Take on Wall Street Activist Academy

Take on Wall Street uses race and gender lenses to offer participants the opportunity to unveil the finance industry’s hidden (and growing) role in virtually every aspect of our society. Wall Street’s destructive influence can be seen in everything from the affordable housing crisis and inequities in the criminal justice system to nursing home staffing shortages and abuses by for-profit colleges. We aim for participants to emerge from trainings with a deepened understanding of the historical context of wealth extraction and exclusion as well as practical tools they can use in federal, state, and local campaigns.

What is popular education?

Popular education is based on the theory that the lived experience of participants in a training session are valuable and enable people to contribute both to their own learning and to the learning of the collective. Founded and popularized by Brazilian educator Paolo Freire, it rejects educational models that view training participants as passive recipients of information. As such, popular education tends to be interactive, grounded in the histories of the participants, and designed to spur creative problem-solving. It is also typically grounded in social justice values and is attentive to race, class, gender, and power dynamics.

Who are Take on Wall Street’s trainings for?

Pop Ed pilot training Philly 2018

The Take on Wall Street Activist Academy exists to support organizations and institutions that want to know more about: how our economy came to be rigged; the impact of that rigging on women and people who are Black, Indigenous, of color, and poor or working class; how to fight back and unrig the system. [We are especially interested in supporting racial justice organizations that want to connect the rigged economy to their work, and economic justice organizations that want to better understand the role of race and racism in exacerbating economic inequality.]

This includes:

  • Grassroots organizations whose members are running economic or racial justice  campaigns
  • Electoral organizations that endorse, identify and/or train candidates committed to a progressive vision for the future
  • Philanthropic institutions that want to help their grantees, board members, and staff unpack the connections between racial and economic justice
  • National networks and organizations working to drive narrative change

We have trained members of climate justice organizations, labor unions, faith-based organizations, consumer groups, candidates for office, and more. If you’d like to know more about arranging a training for your organization, click here.

What types of trainings are available?

Flagship Training: How White Supremacy Built Wall Street (90-150 minutes)

This training makes use of our interactive site, isoureconomyfair.org (FAIR), which traces the history of wealth extraction in the United States from colonialism to the present day. FAIR uses race and gender lenses to expose how the finance industry has used its disproportionate power throughout history to counter our struggles for racial, gender, climate, and economic justice.

Other Trainings:

The TOWS curriculum contains over 12 hours of content in modules that cover a broad array of issues, including:

  • Racial and gender wealth divides
  • Debt and predatory lending
  • The history of finance and structural racism
  • Money in politics
  • Countering the power of finance
  • Private equity

These trainings can be held in-person or online, and each module can be adapted for shorter, stand-alone training sessions or for more in-depth exploration of finance’s tentacles in a particular  issue.

Tailored Trainings:

The TOWS popular education team can partner with organizations to create or co-create online or in-person training modules tailored to the specific needs of individual institutions, coalitions, movements, or convenings.


CEPR training summer 2021

What do the trainings cost?

Take on Wall Street is committed to making its trainings accessible to all. By covering the full costs associated with a training, our better-resourced training partners help cross-subsidize free and reduced-cost trainings for organizations led by people who are Black, Indigenous, and of color, modestly-resourced organizations, and others that have historically had less access to foundation support.

TOWS also invites our partners with substantial training budgets to contribute additional support through a per-participant training add-on, or to simply make an additional donation to help subsidize costs for under-resourced organizations.

No training request from any organization will be turned down based on an inability to pay. Please contact us if you would like to discuss alternative cost-sharing arrangements.

Testimonials for TOWS trainings

“Great overview of how Wall Street impacts our life and our constituents.”

“Really good at connecting the dots between what is going on on Wall Street and how it is impacting everyday people. Explaining the complexities of the financial system in a clear and digestible way was key.”

“The concise and simple explanations of complicated concepts around privatization was wonderful. I learned a lot without being overwhelmed.”

“Extremely thorough and great exercises and visual actions. Thanks for foregrounding racial disparities and systemic racism in these presentations.”

“Terrific content, interactive exercises, mixed-media, and visualizations. Great mix of content and direct calls to action. Fantastic training.”

“All of the presentations were well done. Analysis of neoliberalism was very good. It answers the question of ‘how neoliberalism is ruining my life.’ In doing that, it also makes clear how struggles are interconnected. Focus on white supremacy was well done.”

“Super duper. We are developing trainings for our member organizations and this will be referenced over and over again. There is definitely a hunger for this information. Thank you!”

Contact Us