NJRP Institute 2021

“Disaster shocks us out of slumber, but only skillful efforts keep us awake.”

― Rebecca Solnit, opens in a new window A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster  

“Blessed the agitator; whose touch makes the dead walk; Blessed the organizer; who discovers the strength of wounds; Blessed all fighters.

 ― Thomas McGrath, Letter to an Imaginary Friend


We’ve spent the last 6 years fighting for what our communities deserve in the face of disaster – whether we’re talking about COVID, Sandy, or the overdose crisis – we know our communities deserve better. 

We’ve won real results for our communities.  And we’re still fighting.  What’s the secret?  How do we keep winning, building and growing?  

It’s you.  

You’re invited to NJRP Institute 2021 – an opportunity to become a more powerful, strategic, and visionary force in your community.  

This training is an invitation to a profound understanding of how the world works and your indispensable role in it.  We will be sharing both time-tested and innovative strategies and tactics for winning significant change.  And, you’ll have an opportunity to explore your relationship to power.    


We want to be part of thriving communities – where regular folks like us make the decisions about what happens to us.  Nothing about us without us.  In order to stand up to the politicians, politically connected contractors and corporations who are making decisions for us we need trained, strategic and visionary community leaders who are working together to put our people first. 

When & How:  

There are 4 core trainings in NJRP Institute 2021 + one bonus session on Movement Politics for Elections Cmt members and any interested folks who attend the first 4 sessions. 

Trainings are ALL ON ZOOM: 

opens in a new windowPlease register here.

  • Session 1 Monday May 17th 6:30 pm – 8:30pm 
  • Session 2 Monday May 24th 6pm – 9pm 
  • Memorial day is the 31 – so we’re taking a break May 31 – June 4
  • Session 3 is Monday June 7th  6pm – 9pm 
  • Session 4 is Monday June 14 6:30pm – 9pm 

Special Movement Politics Session time TBD.  


Pamela Twiss is the lead trainer for NJRP Institute 2021.  Pamela has 35 years of community organizing experience.   She has worked extensively as a front line organizer, trained and managed organizing staff as a Director of Organizing, been an Executive Director, and worked as a national Director of Training.  Over the past 35 years, Pamela has played a key role in winning campaigns for racial and economic justice:

  • Won $67 million dollars in funding to clean up toxic waste sites in impacted neighborhoods in Minnesota and turned that lost land into jobs;
  • Ran the campaign of a State Senator in Rhode Island in 1990 who was a leader in that state for 22 years;
  • Won access to prenatal care for women in Manchester, New Hampshire who had been shut out of care by doctors who wouldn’t take Medicaid or make appointments for folks without private insurance;
  • Founded a power organization of mental health patients in Rhode Island who changed illegal and abusive policies in group homes;
  • Trained and managed the organizers & leaders who won a campaign to get Target Corporation to “ban the box” on all their job applications nationwide, increasing employment access for previously incarcerated persons;
  • Founded the Training Program at People’s Action, which between 2011 and 2018 trained over 1,500 organizers and leaders at the national level.

Amanda Devecka-Rinear and NJRP staff will also participate in training.  

Before becoming the founding Executive Director of the New Jersey Resource Project and the New Jersey Organizing Project, Amanda served as Campaigns Director for National People’s Action from 2009 – 2014.  There she led and designed campaigns at state and federal levels to win relief for communities hurt by the financial crisis in 2008 and to increase oversight and accountability for those banking and mortgage industries.  Next, as a co-chair of Americans for Tax Fairness, Amanda and NPA were part of a victory that rolled back portions of the Bush Tax cuts, increasing tax fairness. 

Before National People’s Action, Amanda led efforts at the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition to improve educational opportunities for students.   Her work there is featured in “A Match on Dry Grass:  Community Organizing as a Catalyst for School Reform” published by Oxford University Press in 2011.

  • $15 – 20 million redirected from HUD CDBG Disaster Recovery grant to create a rental assistance program for storms survivors in New Jersey and the expansion and extension of that program.
  • State-wide Sandy transparency spending legislation and recovery program tracking.
  • State-wide foreclosure and forbearance legislation for Sandy families.
  • Creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a leader in a national coalition through targeted district action and leading the largest mobilizations in the country to support consumer protections after the financial crisis of 2008 including a 25,000 person march on Wall Street in New York City with the Central Labor Council.
  • Won $25 million in school construction investment to create four new schools in the Northwest Bronx
  •  Won a campaign to stop the closure of a second chance High School that helped struggling students graduate.

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