2021 About Face National Convention Since convention is virtual this year, use this landing page to access all convention related information and join sessions once it starts! Jump to: General Information Welcome! We are excited to see you at About Face annual convention! We are mindful that in-person conventions are much better; and the virtual setting is not optimal but…

Since convention is virtual this year, use this landing page to access all convention related information and join sessions once it starts!

Jump to:

General Information

Welcome!

We are excited to see you at About Face annual convention! We are mindful that in-person conventions are much better; and the virtual setting is not optimal but we’ve created an agenda we hope will make the best out of gathering until it’s safe to do so in person. Throughout the agenda; there are spaces where you can take healthy screen breaks while actively listening and times where active engagement will be necessary.

Help Support Desk 

If you need help at any time throughout the convention, you can reach out to anyone with the word “tech support” in their name. You can also call or text (312) 767-7436.

Community Care Team

The About Face Community Care Team stands ready to support members who want to speak to someone in relative confidence. This line is intentionally set up to hold each other up and where possible offer resources for professional support. Our peer support line is 24/7/365.

Peer-to-peer support: Call/Text: (505) 333-8325⁩ or Email: staff@aboutfaceveterans.org

Community Agreements

  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect, stay away from offensive, oppressive and/or dehumanizing language even when talking about our opponents
  • One person…one mic
  • Be open to collaboration and compromise
  • Bring your full participation and help others to do the same
  • Speak from your first voice experience…acknowledge differing points of view 
  • Listen for understanding, active listening, ask questions 
  • Speak to share your ideas and thoughts, not to argue against others. this is not a competition we are here to share our thoughts, ideas, not win a debate 
  • Trust the best intentions of the group and center on values, vision, and mission as points of reference. Particularly when conflict emerges 
  • Be aware of the relationship between your input and your participation (current and future) 
  • Hold yourself and others accountable to our agreements…lovingly and consistently 

About Face Video Project

Help us tell About Face Story! Are you willing to be interviewed? This is a great way to help About Face get our message out on the work we’re doing to live up to our values. We’re also hoping to collect stories about who our members are, how you’re engaged in your communities and/or organize against the military industrial complex. Interviews will take place on Zoom. If interested, email Tracy our Communications Coordinator at tracy@aboutfaceveterans.org 


Board Election Information

Find general information about Board of Directors roles and responsibilities in the 2021 Board Elections Packet.

Candidate Statements

Read the submitted responses from candidates about their experience and motivations for running here. During the business meeting portion of convention, there will be a candidate forum during where members can hear directly from candidates and ask questions.

Who can vote

All About Face members in good standing are eligible to vote in Board of Director elections, even if they have not been recently active or just joined recently. Being in “good standing” means your membership is NOT currently resigned, suspended, or terminated and you have paid your membership dues for 2021. All membership dues go to reparations projects to support impacted communities to rebuild. You can pay your dues here.

*If you need a waiver for your dues, contact us at staff@aboutfaceveterans.org

How to vote

Voting will be open starting November 2nd and close at 10pm ET on November 6th. As the convention is completely online this year, you can fill out your ballot by clicking here.

*Ballots will be verified by the email address we have in our database for you. To update/verify your email address, contact us at staff@aboutfaceveterans.org


Convention Agenda

All times listed are in Eastern Timezone (ET). Jump to:

Friday, November 5th

11:00am – 12:00pm

Opening & Welcome
Overview, member introductions, wellness grounding, community building activity

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Community Agreements
Members will receive an abbreviated member orientation, get acquainted with AF community agreements and organizing principles.

1:00pm – 1:30pm

* BREAK *
Personal time *or* join break room hang out

1:30pm – 2:30pm

About Face *THEN*
Learn about the history of About Face, lessons learned, past campaigns and projects, etc.

2:30pm – 3:00pm

About Face *NOW*
Learn about how those past lessons have informed our current structure, theory of change, organizing principles and pillars of work.

3:00pm – 4:30pm

Pillar 1: Community Care
– Report Out: Community Care Team ongoing organizing work, lessons and offerings.
– Mapping exercise: Veteran care services and resources
– Discussion: next steps for better connecting our membership with those services.

