Welcome to the  ______ (name) Resistance Circle. My name is _______ and I will be your meeting leader tonight. We ask those with cell phones to please turn them off or on silent ringing for the duration of the meeting, so we can keep our focus on the meeting without interruptions.  We will spend time today getting to know each other and planning for the resistance work we will do together.

The strongest building blocks for our movement are small groups. Small groups like ours help us create a resilient social movement that is built for steady, sustainable growth and that can mobilize beyond big actions.

Let’s start by going around and having each person share the following:

  • Your name and gender pronoun

  • A brief check-in about how you are doing


Resistance Circles across the country are committing to a common set of principles. A set of unified principles allows us to act under a common umbrella with other Resistance Circles while also having the autonomy to take action within our specific circle that makes sense for our context.

Let’s read the principles together (have a different person in the room read a different principle): 


In order to effectively work together, we need to root ourselves in deep relationship. In order to transform the world, we must also prioritize personal and collective transformation. We do this though the practice of RELATIONAL PUBLIC NARRATIVE.

This is a community organizing tactic that was used very well by the Obama campaign. This kind of storytelling—developed by theorist Marshall Ganz as “public narrative”—encourages activists to develop a “story of self,” a “story of us” and a “story of now.” First, we share the struggles we have undergone or witnessed as individuals. Then we connect those struggles to our vision and values as activists. Then we connect that vision to the crisis of the current moment. Grounding our activism in these perspectives lends our words moral weight and surprising effectiveness as we reach out to others. In terms of building active popular support, it’s enduring work.

Relational public narrative teaches us skills to to tell powerful stories that can build strong relationships and community.  By sharing our stories with each other we allow others to connect with our challenges and values. This practice helps to set up a culture of vulnerability and honesty in which we can build the kind of trust that makes it possible for us to do work together.

When someone shares their story with us, it is a gift. As a way of showing gratitude for and connection with the person who shares their story, we engage in a practice called RESONATING.  

Resonating is responding with empathy. We know we are resonating when:

  • we see vividly the imagery others are using to describe what they see

  • we feel deeply the sensations that others are reporting that they feel

After we hear each other’s stories, we resonate to signal that we recognize the humanity in one another and appreciate what it helps us to learn.

Now,  __________(name) will be sharing their story with us. After they share, we will have 5 minutes for sharing resonance.

Thank you for sharing.

How to share resonance:

During the story, pay attention to what engaged you.  Notice what you are sensing (hearing, seeing, smelling, etc) and feeling (sad, excited, afraid, calm, inspired, etc).

After the story, take turns resonating with the following prompt:

Share back to the storyteller one moment you felt like it was happening to you (ex: I felt like I was right there with you when….)

Resonating is NOT:

  • Asking questions (“So how old was your mom when she had you?”)

  • Giving Advice (“You know you really should consider skydiving.”)

  • One-Upping (“You think that’s bad, listen to what happened to ME!”)

  • Making Meaning (“From your story it sounds like you’re actually depressed.”)

  • Telling Your Own story (“That reminds me of…” resonator launches into their own story and forgets they are resonating.)

Would anyone like to start?

(After sharing resonance)Thank you all for resonating. Each meeting we have one member share their story with the group for 10-15 minutes. Is there anyone who would like to volunteer to share their story at the next meeting?


Resistance Guide recommends that every circle should make some contribution to three types of action:

  • Showing up to either a trigger event protest with game change potential or a small, group-led action.

  • Putting pressure on decision makers with phone calls or at town halls.

  • Voting for and doing get out the vote work for movement candidates in local, state and federal elections. 

We will now share reports. Who has reports from work we have done since our last meeting, announcements, or something to ask the group?

We will now break up into work groups. Each team from last week’s meeting will have 10-15 minutes to get together to discuss what they’ve done since last meeting and what else needs to get done to move forward. 


After this meeting you will receive an email from us following up on any commitments you have made today. We will also add any new members to our facebook group so that we can stay in touch with one another.

By showing up together, we are accomplishing three critical things: We’re sustaining the movement by maintaining active popular support. We’re keeping one another in relationship, and probably—just as importantly—having more fun. And we’re encouraging others to show up. These are simple things, but they make the difference between success and failure.

We are so grateful that you came today and are looking forward to continue growing this resistance movement together!