Nastassja and Lea, co-founders of Spring Up, presenting a workshop on campus violence at Wesleyan College in Macon, GA.

Nastassja and Lea, co-founders of Spring Up, presenting a workshop on campus violence at Wesleyan College in Macon, GA.

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."

- Alvin Toffler


Summer 2016 Workshops

We can host these offerings either as a forum and public reading with sliding scale fee at the door, or as a workshop for an organization or community to sponsor with free attendance for members & guests. Please contact us if you have a space (community center, bookstore, gallery, etc) interested in hosting an open event, or an organization interested in sponsoring a workshop for your community.


Millennial Sex Education

These workshops facilitate group dialogue using excerpts from Millennial Sex and Millennial Sex Education. These modules are can be tailored to age appropriate content for audiences age 14-adult. Adult communities can also request a workshop with explicit erotic content.

  • Communicating Consent- Our internal scripts, cultural norms, interests, and desires affect our verbal and nonverbal sexual communication. How do we communicate consent as an ongoing conversation in practice?

  • Femme Sexual Scripts- Femme sexuality is often associated with ambivalence, submission, and purity --or with seduction, assertiveness, and desirability. What are femmes and the people who love them to do in navigating a complex web of competing and contradictory sexual fantasies and scripts? * also for folx socialized with feminine scripts

  • Performing Gender- We all perform gender everyday, and yet the way we understand and perform gender changes over time. Our conception of gendered self-identity affects how we relate to the world, to other people, and to ourselves; and yet many of us lack the tools to examine the ways our own growing up experiences infused us with assumptions and limiting beliefs about self-expression and identity.

  • Sex for Survivors- Claiming a space of sexual healing, security, and pleasure after sexual assault is a challenging process. This is a space for survivors to process trauma, mental health, embodiment, sexuality, and healthy sexual self-expression after assault.


The Sex Education Strategy

These workshops are for sexual assault prevention organizers, educators, and caregivers working with youth to learn more about sexual education as one of the most effective strategies for preventing sexual violence.

  • Sex Education for Caregivers + Educators: Gender and Sexuality- This is a space for those working in youth education, community organizing, or sexual violence prevention to learn about sex, sexuality, gender diversity, trans* and queer identity, gendered language, and other things you’d like to know.

  • Preventing Sexual Violence with Sex Education- Research shows that comprehensive and inclusive age-appropriate sexual education is the most effective way to foster a healthy relationship to sexuality and gender for youth. We believe this is also one of the best interventions into rape culture, and is one of the few strategies to address sexual violence that is actually preventative.



These workshops are for groups and organizations interested in incorporating trauma awareness, conflict resolution, and coalitional tactics to make their community culture more sustainable, inclusive, and effective.

  • Individual & Collective Trauma Healing- You may have heard the phrase, “Hurt people hurt people.” In our experience, that certainly rings true for activists and survivors of all forms of trauma-- but how can we transform our wounds into the wisdom necessary to heal ourselves and our communities? We share practices that can be integrated personally, interpersonally, and within a community. True healing is not based in shame, but in love, creativity, honesty, and respect.

  • Organizing Across Difference: Conflict Management & Transformation- Opposition, as well as natural stressors due to increased participation and coverage, often pushes activists and organizers into attacking each other; too often we find that a movement falls apart due to internal conflicts more than external pressures. We use what we learn from studying the conflicts of past movements to find insights into improving intergroup understanding, relationships, empathy and collaboration.

  • Coalitional Organizing: An Ecosystem Model- In this workshop we employ Dean Spade's three pronged approach of: helping those currently affected by the system, deconstructing the system, and imagining alternatives to the current system. We process the conflicts that often arise in movements of people who do not share the same background, education, experiences, and/or strategies, and discuss best practices to overcome these issues including "Radical Respect". We learn about the Ecosystem Model of organizing that allows space for various forms of activism and participation.


To learn about our rates and packages contact us below.

Who Are We and Why Are We Doing This?

We are Nastassja and Lea, the founders of Spring Up. Through Spring Up we offer workshops, teach-ins, and consulting to student activists and community organizations. In our experience with intersectional campus activism, we saw and experienced conflicts across difference; difference in identities, tactics, framing, and goals. These conflicts first presented themselves to us as students at Dartmouth College when we helped to organize a coalitional action collective called #RealTalkDartmouth in Spring 2013 to highlight student experiences of violence on campus, including sex-based violence, structural violence, hazing, and hate crimes. As our movement drew hostility from other students on campus and received national media attention, conflicts began to erupt between student activists. We filed an intersectional federal Clery Act complaint against Dartmouth through the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education, but the movement cracked under pressure and largely fell apart (luckily the issues raised were taken up by a larger intersectional collective called the Freedom Budget who compiled a diverse set of demands of the administration and held a sit-in in the College President's Office in Spring 2014.)

Upon leaving Dartmouth College and joining the national sexual assault movement, we noticed many of the same conflict dynamics emerging between organizers. We brought an intersectional framework to our work with #EdActNow and various actions with Know Your IX as well as our participation in the documentary The Hunting Ground with the goal of bridging the discussion between activists, survivors, academics, organizations, and the public. We realized that our academic backgrounds in sociology, critical race studies, gender and sexuality studies, the history of social movements, trauma healing, and public health analysis could actually help student activists in building healthier movements. Organizers have been facing many of the same issues for a long time, and we can learn from the lessons of our past to build a stronger future.

We've traveled around the US presenting workshops and teach-ins to coalitions of students, learning about how the problems we experienced on our campus relate to what is going on at schools across the country. With so many exciting movements blossoming across our campuses and digital community spaces, we still see efforts to organize together blocked by perceived differences of identity and interest. We authored two books to address these issues: the Campus Violence Workbook, a guide for student organizers and administrators to understand and address violence on campus (coming out this Spring), and Millennial Sex Education, a collection of short stories and questions for reflection exploring themes of desire, consent, and millennial sexuality (available now with FREE download on our website). Now, we see exciting opportunities for students within and across campuses to connect with each other and with their surrounding communities to grow healthy, transformational, inclusive movements for justice and liberation - that's what the Spring Up Tour is all about!

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Spring Up has presented workshops at universities, community organizations and conferences around the United States including University of Michigan, Dartmouth College, the inter Ivy League queer conference at Yale and Princeton, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Creating Change Conference, Wesleyan College, and Occidental College.

We offer workshops on campus violence, community organizing, trauma healing, and the creative process. Our workshops are tailored to the group we are speaking to offered in person or digitally internationally.



Digital Teach-Ins

Our youtube channel and podcast offer Teach-Ins on various topics as a digital resource. 

Spring Up had the privilege of partnering with Know Your IX on this teach in! Every day it seems we are inundated with another “expert” telling us how the criminal legal system and the police are solutions to ending campus sexual violence. We know better. 

Ashley J. Hobbs from Black Women’s Blueprint explained how the criminal legal system can be harmful to survivors, and why Title IX is a critical alternative. Dana Bolger of Know Your IX discussed mandatory referral bills (that force survivors to report to the police) and train us with media skills can oppose them. Nastassja Schmiedt of Spring Up and #RealTalkDartmouth drew from their experiences doing incredible intersectional coalition building a discussion to talk to us about the intersection between anti-sexual violence and anti-racist organizing -- and how best to build partnerships between campus groups that will lead to a more powerful movement.

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