4:30pm – 4:45pm

* BREAK *
Personal time *or* break room hang out

4:45pm – 6:00pm

Pillar 2: Harm Reduction
– Report out: harm reduction work, lessons, offerings
– Mini-training: counter-recruitment training and tools
– Discussion: true allyship in movement spaces looks like; particularly amid the current unprecedented times.

6:00pm – 6:20pm

* BREAK *
Personal time *or* break room hang out

6:20pm – 7:00pm

Pillar 3: Power Building
Overview: power building; teamwork, lessons, skills share and offerings.

7:00pm – 7:20pm

*BREAK *
Screen break

7:20pm – 8:00pm

New Member Panel
An important tradition: About Face members attending convention for the first time have 5-10min each to share their personal story and About Face seasoned members listen.

8:00pm – 9:30pm

Community Building: Open MIC
Co-hosted by Olie and Shiloh, About Face members hang out, reflect and share poems, music, and other compositions.

To sign up; complete this quick Google Form here.


Saturday, November 6th

11:00am – 11:30am

Day 2 Opening
Reflections and Intentions, Wellness & Grounding practice, community building exercise, overview

11:30am – 1:00pm

Decolonization 101

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Demilitarization 101

2:00pm – 2:30pm

* BREAK *
Personal time *or* break room hang out

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Panel: Diaspora Discussion on Impacted Communities
Tracy Sawan, AF Communications Coordinator, will moderate a discussion with comrades sharing first voice testimonies being directly impacted by US imperialism.

3:30pm – 5:00pm

Panel: Discussion on Line 3 Mobilization
Join members Olie, Amber, Daniel, Danny as they reflect on their mobilization and support at Line 3 and delegation.

5:00pm – 6:00pm

Workshop: Warrior Writers
This creative workshop offers writing prompts that cover military issues and experiences. This encourages sharing stories, opinions, and ideas for engaging in writing/reflecting/story-telling and art-making as a healing practice.

6:00pm – 8:00pm

Business Meeting
Join Board of Directors for the annual business meeting. Members are welcome to attend regardless of registration.

  • Board Opening Remarks
  • Board Member Candidate Forum
  • State of the Membership
  • State of About Face Finances
  • Discussion: Bylaw Draft Proposal on exceptional membership (No Voting)
  • Public Comments
  • Adjournment 

8:00pm – 9:30pm

Community Building: Karaoke Night
About Face members hang out, reflect and sing karaoke.

Talent not necessary! Join us for a fun night of virtual Karaoke.

Sunday, November 7th

11:00am – 12:00pm

Day 3 Opening
Reflections and Intentions, Wellness & Grounding practice, community building exercise, overview

12:00pm – 1:30pm

Training: Media and Public Narrative
Storytelling is action speech – how we directly translate our values into the motivation to act. Members will engage and discuss how to share our stories and experiences as part of a strategy to inspire others to action and change.

1:30pm – 2:00pm

Training: Slack as a field office
This session will focus on how we can collectively use About Face Slack to organize and communicate between meetings and build a virtual community space since we are so spread out. .

2:00pm – 2:30pm

* BREAK *
Personal time *or* break room hang out

2:30pm – 4:00pm

Training: Organizing 101
Skill building and sharing around basic theories, history, ideas and practices around the power of organized people with common interests within communities and anti-war movements. 

4:00pm – 4:30pm

* BREAK *
Personal time *or* break room hang out

4:30pm – 6:00pm

Training: Non-violent Direct Action 101
Every successful social movement has strategically mobilized tactics of nonviolent direct action. In this workshop, we’ll look at the functions, logics, potentials, and power of direct action, and explore how creative action can escalate a campaign and build community. Participants will practice planning their own direct action, identifying their action’s point of intervention, goal, message, target, tone, and audience. 

6:00pm – 6:05pm

* BREAK *
Personal time *or* break room hang out

6:05pm – 8:00pm

Planning Session: Goals, Campaigns and Next Steps
– Discuss About Face central strategic Objective
– Develop concrete goals for year ahead
– Plan next steps for #DropTheMIC Campaign and specifically Veteran’s Day actions

8:00pm – 8:30pm

Appreciations and Gratitude Circle
Members reflect on convention, share appreciations to specific individuals and express elements of the community and our time together they are grateful for.

Apply for Membership

Membership is open to anybody who has served in the military since September 11th, 2001.

To become a member of About Face: Veterans Against the War, valid proof of service is required.

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