From the Selma March, ACT UP, and The Women’s March, the activism that captures the public imagination requires ingenuity, strategy, fresh vision, and creativity.


  • A wide range of tools and examples to help you and your community capture the public imagination through your faith-rooted activism
  • Knowledge of the ways in which creative activism has been at the heart of the history of social and religious movements throughout history
  • Creative exercises that engage you to develop ravishing actions designed to move heart and minds for justice


Our trainers travel anywhere in the U.S. and around the world. We also have a state-of-the-art meeting space in Manhattan. Trainings are offered for a fee, and occasionally Auburn can assist groups in fundraising to cover the training costs.

Contact our Director of Program Operations, Courtney Weber Hoover at [email protected], or call 212-870-3187.


Macky Alston is a Senior Vice President at Auburn Seminary, where he works to equip faith leaders to stand for justice. An award-winning documentary filmmaker, Macky founded Auburn Media in 2002 and since then has served as its director, innovating a range of programs related to media and religion and media training over 6,000 leaders on a wide range of justice issues, including many of the most influential faith leaders of our day. Macky’s films include Love Free or Die – PBS 2012; Hard Road Home – PBS ’08, The Killer Within – Discovery Films ’06, Questioning Faith – HBO ‘02, and Family Name – PBS ’98. He has won at Sundance twice and received the Gotham Open Palm Award, three Emmy nominations, and appeared widely in the press, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show and The New York Times. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary, he comes from a long line of ministers in the American South and grew up exposed to the power of religion, politics and the media, as charismatic leaders on the Left and Right shaped society and history for generations to come.

Stephen Duncombe is co-founder and co-director of the Center for Creative Activism at New York University. Stephen has over two decades of experience as both a teacher and an organizer. With a PhD in Sociology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, he has taught in the City and State University’s of New York and is currently a Professor of Media and Culture at New York University. He received the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching while at SUNY and the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at NYU. An activist his entire life, he co-founded a multi-issue community activist group in the mid 1990s, the Lower East Side Collective, which won an award for “Creative Activism” from the Abbie Hoffman foundation. He was also a lead organizer in the international direct action group Reclaim the Streets. Stephen also knows from religion, the son of a United Church of Christ pastor and member of Judson Memorial Church, renown for being a home for both radical activism and avant garde art. Stephen is the author and editor of six books, including Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy and the Cultural Resistance Reader, writes on culture and politics for a wide range of scholarly and popular publications, and is the creator of an open-access, open-source, web-based edition of Thomas More’s Utopia. Duncombe is currently working on a book on the art of propaganda during the New Deal.

Steve Lambert’s father, a former Franciscan monk, and mother, an ex-Dominican nun, imbued the values of dedication, study, poverty, and service to others – qualities which prepared him for life as an artist. For Lambert, art is a bridge that connects uncommon, idealistic, or even radical ideas with everyday life. In 2008 Lambert worked with hundreds of people on “The New York Times Special Edition,” a utopian version of the paper announcing the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other good news. In 2011 he built a 20 x 9 foot sign that reads CAPITALISM WORKS FOR ME!, allows passers by to vote TRUE or FALSE, and is touring it across the United States. His work has been shown everywhere from marches to museums both nationally and internationally, has appeared in over fourteen books, and four documentary films.  He was invited to the U.N. to speak about his research on advertising’s effect on cultural rights, he was a Senior Fellow at New York’s Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology from 2006-2010, developed and leads workshops for Creative Capital Foundation, taught at Parsons/The New School, CUNY Hunter College, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and is currently Associate Professor of New Media at SUNY Purchase. Steve has advanced degrees from a reputable art school and respected state university. He dropped out of high school in 1993.

Patricia Jerido has married her creativity with her commitment for social justice throughout her life of activism and is a pioneer of the field of creative activism as board chair of the Center for Creative Activism at New York University. Since 2003, Patricia Jerido has worked as an independent consultant, assisting nonprofit organizations in fundraising, communications, board and program development, evaluation, executive coaching, and organizing. Her clients included the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Association of Black Foundation Executives, the Ford Foundation, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center, the Racial Justice Collaborative, the Women’s Funding Network, and many others. Until 2015, Jerido was a program officer with the Special Special Initiatives and Partnerships Unit of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations. Her prior experience includes eight years as a social worker and community organizer on human rights issues in the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, and as co-director for Client Services at the Minority Taskforce on AIDS, where she worked with women incarcerated at Rikers Island. Since 1999, Jerido has worked as a program officer and consultant to foundations and nonprofits working on economic, health, and leadership development issues. As a program officer for health and safety at the Ms. Foundation for Women, she managed three funds covering reproductive rights, women and AIDS, and sexuality education. Jerido has also explored the intersections between popular culture and progressive politics through, a web-based nonprofit that she founded. Jerido is a graduate of Rutgers University and Hunter College Graduate School of Social Work.


Alston, Macky. “The Women’s March, ACT UP, and the Life-Changing Power of Creative Resistance,” Auburn Voices, 1/27/17.

Alston, Macky. “The Power and Pleasure You Can Unleash When Your Inner Artist Joins Your Inner Activist.” (Huffington Post, April 19, 2015)

Boyd, Andrew and Stephen Duncombe, Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution. New York: OR Books, 2012.

Chen, Ken, “We Must Imagine Better.” (Creative Time, Dec. 20, 2016)

Design Studio for Social Intervention website of writings and resources

Duncombe, Stephen. Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy. New York: New Press, 2007.

Engler, Mark & Paul Engler. This is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt is Shaping the 21st Century.  New York: Nation Books, 2016.

Actipediaan open-access, community-generated wiki to document, share, and inspire creative activism

The 1Hood Media Academy, Pittsburgh, PA

The Center for Creative Activism, New York, NY

The Pop Culture Salvage Expeditions Podcast, a production of the Center for Creative Activism.

The Sanctuaries, Washington, DC