Harvard students launch course on resisting 'the Trump agenda'

"Resistance school" starts at Harvard this week.

Story highlights

  • The four-week course aims to train activists to "resist the Trump agenda"
  • Thousands have enrolled in the program

(CNN)On Wednesday, students at Harvard start the first day of Resistance School -- a 4-week course in anti-Trump activism created by progressive students at the university's Kennedy School of Government. The course is open to people across the country and the world.

Through four in-person and live-streamed sessions, followed by interactive homework assignments, organizers of the program say they hope to train activists "to strengthen the skills they need to take collective action and effectively resist the Trump agenda."
This program comes in the wake of protests like the Women's March and the March for Science, which were organized by progressives across the country in the months following President Donald Trump's inauguration.
"Resistance School started with a couple of students chatting with a couple of professors, having a sense of outrage and despair and beginning to feel overwhelmed and exhausted with the question of 'What are we going to do after the election?'" explained Shanoor Seervai, a student at Harvard's Kennedy School and one of the cofounders of Resistance School.
The program's website lists sessions with titles like "How to Communicate our Values in Political Advocacy" and "How to Structure and Build Capacity for Action." So far, organizers say they have about 3,000 groups "representing over 10,000 people" registered for their first class.
They encourage people to enroll in groups as opposed to individually. "Some are coming with groups of 700 people, some are smaller groups, potlucks, gathering in people's kitchens," says Seervai.
The program's speakers include professors, the current DNC vice chair and an Obama For America alum, but they say they don't have any formal partnerships with other progressive or Democratic institutions yet.
The organizers of the program didn't expect the level of interest they've received and seem to still be grappling with questions about scale. How will people communicate with each other? What happens after the fourth week? How will they keep track of impact? They're still figuring out the answers to these questions, organizers say -- but for now, school starts on Wednesday.