kiran, one of the AORTA trainers, leans against a wall that is covered with post-it notes that have been written on by participants.

AORTA is now booking for spring 2017!

Are you a member of a student organization or staff member of a college looking for anti-oppression or capacity building resources for student activists?


AORTA is available to give talks and facilitate trainings and workshops for student groups looking to deepen their understanding of oppression and injustice and to gain skills for effective social justice organizing.


Whether it’s “Anti-Racism for Collective Liberation” or “Making Meetings Awesome for Everyone: Facilitation and Effective Participation” or “What is the Solidarity Economy?” people across the country have found our participatory programming to be highly engaging and useful for pushing social justice conversations on campus further.

Sample Facilitation and Speaking Topics:

A list of assumptions that will guide an anti-oppression training is written on butcher paper and posted on a wall.

  • Anti-Oppression Fundamentals

  • Understanding and Resisting Rape Culture

  • We Have the Power: Building Skills for Consent

  • Uprooting Male Supremacy and Patriarchy

  • Anti-Racism for Collective Liberation (for mixed, People of Color, or white groups)

  • Deconstructing Anti-Black Racism

  • South Asian Solidarity with “Black Lives Matter”

  • Queer and Trans* Liberation

  • Disability Justice

  • Making Meetings Awesome for Everyone: Facilitation and Effective Participation

  • Effective Organizing Strategies on College Campuses

  • Resolution Not Ruins: Conflict Resolution 101

  • Building Movements Beyond Tumblr

  • Towards Abolition Democracy: Dismantling the Prison Industrial Complex

  • What is the Solidarity Economy?

  • Racial Capitalism and the New Economy

  • Palestine Solidarity and Student Organizing

  • Food Justice for Student Groups


**Please contact us for a custom training or consultation with your group!**    



Our team really benefitted from the anti-oppression training given by AORTA. The members of our team with less exposure to anti-oppression expressed that they found the training engaging and accessible. As facilitators who frequently deliver training through an anti-oppression lens, we gained valuable tools that we have integrated into the work we do at McGill.

-Tynan Jarrett and Sarah Malik, Equity Educational Advisors, McGill University


My world opened during my first workshop with AORTA. That day changed my life, and every day, even now—two years later—I am thankful for it.

-Isaac Hollander McCreery, Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, Oberlin College


It is a necessary burden to take on these hard conversations in unpoliticized, potentially hostile spaces. I honor AORTA for their work and the fearless yet compassionate intensity with which they do it.

-Katrina Castillo, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), UC Santa Cruz



Esteban, an AORTA Trainer, reviews an agenda that is written on butcher paper on the wall during a training on Anti-Oppressive Meeting Facilitation

Bergen Community College

Bryn Mawr College

Clark University

CUNY, The Graduate Center: Doctoral Students Council

CUNY Law School  

Evergreen State College: Campus Icarus Project, FIST

Guilford College

Lewis and Clark University

Lick-Wilmerding High School

McGill University: Sexual Assault Center, Social Equity and Diversity Education Office

National College of Natural Medicine

Oberlin College

Olney Charter High School

Reed College

Simmons College

Smith College

SUNY BInghamton Food Cooperative

SUNY Geneseo

Swarthmore College

The Cooper Union

Trinity University

UC Berkeley: School of Social Welfare, Student Cooperatives

UC Davis: Education for Sustainable Living Program

UC Santa Cruz, Graduate Student Association, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems  

University of British Columbia Social Justice Center

University of British Columbia Allies

University of Massachusetts Amherst Student Co-ops

University of Michigan, School of Social Work

University of Pennsylvania, City Planning Program, The Netter Center

University of Texas-Austin: College Houses

United World College - USA

Wesleyan University

Yale University



To book us for Spring 2017, you can contact or call Roan Boucher at 512.422.1959. Visit our contact page for more information on booking. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch about any questions!




Roan BoucherHeadshot of AORTA member Roan Boucher

Roan Boucher is an organizer, facilitator, writer, and artist based in Durham, North Carolina. He has spent years working closely with the Bay Area based POOR Magazine, a poor and indigenous people-led grassroots organization, doing economic justice work through art, organizing, grassroots media, education, and multigenerational community building.


