Northwest Change Agent Center "1-sheet"

Invitation for collaboration on proposed Northwest Change Agent Center (NWCAC)

Social movements benefit from infrastructure.  Organizations and change agents benefit from places to retreat to for reflection, strategy, and skill building.  Whether serving the development of co-operative organizing or the civil rights movement, hubs such as Circle Pines Center in Michigan and the Highlander Center in Tennessee have played a critical role in the evolution of movements and the change agents that utilize them. 

VashonInSalishSea.jpgOur vision for the Northwest Change Agent Center on Vashon Island, Washington is evolving through collaboration with allies like you.  There are many sectors in our intersectional movement and modalities for making change, which range from:

  • Cultural work to dismantle racism and renew our bonds to each other and the ecosystems that sustain us; to a variety of
  • Community organizing traditions developing leaders and building lasting power for communities.
  • Artful activism is enjoying a renaissance and is increasingly informed by a deeper awareness of grand strategy and other modalities for social change.
  • Solutionaries doing the work and manifesting models for the future abound in our region. And,
  • Storytellers are using old and new technologies to communicate and reflect our collective aspirations and accomplishments to those participating in social change work and the world we are inviting into this sacred work.

The NWCAC would be a permanent resource to our intersectional movement.  It would provide an affordable and easily accessed facility for: 

  • Retreat for Reflection and recuperation for change agents needing time away to reflect on lessons learned
  • Strategy Center for organizational and campaign planning
  • Training Camp for technical, organizing and other skills informed by our modalities for making change building capacity for local, regional, and national solidarity actions. 

We aspire to establish the Northwest Change Agent Center at a 10-acre facility on Vashon Island, Washington in the center of Puget Sound.  Currently operating as campground, B&B, and event venue, there are already multiple buildings, approximately 25 beds and camping for many, many more. There are kitchens and meeting areas, and the property borders a land trust property with trails and a 3-acre pond. 

Vashon is close enough to be easy to get to - yet the 15-minute ferry ride creates the sense of getting away. It is close to SeaTac, and has public ferry service from Kitsap Peninsula, Tacoma and Downtown and West Seattle.

Backbone Campaign has utilized this facility for seven years of action camps and multiple workshops and events, drawing participants from across North America. Other allies such as CISPES, el Comite, and Waterkeepers used this facility for retreats and strategy meetings. 

Capital Campaign details:

Purchase price of $1,550,000

3 year cost of 2 staff positions, i.e. Facility Manager, Program Director $360,000

Improvements to bring Barn up to code, noise abatement, commercial kitchen, 30' yurt for gatherings $500,000

Endowment for future expense  $400,000

Feasibility Study and legal fees $15,000

Campaign total goal is $ 2,825,000

We seek your reflections, ideas and advice:

  1. How much would your organization utilize such a facility in a year?
    #of weeks___ , weekends ____ , days ____
  2. Is there a governance component that you'd like to see in the running and oversight of the Center, beyond Backbone's board and staff? Might an advisory council or steering committee be of value?
  3. Does the proposed scope of the capital campaign seem reasonable?
    How might your organization or network support its success?
  4. What would you like for this NWCAC process and/or outcome to include that you do not yet see articulated?

Contact Bill Moyer for further details at 206-356-9980 or