting in someone’s home
  • Convenient: Location is easy to find and convenient to public transportation.
  • Inclusive: Works well with a low turnout. The overall level of activity and excitement within the space enables organizers to pursue planned activities with just one or two volunteers
  • Draws a crowd: Attracts volunteers who arrive with the intention of choosing an activity on arrival.
  • Free: There is no fee for groups to use the space.
How does Activist Afternoons promote long-term civic engagement within the local community?
  • Low-barrier to entry: Activist Afternoons is a fully-hosted activist space. This makes it easier for time-strapped, inexperienced and under-resourced grassroots groups to host phone banks and postcarding.
  • Fostering communication, collaboration and learning: Volunteers and organizers from different groups share plans, exchange information and find new ways to work together
  • Excellent networking opportunities: We are the place to meet talented people who share progressive values.
How will Activist Afternoons foster improvements?
  • Quality improvement: Our high volume and diversity of phone banks and postcard sessions makes us the ideal place to develop and test best practices and trainings to help volunteers be more effective at remote voter contact activities.
  • Training: We provide opportunities for training prior to voter contact events.
  • Phone bank improvement. From a task design perspective, we could make phone banks more efficient, engaging and motivational. Possible improvements include evaluating phone bank activities to identify those with the highest value, teaching volunteers how to use software to dial numbers more efficiently, and providing volunteers
  • Tracking outputs (We currently track volunteer hours.) # of postcards written, # of calls made, etc.
  • Volunteer spotlight: Highlight the contributions of a selected volunteer each month.
  • Phone bank army: We could provide phone bank services for groups who want to recruit volunteers or invite people to an event. This enables us to work with a wider range of groups.