[COMM-ORG] query: ways to provide training/ support to existing community orgs
Discussion list for COMM-ORG
colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sun Feb 14 16:57:09 CST 2010
[ed: thanks to Bill, Mary Jo, and Chris for replying to Amy's query.
Bill is replying to Andy's response further below. Chris' blog is now
also listed on the COMM-ORG blogger's page at
From: "Ward, William" <wward at health.usf.edu>
Andy, the only comment I would add to your great advice would be to have
some of the nonleaders involved in the early and later stages of
curriculum development since the leaders usually are early adopters and
do not always see the world from the perspective of the later adopters.
Yours, Bill Ward
From: Mary Jo Vortkamp <mvortkamp at detroitpubliclibrary.org>
As a member of a number of community organizations I suggest you offer
classes in a stand alone manner. I might be able to free up one night -
but a series of days/evenings is almost impossible - especially for a
I hate to admit it but the best attended classes are ones that have been
required as part of the grant giving process. The Youth Development
Commission in Detroit did this. They were capacity building workshops.
They were actually very helpful and well done workshops - especially the
one on policies and procedures. http://www.ydcdetroit.org
Good luck with your classes!
Mary Jo Vortkamp
Franklin Branch of the Detroit Public Library
13651 E. McNichols
Detroit, MI 48205
From: Chris Cavanagh <story at web.ca>
the work you describe is what i and a number of popular educators in
Canada have been doing for quite some time. And we have some wonderful
friends/allies in the US (namely, Highlander, Project South, Institute
for Peoples Education and Action and others). At the risk of tooting my
own horn, i do recommend looking to popular education for some of the
curriculum, activities, methodologies and models for building and
supporting organizational capacity. It goes without saying (or should,
at any rate) that popular education is for groups and not individuals
(i.e. of course individuals are the participants, but it is their
association with a group or community that frames/supports their
participation in popular education learning).
Ten years ago i co-founded a popular education worker co-op here in
Toronto and we have recently relaunched our courses and workshops
program which is geared at providing the Toronto community with the kind
of educational support that can strengthen social movements. You can see
our course offerings here: http://www.catalystcentre.ca/
I also write a blog where i share a lot of popular education resources
and one post, in particular, you might find interesting - it's about a
popular education process called Naming the Moment which, as a project
between 1986 and 1996 had fantastic success supporting hundreds of
community groups in southern Ontario. Read about it here:
Naming the Moment is a process that a Chicago-based group, The Praxis
Project, developed a version of that they called Coyuntural Analysis.
They were a project of the American Friends Service Committee and i've
lost touch with them for several years. but Mary Zerkel was the one of
the project coordinators and might be a good connection still for resources.
Also, we are just revising our Catalyst Centre website and will be
uploading dozens of resources for popular education (including community
development, anti-racism, environmental education, and more) which we
are committed to distributing as copylefted material (i.e. licensed
under Creative Commons). Here's an example of a 'zine we've used in
organizational support work:
Finally, a tantalizing note: here in Toronto we're about to lose a
wonderful scholar of critical education and popular education to youse
all in Madison. He's leaving Toronto with his partner later this year
where both will teach in Madison. Lucky you. I'm happy to make
chris cavanagh, Catalyst Centre
Discussion list for COMM-ORG wrote:
> This is a COMM-ORG 'colist' message.
> All replies to this message come to COMM-ORG only.
> [ed: thanks to Andy for replying to Amy's query.]
> Andy Mott <andymott at communitylearningpartnership.org>
> Wed, 10 Feb 2010 13:25:59 -0800
> "colist at comm-org.wisc.edu" <colist at comm-org.wisc.edu>
> In addition to Bill Ward's very good suggestions, I'd recommend that you
> involve the groups' leaders in developing the curriculum and co-teaching
> so that they have even more "ownership" over the program. We find that
> there's particular interest in earning a certificate and formalized
> recognition among people who -- because of income, poor high schools or
> other barriers -- have not had a chance to take college courses.
> Andrew Mott, Director
> Community Learning Partnership
> 1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW -- Suite 500
> Washington, DC 20007
> 202/822-6006 x 11
> andymott at communitylearningpartnership.org
> Discussion list for COMM-ORG wrote:
>> This is a COMM-ORG 'colist' message.
>> All replies to this message come to COMM-ORG only.
>> [ed: please feel welcomed to copy COMM-ORG with responses to Amy's
>> query. A bit from me below.]
>> From: "Amy S. Mondloch" <amy at grassrootsleadershipcollege.org>
>> Hi all—
>> The organization that I run, the Grassroots Leadership College, is
>> embarking on an interesting new path and trying to find who else has
>> traveled or is traveling the same way and can share some insights. For
>> the past 7 years we’ve been providing training to emerging community
>> leaders and assisting their efforts on a wide variety of different
>> community projects. Now, we’re moving toward providing support and
>> training to community organizations (rather than the focus on the
>> Our community (Madison, WI) has literally thousands of nonprofits. This
>> doesn’t include the many, many organizations that are more informal
>> community groups without official nonprofit status. We’re focusing on
>> the small or young organizations, especially those led by traditionally
>> disenfranchised groups (i.e. women, People of Color,,,,). We’d like to
>> provide training and support to the staff and volunteer leadership of
>> these organizations that is inline with our belief that everyone is a
>> learner, everyone is a teacher, and everyone is a leader. For us this
>> means non-hierarchical training/support opportunities that give
>> participants to learn from each other as well as from faculty. This
>> could come in many forms. That’s why I’m looking to all of you. What
>> have you seen/been a part of that is successful?
>> The biggest challenge I think we’re facing is the element of time. The
>> folks running small organizations whether as staff or in unpaid
>> capacities are simply booked to the gills! Often they aren’t doing thing
>> very effectively, but they have a hard time finding the opportunity to
>> slow down and fix the systems so that they run better. They also often
>> aren’t aware that things can work better.
>> How have you dealt with providing training and support to already active
>> people with a wide range of experience levels in community work? Any
>> models to suggest?
>> Thanks so much!
>> Everyone A Learner, Everyone A Teacher, Everyone A Leader
>> a proud member of Community Shares of Wisconsin
>> now accepting applications for the spring semester at
>> Amy S Mondloch
>> Executive Director
>> Grassroots Leadership College
>> 1321 E. Mifflin St. Suite 201
>> Madison, WI
>> phone: 608-441-0085
>> fax: 608-204-0835
>> amy at grassrootsleadershipcollege.org
>> [ed: one of my favorites is the Neighborhoods Resource Center in
>> Nashville, http://www.tnrc.net/]
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