Center for Third World Organizing

Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO, pronounced "C-2") is a racial justice organization dedicated to building a social justice movement led by people of color.

What we do


Established in 1985, the Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program (MAAP) has been the flagship organizer training program for people of color, bringing motivated young activists together from all over the country to teach them the science and art of organizing communities around their most salient issues. MAAP has trained more than 450 organizers, many of whom currently hold leadership positions within social justice organizations around the country.


Participants of our Community Action Trainings (CAT) learn how to door-knock and other forms of contact work as a tool for recruiting and mobilizing constituents, participate in campaign development and actions, learn grassroots fundraising techniques, debate approaches to social change as well as develop strategies that link the legacy of organizing in communities of color with today's fight for social justice.

Movement Building

CTWO works with local allies and community organizations nationally to strategize on how to win campaigns, with the goal of not only meeting demands, but also building an active membership base and developing new leaders of color through hands-on leadership development trainings and workshops. We also provide customized training and consultation services tailored to the specific needs and issues of your organization.

Latest blog news

Make a donation


Whether with a one-time contribution or with a monthly pledge, we need you to help advance the struggle for racial justice by making a meaningful donation.


We have a goal of raising 33% of our income from grassroots sources – that means people like you!


CTWO partners with Network for Good for secure online credit card processing. You can also mail checks directly to: Center for Third World Organizing at 900 Alice Street, Suite 300, Oakland, CA 94607.


Your support enables us to develop programs that are truly accountable to the communities we serve and expand the notion of a just society.



Karissa Lewis

Interim Executive Director

see more

Avery Bizzell
Avery Bizzell
Avery Bizzell
Avery Bizzell

Avery Bizzell


see more


  • “For a lot of young people of color, MAAP is the THE program for getting the skills that we need to build power for our communities. Since I’ve graduated I’ve continued using the skills and building on them.”

    Sara Mersha, MAAP 1997 – Director, Direct Action for Rights & Equality (DARE)

  • “So many organizers have come through CTWO…The training on doorknocking is key to training organizers and the integration of organization techniques with political analysis as well.”

    Si Kahn – Executive Director, Grassroots Leadership

  • “MAAP continues to meet the need for potential organizers of color getting training and for organizations needing to recruit organizers of color.”

    Abdi Soltani – Executive Director, Californians for Justice (CFJ)

  • “I learned a lot about strategic planning of campaigns, labor law, leadership development of workers, and techniques of being an effective organizer.”

    Monica San Miguel – MAAP 2003

Frequently asked questions about MAAP


What is the schedule?

MAAP is an 8-week summer program. The first week is a 5-day training and orientation session. For the following 6 weeks, apprentices are sent to a host site location to do on the ground organizing work. At the completion of the fieldwork portion of the program, apprentices are brought back together for a week of debriefing, evaluations, additional trainings, and graduation.


What will I learn?

MAAP develops apprentices' political analyses and the skills needed for organizing in low-income and people of color communities. While we work with various partner organizations in different locations nationwide, MAAP brings the experiences together through the framework of CRAFT: Contact work, Research, Action, Fundraising, and Teamwork. We view each area as important for developing your skills as organizers.


Where are apprentices placed?

We work with community and labor organizations across the country that do direct action organizing in low-income and people of color communities. We work with organizations that share a politic of winning real changes through increasing the political power of their constituents in organizing on issues that deal with the intersections of race, class, gender, and nationality within these communities.


What are the housing arrangements?

Arrangements vary. Depending on the resources of the organization, apprentices may live with other apprentices in shared housing, have an apartment rented by the organization, a spare room in the house of a leader of the organization, or may even share a room. CTWO strongly encourages host organizations to arrange for apprentices to have some space of their own, preferably with people outside of the organization's staff.


How are placement sites determined?

We take several things into consideration: the need of the host organization (e.g. language needs, gender), the preference of the apprentice, and the general cohort of apprentices and host sites. CTWO makes the final decision about all apprentices' placements.


Will I have time to do anything else?

MAAP is an intensive, full-time 8-week long apprenticeship. Because apprentices will be working on active campaigns, the campaign may require them to work up to 10-12 hours a day, 6 maybe 7 days a week.


What are apprentices responsible for?

Apprentices are responsible for covering and coordinating their transportation to the training site at the start of the program and again back to their homes after its completion. Apprentices are also responsible for covering their own food while in the field.


What does CTWO cover?

CTWO or the host organization pays apprentices a stipend of $250 a week (before taxes) for the six weeks in the field. Although the amount will not change, the payment frequency will vary depending on the host organization. In most cases, apprentices will be paid every 2 weeks or on the 15th and the last day of the month. CTWO also provides housing and local transportation pertaining to work for the duration of the 8-week program.

contact information

  • Oakland Location (Main Office)

    900 Alice Street, Suite 300, Oakland, CA 94607

  • Telephone and Fax (Main Office)

    510-201-0080 (ph) | (510) 433-0908 (f)

  • New York City Location

    67 West Street, Suite 304, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Contact us