Community  Organization and Change

Community and Environmental Sociology 573
The web address for this syllabus is :

Professor: Randy Stoecker
Office:  Ag Hall 340d
Office Hours: MW 4-5:00, and by appointment
Phone:  890-0764
Fax: 263 - 4999

Fall, 2009
MW 2:30-3:45
2104 Chamberlain

WELCOME... Community Organization and Change.  This course will focus on the rich history and contemporary practices of the craft called community organizing.  This is the work of the famous Saul Alinsky, the 1950s and 1960s Civil Rights Movement, and people such as Barack Obama.  It is, fundamentally, about oppression and inequality and the struggles for social change that come from them. 

This year also marks what would have been Saul Alinsky's 100th birthday, and there will be a number of events commemorating that anniversary in the region.


Interestingly, those most associated with the craft of community organizing, Jane Addams, Saul Alinsky, Myles Horton, and Martin Luther King Jr., all have either academic sociology training or affiliations with sociology.  But none of them pursued a full graduate degree in sociology, not seeing enough practical commitment in the discipline to make it worth their while.  Consequently, there has always been a gap between the theories of power and inequality in sociology and the strategic models of community organizers.  In this course we will try to bridge some of that gap.  That leads to the two goals of the course:

1.  to understand community organizing in a theoretical context.

2.  to learn basic community organizing skills.


Please inform me if you have special learning needs so I can adjust the course to meet those needs.


When teachers realize they still have things to learn and students realize they have things to teach, and when everyone is in an atmosphere where teachers are encouraged to learn and students are encouraged to teach, everyone benefits.

My job is to create and maintain a classroom atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable taking intellectual and interpersonal risks, and to support others in doing so as well.  I welcome challenges to  ideas, especially my own.  But please practice respect for each other as people while you question and criticize each others' ideas. 

Because of this philosophy, you will only learn as much from this course as you seek.  If you are not seeking to learn anything, then you will not learn anything.  In order to learn you need to bring your questions, experiences, and analyses into the classroom.  Seeking means listening as much as speaking.  Seeking also means wanting to challenge your own perspective more than defend it. 


Please consult with me whenever you have a question about course assignments, lectures, discussions, or readings. I will gladly discuss questions you have about the course material. You should also consult with me whenever you may find yourself interested in the issues raised in the course and you want to discuss further or get more information.  Community organizing is the most exciting topic in my academic life (and, actually, my real life too) and please do not feel like you are imposing on me by wanting to discuss it outside of class.


Community organizing, as a practice, has been until recently unique to the United States.  That doesn't mean people in other nations are not doing grassroots social action, only that the particular practice that we call community organizing is a U.S. practice.  Thus, most of this course will have a U.S. focus, though I will include German, Australian, and Canadian perspectives with which I am familiar.  I welcome those of you with other international experiences to make those part of the course, particular in the final weeks, which will be student led.

I want to begin the course by studying two important sources of contemporary community organizing in the United States:  Saul Alinsky, often considered the founder of community organizing; and Ella Baker, a much less recognized but no less important Civil Rights movement organizer.  We will thus spend the first couple of weeks thinking about the lessons we can learn from these two organizers.  We will build on this history by exploring philosophies of community organizing, addressing issues such as the role of ideology in organizing.

The middle of the course will look at the actual process of community organizing, analyzing how community organizers actually do their work.

The final section of the course will be student led, with volunteers organizing class sessions on topics about which I lack expertise and experience, or simply didn't have time to include.


Because my involvement with community organizers has led me to see lectures as a disempowering form of education, I will do only a little lecturing.  Most of the time, then, we will be engaged in small group or large group discussion and workshops. These discussions will require you to provide information you obtained from the readings so, if you don't do the required readings each week, you will be lost and we will lose your participation. You will also then do badly on the assignments.  We will also be doing a number of workshops during the course that will involve discussion and interaction. I always welcome your participation, comments, and questions since I think student participation contributes to a much more interesting class.


You will find a mix of readings in this course, including books, journal articles, professional publications, and gray literature.  The academic literature has been quite neglectful of community organizing, and sociology in particular has virtually ignored it as an area of study.  I have included sociological works where I thought they may be at least tangentially applicable.  One of our tasks in this course will be to evaluate the extent to which the sociological literature is relevant to community organizing.

