query: community organizing concepts

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Thu Oct 9 12:50:58 CDT 2008

[ed:  look at all the cool stuff coming in response to James' query.  
Thanks to Xavier, Aaron, and Al.]

From: Xavier de Souza Briggs <xbriggs at MIT.EDU>

I have a piece, "organizing stakeholders, building movement, setting the 
agenda," available free online, written to address just that 'literacy' 

It's part of the 'strategy tool' set at www.community-problem-solving.net

- xav

Xavier de Souza Briggs
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


From:  "Aaron Schutz" <schutz at uwm.edu>

Randy's piece does a nice job of describing the difference between
different approaches to community engagement and change.  I wrote
something similar that breaks community engagement approaches up a bit
more in a pair of introductory pieces about community organizing as part
of my Open Left Series on "Core Dilemmas of Community Organizing":

Part I:  http://openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4710

Part II: http://openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4881

The "lectures" from my online community organizing course, which is
designed for people who don't know anything about organizing, provides a
more comprehensive introduction.  It's here:


Aaron Schutz
Associate Professor & Chair
Dept. of Ed. Policy & Comm. Studies
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201
Office: (414) 229-4150
Fax: (414) 229-3700
Website: educationaction.org


From:  Al Boss <alboss at sisypheans.org>

Check the materials on the Community Empowerment site at 
http://www.scn.org/cmp/indexe.htm (assuming you want the information in 
English). There's a list of key words that explains some of our jargon 
and what it really means, and the training modules do an excellent job 
of getting the concepts across without sounding like a textbook or like 
a caller in a bad game of buzzword bingo.



Discussion list for COMM-ORG wrote:
> --------
> This is a COMM-ORG 'colist' message.
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> --------
> [ed: please feel welcomed to copy COMM-ORG with responses to James' 
> query. A couple of things from me below.]
> From: james whelan <james at thechangeagency.org>
> Hi comm-org friends
> I’d appreciate your advice. Climate change activists I’m working with 
> have difficulty understanding the concepts of mobilizing, movement 
> building, community organizing and civil disobedience. These are 
> expressions that members of their team use regularly, but often without 
> a clearly shared understanding. Are there articles or other resources 
> you’d suggest for the group? What have you read (or written) that helped 
> you appreciate these concepts?
> James
> [ed: I have done a "primer on community organizing" for one community 
> group at http://comm-org.wisc.edu/cr/crreporta.htm. Also see an article 
> at 
> http://www.socialpolicy.org/fileadmin/SocialPolicy/images/zemsky_mann.pdf--apologies 
> for the pdf format.]
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