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Key Progressive Group To Be Absorbed By Wellstone Action

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 9/10/2015 Ryan Grim

WASHINGTON - After a year of tumult, the New Organizing Institute is being folded into another progressive organization, Wellstone Action, which was founded in the wake of the death of iconic Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, sources told HuffPost.

NOI is most known for its trainings of radical and progressive organizers, held during what they've called their "unconference," RootsCamp, as well as other digital training camps.

The next unconference was scheduled for December of this year and his being pushed off to the first three months of 2016.  

"I’m grateful for everything the NOI community has done and built together. While NOI as an organization is ending, I’m excited about this new chapter, and thrilled that Wellstone will continue this important work," said NOI co-founder Judith Freeman in a statement provided to HuffPost.

The organization's unraveling was hastened when a group of its senior leaders presented NOI's board with an ultimatum that if its executive director was not fired in a short amount of time, the officials would walk. The board didn't concede immediately to the demand, and the staffers resigned. The executive director was later removed from his job. 

While abruptly presenting a board, without prior warning or conversations, with such a demand might seem unusual, anybody who has worked with the new millennial generation (excepting, of course, the well-adjusted staff at The Huffington Post) would recognize the move.

"There is an entire new generation of online strategists in the world today who, while brilliant, don't always have much patience for stuff or knowledge of those who paved the way," said one source familiar with the NOI situation and staffers. 

Ben Goldfarb, Wellstone’s executive director, said in a statement he looked forward to working with the former NOI crew. “The NOI community has so much to be proud of. We’re humbled by the opportunity to integrate this work into Wellstone’s programs for progressive leaders and organizations across the country and build on the foundation that NOI created," he said in a statement.


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