In 2008, Roan co-founded the website Enough: The Personal Politics of Resisting Capitalism, a space to share strategies for creating more just and economically sustainable movements, with Dean Spade. Building off the critical conversations Enough inspired, Roan and Dean are now co-editing a new anthology of the same title.  


Roan has facilitated workshops and trainings for a wide variety of colleges and universities, including Smith College, Swarthmore College, Wesleyan College, The University of Texas at Austin, Trinity University, and Clark University


Roan was named one of UTNE Reader's 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World in 2009 and is featured in the book Do It Anyway: Portraits of the Next Generation of Activists, from Beacon Press. His writing appears regularly in Make/shift Magazine.


Autumn BrownHeadshot of AORTA member Autumn Brown

Autumn Brown is a mother, organizer, theologian, artist, and facilitator. She was a founding member of the Rock Dove Collective, a radical community health exchange active in New York City from 2006-2012, and she serves on the national Board of Directors of the Common Fire Foundation. Autumn brings over 10 years of experience facilitating organizational and strategic development with community-based and movement organizations, and training organizers in Consensus Process, Facilitation, and Racial Justice. She has taught and presented in many places across the country, as well as internationally. She has facilitated with Hunter College, Bard College, the University of Minnesota, the College of St. Benedict’s and Saint John’s University, Minnesota Campus Compact, and many others.


Prior to joining AORTA, Autumn served as the Interim Executive Director of RECLAIM!, a Minnesota nonprofit that increases mental and integrative health support so LGBTQ youth may be free of oppression in all its forms. Autumn was previously the Executive Director of the Central Minnesota Sustainability Project, a grassroots Minnesota-based environmental and food justice organization.


A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Autumn has also completed specialized study in Theology at Oxford University and the General Theological Seminary of New York. She is a speculative and creative non-fiction writer, and has published her essay work via for 8 years. Most recently she has been published in the Procyon Science Fiction Anthology (Tayen Lane, 2016), Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements (AK Press, 2015) and Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines (PM Press, 2016). She lives in the Avon Hills of the great state of Minnesota with her partner, three brilliant children, a large and ridiculous dog, and many birds and other forms of wildlife.


Esteban KellyHeadshot of AORTA member Esteban Kelly

A professional facilitator for over 20 years, Esteban Kelly is a dynamic educator and movement facilitator who co-founded AORTA to amplify new leadership in solidarity economy and co-op movements. In addition to his role as Executive Director of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Esteban has served on numerous boards including the USFWC, the US Solidarity Economy Network, the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA-CLUSA), and the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF). He is a co-founder and current board President of the cross-sector Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA), and recently worked as Development Director and then Staff Director at the New Economy Coalition (formerly the Cambridge-based think tank known as the New Economics Institute).


Formally introduced to cooperatives through student housing co-ops, in Berkeley California, Esteban soon began organizing co-ops across Canada and the US with the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO). Esteban was inducted into NASCO’s Cooperative Hall of Fame in 2011, in recognition of his ten years of service – including seven years on their board and three years working as their Director of Education and Training. Currently, Esteban is a mayoral appointee to the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council, following eight years as a worker-owner at Mariposa Food Co-op institutionalizing its staff collective and expanding food access in West Philly.


Esteban earned a Masters degree in Anthropology from the City University of New York, and received a B.S. from UC Berkeley. He has taught Anthropology at Hunter College, and is a PhD Candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center where he served as a representative to the Doctoral Students Council and Anthropology Department Admissions and Rewards Committee. Esteban was a research fellow in Brazil in 2008 and South Africa in 2009. His writing appears in the scholarly publication CRIME a Journal of Social Justice, In the Middle of a Whirlwind- a journal of politics and aesthetics, as well as media contributions to Left Turn Magazine, Grassroots Economic Organizing Newsletter (GEO), and several online media outlets.



Marc Mascarenhas-SwanHeadshot of AORTA member Marc Mascarenhas-Swan

Marc Mascarenhas-Swan was born in England, but has spent the last 17 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. Marc has many years of experience as a participant, facilitator, educator, and organizer in political collectives, housing cooperatives and worker cooperatives, childcare collectives, and activist groups. He was for many years part of the white, anti-racist group Heads Up Collective, which worked to support and develop anti-racist consciousness in mostly white global justice/anti-war sectors, and organized as allies with groups working for social justice in communities of color. He has organized and participated in many multi-racial, feminist, and left study groups to which he owes much of his political development.


