Frack University, (Frack U. for short) offering a myriad and growing list of trainings to help your community group or campus organization fight the use of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for oil and gas. For veteran anti-fracking activists, the topics will expand your tool box for organizing, including other environmental issues, green solutions, and new skills. Contact Alex@energyjustice.net to book your training or find out more.

What is Frack University?

Frack University is an interactive, diverse media presentation of organizing tools, narratives, and fact-based education available for students of all ages who are interested in stopping the use of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, for oil and gas while displacing the need for fossil fuels with a green and sustainable energy future.

Participants will choose from a diversity of workshops in order to customize Frack University based on their interests, talents, and skills.

How to Bring Frack University to Your Campus:

Contact us to schedule your event! Frack University can take place over a series of days or in a single workshop. The length and topics covered for our visit is up to you. Trainers do require money for transportation and an honorarium to compensate our time. If you are affiliated with a college or university, we will help you work with your student government or faculty department to request funds for our trip. If you are with a community group, we can develop a fund raising plan for the event.

Topics include:

Anatomy of Gas Drilling 101 – Explore the life cycle of natural gas including the supply chain, extraction process, natural gas infrastructure, and waste processing. Learn about the economic and environmental issues that present themselves along the way.

Strategic Corporate Research and Institutional Divestment – Learn ways to research corporations involved in shale gas development, including SEC documents, shareholder communication, and financing operation, and the ways in which your school, church, or union’s investments may be sustaining the industry with your money. This workshop culminates in designing a strategy to win a socially responsible investing campaign.

Public Relations for Activism – Students will learn and practice creating a press list, media advisories, press releases, and talking points for interviews.

Legislative and Electoral Approaches – Students will examine the ways that school boards, municipal, county, state, and federal governments can legislate to create a green economy, ratchet up the restrictions, or to simply ban the drilling. In addition, students will look at examples of policy proposals that have been put forth already, the drilling stances of prominent politicians, and what electoral strategies are in place to influence candidates this election year.

Endangered Species and Wildlife Protection – Students will learn about the critical species that are losing their habitat due to pipeline right of ways, well pads, chemical spills, and illegal dumping in their region. In addition, students will learn how to identify endangered species and their habitat. This lesson can include outdoor nature walks, map and compass orienteering, and contour map sketching.

Effective Protest and Direct Action – There are two questions to ask when choosing to use protest as a tool. First, will protesting bring me closer to my goal? Second, will protesting help me grow my group bigger and stronger? This interactive workshop will discuss several protest methods, tactics, and scenarios that have been used historically, what roles people fill at protests, and planning for before, during, and after. Students will practice role plays that may occur during a protest including conversations with police that may be present, talking to opponents, media interviews, and outreach to passersby.

What Do We Want? Sustainable Alternatives, False Solutions, and a Green Economy – This session will explore the myriad of solutions that have been proposed to displace the need for fossil fuels in our world including green construction, solar, wind, geothermal, and more. We will also discuss the false energy solutions that have been proposed such as nuclear, biomass, “clean” coal, and large hydroelectric dams.

Student Organizing 101 –
Many student organizations have a hard time maintaining an effective organization, not to mention long-term, strategically organized campaigns. This workshop will teach you how to get and keep members, break down apathy, win effective campaigns, build student power and more.
Learn about:

  • Picking an Issue: Service Projects vs. Issue Campaigns
  • Dismantling apathy
  • Dealing with cliques
  • Fixing lame groups
  • Democratic decision-making
  • Recruiting and retaining members
  • Effective meetings
  • Strategy charts / power mapping
  • Who REALLY runs your school?
  • Being visible
  • Dis-Orientation Guides
  • Taking over student government
  • Effective networking and coalition building, on- and off-campus
  • Making sure your group survives after you graduate

As there are many components to this presentation, it works best as an extended organizing workshop covering at least 3-4 hours. Less-detailed 1-2 hour presentations can be made, but would only cover parts of the material. Try bringing leaders of various groups together for this workshop.

Community Organizing –

Fighting to protect your community from some polluting industry or other noxious development? What’s the difference between tactics and strategy? How do I map out my supporters, possible supporters, and opponents? How do I choose what to do first? These are all questions that will be answered as students practice and learn issue campaign strategy. Learn what works for communities and how to avoid pitfalls that cause groups to lose. Learn how to win without having to rely on expensive lawyers. Participants will practice role plays for door-knocking, media interviews, and meetings with public or campus officials. We can also design this workshop for student groups seeking to work with in solidarity with impacted communities.

Environmental Justice and Environmental Racism –
What is environmental racism? Isn’t it just about class? Learn about the realities of environmental racism. This workshop discusses the principles of environmental justice and what is means to be involved in the environmental justice movement.

Democratizing Your School

Most colleges and universities are run by corporate businesspeople and political appointees rather than those who have the most interest in the educational system. Learn how to fight for fundamental changes to democratize schools, giving more power to students, faculty and staff.