Summer Leadership Summit-Aug 27

Now is the time to safely come together – over good food and with beautiful scenery – to reflect on our recent work, and get real about the power we need to build to win the policies our people and planet need: to create the Iowa where everyone from all backgrounds and abilities can thrive, no exceptions.

That’s why we’re coming together for: 

CCI Action Summer Leadership Summit
Saturday, August 27
10am – 3pm
Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge
West Des Moines, IA 

Together, we’ll reground ourselves in our organizing roots and the work ahead. The timing couldn’t be better.

Recent decisions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, actions across the country aimed at stifling protest, dissent and democracy, and more can feel deflating. These measures are the result of a decades-long agenda by corporate elites and the conservative right to consolidate power through stepping-stone victories and learning from their defeats.

It’s time for us to get as determined and committed to our long-term agenda. That’s what we’ll dig-in to at our Summer Leadership Summit.

Now is not the time to back down or sit on the sidelines.

Now is the time to double-down on our community organizing roots of connection, community, and building power for the people and places we love. That’s what our two guest speakers, Sulma Arias and Amanda Weaver, are about.

Sulma Arias

Warm, courageous, inspiring, and determined are a few words staff used to describe Sulma, who brings over 20-years of organizing experience to our network.

Sulma previously served as director of immigration and power building for Community Change. And before that, she was director of Sunflower Community Action in Kansas, where she helped lead the fight against Kris Kobach’s attack on immigrants.

Sulma will move us with her vision for an Organizing Revival and the urgency to “Build a Bigger We.”

Amanda Weaver

We first met Amanda when she was doing game-changing organizing in the Chicagoland area. Her work with Reclaim Chicago members spearheaded a new type of political activism to weave together targeted racial and economic justice policy battles, inspiring direct actions, and tough-as-nails political organizing to take on Chicago’s political establishment and score powerful wins.

Today, she is the States Director for the Movement Politics team of People’s Action. At our Summit, Amanda will lead us through a visioning exercise on Power Building for the Long Haul.


Racoon River Nature Lodge
2500 Grand Ave
West Des Moines, IA 50265

The entrance to the park can be easy to miss. We’ll put out a sign and some balloons to help catch your attention.

From I-35 North, take Exit 69A, follow Grand Ave to the park.
From I-35 South, take Exit 69, follow Grand Ave to the park.
If you’re traveling in town, or using the 63rd exit off I-235, we recommend the Google Maps route that takes you on Railroad Ave (not Iowa Ave).

COVID-19 Protocol

All participants who attend in person will be asked to submit proof (cell phone photo is fine!) of a negative COVID test from the night before or morning of the event.

When you arrive, stop by our testing tent to show proof or take a test.

We will have a testing tent and table set up outside of registration.
The inside area will be reasonably situated to maximize safety. We will provide masks and hand sanitizer on-site for those who wish to use them. We will continue to monitor the COVID situation and plan mitigation efforts accordingly.

Schedule of Events

The program will start promptly at 11:00 am. Please plan arrive no later than 10:40 (20 minutes before 11 am) if you need to take a COVID test. 10:00-11:00 Registration & Social Hour
Coffee & Snacks provided

11:00-12:40 Morning Program
Issue updates
Organizing Revival and “Building a Bigger We” with special guest Sulma Arias


12:40-1:40 Lunch
Catered by Ginkgo Goods

1:40-3:00 Afternoon Program
The Political Moment
Power Building for the Long-haul with special guest Amanda Weaver Next Steps

Other FAQs

What to wear:  We’re a fairly casual crowd, BUT we do suggest wearing layers as it may be hard for us to control temperatures in the Nature Lodge. We’ll also have tables outside for lunch and to enjoy the view.  Dogs?: No. 🙁 Can I bring a friend? Yes, people may register at the door.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call the CCI Action headquarters at 515-282-0484 before 5 pm on Friday!