Marc worked for over 20 years as a professional chef, and converted his long term catering business into a worker owned cooperative prior to joining AORTA.

He has two amazing kids that he tries to spend as much time as possible with. He really wishes that he liked to garden.


Through his work at AORTA he regularly works with student groups on working to uproot systemic oppression, facilitation skills building and training for students in leadership roles, and supporting conflict resolution and restorative justice processes.

Headshot of AORTA member kiran nigam


kiran nigam

kiran nigam graduated from UC Berkeley with Bachelor's  degrees in Psychology and Art Practice. She has been a guest lecturer, seminar leader, and facilitator at university and colleges such as The Cooper Union, Yale University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and The Evergreen State College. She has taught classes, workshops, and guest lectured on topics such as: What is Rape Culture (and how do we disrupt it?), Supporting Survivors of Sexual Assault, Anti-Oppression Fundamentals, Anti-Oppressive Meeting Facilitation, Solidarity Economics, and Challenging White Supremacy. In addition, she has facilitated healing spaces for survivors of sexual assault, as well as campus-wide dialogues on all-gender bathrooms.




Lydia Pelot-Hobbs

Lydia Pelot-Hobbs is a facilitator, writer, and activist-scholar based in New Orleans, LA. She earned her BA from Oberlin College (2007) and a Masters of Urban Studies from the University of New Orleans (2011). She is currently a doctoral candidate in Geography and American Studies from The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her dissertation tracks the dialectical interplay of the formation and contestation of the Louisiana carceral state from 1970 to the present.

Over the last ten years, Lydia Pelot-Hobbs has been active in grassroots organizing against mass criminalization and for affordable housing alongside work to build up solidarity economics. She joins her experiences in community activism with her research on racial capitalism, the carceral state, social movements, and feminist/queer politics to bring a praxis-based approach to her workshops and trainings with students.


Her writing has appeared in a range of academic and activist venues including Monthly Review, The Abolitionist, Shelterforce: The Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas (UC Press).


Jenna Peters-GoldenHeadshot of AORTA member Jenna Peters-Golden

Jenna Peters-Golden has offered in-depth trainings and short, fun workshops to students and faculty at dozens of universities and colleges in North America, including: University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, Bryn Mawr, UC Berkeley, McGill University, University of Michigan, CUNY Law School, Seattle University Law School, Lewis and Clark College, Evergreen State College, and many more.


You can see writing by Jenna in Tikkun Magazine; The Transformative Justice Strategic Sci-Fi Reader; Learning Good Consent: On Healthy Relationships and Survivor Support (co-author of the foreword, with Kiyomi Fujikawa). You can see Jenna's illustration work in Hold (a Journal); Tikkun Magazine; The RadicAlphabet Poster Series; 5777 Calendar; DIY PHL; Always Hook a Gift Horsey Dead in the Kisser; and other various posters albums.


Jenna received a BA in Race Studies and Gender Studies from Drew University. She hails from Michigan, but has been rooted in Philadelphia for a decade.


Manju RajendranHeadshot of AORTA member Manju Rajendran

Manju brings 22 years of local, state, regional, and national-level experience in liberation education, strategy, fundraising, community organizing, and communications. Her work is grounded in popular education pedagogy. Manju has shared her skills in projects including grassroots organizing efforts, cooperatives, transformative justice experiments, popular education and oral history spaces, environmental justice organizations, progressive publications, and statewide campaigns. She loves how creative resiliency-building, collective healing work, and nourishing meals integrate with social transformation.


Manju is a queer, working class, South Asian immigrant woman who grew up in North Carolina. Her father organized with the local NAACP chapter and her mother was active in public schools, so she was brought up in meetings and community gatherings. She brings an expansive network of intentionally-sustained relationships with peers and mentors with her, especially from across the Southeastern US, and remains accountable to the communities who raised her.


Manju also works for Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe, her family's food justice restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She presently serves on the national committee of the War Resisters League and as a board member of the ACLU of North Carolina.