Since this is a community organizing course, the books for the course will be available at a locally-owned and community-based bookstore:

Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative
426 W Gilman St
Madison, WI 53703-1009
(608) 257-6050

The following books are required:

Get one of these two books, or both if you are into it:

Lee Staples.  2004. Roots to Power: A Manual for Grassroots Organizing, 2e, Praeger, ISBN 0-275-96998-3

Rinku Sen. 2003. Stir it Up: Lessons in Community Organizing and Advocacy, Jossey-Bass, ISBN 0-7879-6533-2

Purchase all three of these:

Saul Alinsky.  1971.  Rules for Radicals, Vintage, ISBN 0-679-72113-4

Barbara Ransby. 2003. Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision, New edition, University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 978-0-8078-5616-1

Kristin Layng Szakos and Joe Szakos.  2007.  We Make Change: Community Organizers Talk about What They Do--and Why, Vanderbilt University Press, ISBN 978-0-8265-1555-1

Important:  there are readings due the first day of class.  Please note the course calendar below.


This course is supported online, where you will submit your writing and engage in out-of-class discussion.  You should be able to go to to login, where you will see the course listed. This will be primarily for you to upload assignments.  You can also use the "e-mail" link to contact your fellow classmates.

I also recommend that you sign up for the international community organizing discussion list that I moderate at  A thoughtful post with useful resources could earn you an extra credit point.


1.  Organizer memos (84 points total)

Most larger community organizing groups usually have a lead organizer and then a number of front-line organizers.  The lead organizer often acts as a kind of supervisor and mentor, talking through strategy with the front-line organizers, debriefing the outcomes of various strategies, and coaching the front-line organizer through the process of recruiting members, building a base, engaging in tactics, and managing campaigns.  Lead organizers don't have time for a lot of writing, but often want reports from the front-line staff.  So the first assignment of the course will be four memos to the lead organizer.  Each should be a maximum of 500 words. 

Doing these memos well will require that you have or develop some familiarity with a constituency community.  We will talk about what a "constituency community" is the first day of class, but it typically means a group of people excluded from normal sources of power for some common reason and who can meet face to face. The second and third memos in particular will ask you to outline a strategy for such a community.  Now remember that community organizers don't typically work with privileged communities unless they are under threat by those with even more privilege.  

The due dates are posted on the course calendar, below. I will be somewhat strict about the late penalty, since you can turn in assignments electronically if you are still infectious.  Documentable debilitating illnesses and tragedies/emergencies, of course, will be granted extensions. I will not grade you on the basis of whether I think your proposed strategy will work for a particular community (though I may comment on your strategy).  Instead, I will grade each on a 21 point scale based on the following:

2.  Optional Final Project (20 points total)

Undergraduate students can receive a B in the course if you do very well on all the organizer memos and have good attendance (see below). Those who wish either a higher grade than a B, and who have a special self-motivating interest, are welcomed to do a final project to receive a higher grade.  That "self-motivated" part is extremely important. 

Some of you like to write papers.  Some of you are engaged in community organizing campaigns. You can propose anything relevant to the overall topic of community organizing for your final project. Please note that relevance is crucial.  The course is about building the power and capacity of oppressed and excluded communities, and your final project should be also.  I welcome and encourage collective work, so feel free to organize groups and develop collaborative projects. Generally, a final project should take about 20 hours.  Here are some possibilities:

I am happy to meet with you to to develop and shape your own ideas.  I will not, however, assign you a project idea.  That is the self-motivated part.  Typically, I find that final projects are not very good when they are about my ideas. 

The final project requirements are:

Final Project Options

Research Papers:  If you choose to write a research paper you should be thinking in terms of a minimum of 15 pages/15 references if you are an undergrad and 20 pages/20 references if you are a grad student.  If you have not written a long paper before, you should talk with me and work with the folks at the university writing center.

