[COMM-ORG] No more "COMM-ORG Papers"?

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sat Aug 2 10:56:45 CDT 2014

[ed:  thanks to Betty (two messages below) and Peter for responses. Others?]

From: "Betty G. Robinson" <bettygrobinson at gmail.com>

Hi Randy,
I love the idea of having a monthly reading - or posting about key 
things people can read - maybe even including some kind of discussion.  
I think organizers on the ground are really busy so providing a 
reference/resource list with links could be really valuable.  Another 
idea would be highlighting a unique grassroots organization and their 
work each month (300-500 words or less) so people across the country 
and/or in school could learn what is happening in different places. I 
could definitely help comm-org connect with some strong grassroots 
groups in Baltimore.

Betty Garman Robinson
bettygrobinson at gmail.com


From: "Betty G. Robinson" <bettygrobinson at gmail.com>

Hi Randy, Just an addition to what I wrote earlier.  Re articles and/or 
discussion, I am not just talking about news articles, this happened and 
that happened, but rather articles that contain and/or would elicit 
discussion of strategies for movement building.

bettygrobinson at gmail.com


From: peter miller <peterm at igc.org>

Randy, I have to tell you, the subject line in the digest topic listings 
here put a lump in my throat when I first saw it. Comm-Org makes an 
important contribution to the movement and I believe the papers are an 
important piece of that (that's why I have been a contributor).  I find 
the paper topics of interest both substantively and in terms of what the 
openness of the venue attracts, like the list and all of Comm-Org, the 
thoughtfulness and good-spiritedness of that dimension of the movement's 
character. Even if the numbers decline, that is no reason to stop 
issuing the call and the offer.  Having said this, let me respond to 
your three requests.

First, yes, I am writing something I would like to be part of the 
collection.  It is, to be sure, not on the top of my to-do list, but I 
have sketched some of it out and it is on a topic I thought of 
specifically for a paper for this collection.

Second, as to why there are fewer and fewer papers being sent to 
Comm-Org, I suppose all the reasons you suggest are in play.  But if so, 
if there are pieces in the mainstream journals and presses, I'd like to 
see a listing of them, perhaps a bullet under Comm-Org resources, 
perhaps a participatory space where people, in addition to you, could 
put them.  I'd say the same thing for individual blogs; the CO bloggers 
section has only seven entries.  Notice the kinds of issues this starts 
to raise.  Are you/we looking for more suggestions for things for you to 
do -- or ways to tap into Comm-Org list subscriber -- and a wider CO 
community -- participation?

Finally, if paper submissions continue to decline, I'd still continue 
with the ask and the offer.  If there's less work in response so that 
you could add a monthly featured readings sessions, I'd welcome that as 
I'm sure others would, too.  No reason why one has to be dependent on 
the other, is there?  All of which adds up to my 2¢ and, again, a thank 
you in appreciation for all you've done with Comm-Org.

best, ----peter

On 8/1/2014 9:48 AM, Discussion list for COMM-ORG wrote:
> --------
> This is a COMM-ORG 'colist' message.
> All replies to this message come to COMM-ORG only.
> --------
> Those of you who have been following the COMM-ORG papers series know 
> that, over the past couple of years, the number of papers as been 
> dwindling.  So far, this year, I only have one paper in the queue.
> So, I have three requests of everyone.  First, I'd like to know 
> whether anyone is writing anything about community organizing or 
> things related (which, for me, includes grass-roots people coming 
> together to plan, research, learn, create, etc.) that they would like 
> to be part of the collection.
> Second, and I'd like this to be a list discussion so I *will* post 
> your responses unless you tell me not to, I would be interested in 
> your thoughts on why there are fewer and fewer papers being sent to 
> COMM-ORG.  I have a few hypotheses.  One is that I am seeing more work 
> on community organizing in the mainstream journals and presses, so it 
> may just be that COMM-ORG isn't needed as an outlet any more (I got 
> involved in COMM-ORG in the '90s partly because of an editor who told 
> me that no one was interested in reading about community organizing).  
> Another is that there are more people with their own blogs, so again 
> they don't need COMM-ORG.  And the scariest hypothesis, at least for 
> me, is that community organizing is falling out of fashion, which I 
> hope isn't true.
> Third, and related, I would like your thoughts on what to do if paper 
> submissions continue to decline.  My initial idea is to shift from a 
> papers series to a kind of monthly featured readings series. So I 
> would look at the existing publicly accessible writings and link to 
> one each month. Other ideas?
> Thanks everyone.
> Randy Stoecker
> moderator/editor, COMM-ORG
> rstoecker at wisc.edu
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