Service learning projects:  I have done extensive research on service learning, which shows significant problems with the service learning model.  Consequently, I will be very strict about counting service learning as a final project.  There are two service learning options:

    1. students who are already engaged with a community organizing effort at prior to the beginning of the semester will be able to count it for a final project.  There is not time, in a single semester, to build a relationship with an organization and then bring any acceptable level of service to that organization in the form of community organizing.  If you are already engaged with a community organizing effort and wish to count it as your final project, here are the requirements: 
I will be happy to meet with you and the organization representative at any point to troubleshoot the partnership.  If you run into difficulties along the way, please let me know so we can all sit down together and get the experience on track.
    1. There is an opportunity to be part of a community-based action research project with the Grassroots Leadership College.  The GLC is unique in the leadership training field in focusing its efforts on people normally excluded from a voice in society, such as returning prisoners, immigrants, people who are homeless, and other marginalized peoples.  That project will involve carrying out research designed by GLC participants.  We will be looking for 6-10 students who have research methods training or interviewer experience, a flexible schedule, and a willingness to work off campus and meet outside of class.  Students in this project will also need to take and pass the human subjects research training course within the first two weeks of the semester.  Graduate students will be able to count this for their entire final project.  Undergraduates will be able to sign up for a 1-credit directed research credit.
    2. There may be one or two other opportunities I will tell you about when the semester begins.

    Group-based final projects:  Groupwork can be challenging.  Some people join groups so they can get other people to do the work.  If you submit a group proposal, I will ask that you specify what each group member will contribute to the final product.  Each group member will receive the same grade for the final project unless a group member has alerted me to a problem in the group.  In that event, I will ask each group member to grade every other group member.  Each group member's project grade will then be computed as follows:

    ((sum of group member grades / number of group members) + (professor group grade)) / 2

    Plagiarism:  Being found guilty of plagiarism can include failing the course and even being expelled from the University.  The Internet makes it very easy  to plagiarize, and to catch plagiarism.  The university also has specialized anti-plagiarism software.  The first thing you need to do is know what plagiarism is so you don't do it by accident.  See for that.  The second thing to know is what to do if you are stuck on a paper.  Best advice--contact your friendly university professor.  Now, I also know that some students are committed to cheating even at the risk of being kicked out of school, while some honest students will be terror stricken that they might flunk the class because they forgot a citation.  Please rest assured I will not flunk anyone because they forgot a citation.  This policy is to catch the flagrant violators, not sloppy referencing. I will help you fix sloppy referencing on your rough drafts.

3. Optional Class Presentation/Facilitation (9 points total):

Because you may have specific interests in community organizing that I do not have, I will welcome volunteers who wish to cover community organizing topics that I have neglected during the final four weeks of class.  If you are already doing a final project I welcome you to also volunteer to do a class presentation or facilitation.  You should follow the final project deadlines for proposing a class session and developing its content.  You can choose either a full class day or a half day (you may be limited to a half day depending on how many students choose to do this), and you can do a presentation or a facilitation.  This option works best for students already writing a final paper, as it will require the level of expertise that writing a paper will provide.  Extensive on-the-ground experience with a topic is also good preparation.

The requirements are:

4.  Attendance and Participation

I reserve the right to add points to grades of students who enhance the class through their participation.


Your final grade will be figured as the total points earned from the four organizer memos (maximum = 84) plus the total points from the optional final project (maximum = 20) and the optional class presentation/facilitation (9 points).

Graduate Student Grade
Undergraduate Student Grade
A A 106-113
AB A 101-105
62 or below


    **Note:  undergrads should read all assigned readings each week; grads should also read at least one "resource" reading.  

    **Remember to bring the readings with you to class.

    **I may add "resource readings" (which are optional) as the semester progresses.  You can always find the most up-to-date list on the web version of this syllabus.  Please let me know of any broken links.

    **If you receive permission errors for any online reading link, go to , log in, and try again.

  Sept.  2: The Community and Community Change


Stoecker, Randy.  2009.  Community Organizing and Social Change.  Contexts Magazine, 8:20-25. (on e-reserve)

Brint, Steven.  Gemeinschaft Revisited: A Critique and Reconstruction of the Community Concept Sociological Theory, Vol. 19, No. 1. (Mar., 2001), pp. 1-23.

Resource Reading:

Bartle, Phil. What is Community? A Sociological Perspective.  2003.

MacQueen, K. M., et. al., What is community? An evidence-based definition for participatory public health [community-based participatory research]. American Journal of Public Health. Dec. 2001 v. 91 no. 12 p. 1929-38.


García, Isabel; Giuliani, Fernando; Wiesenfeld, Esther. Community and sense of community: The case of an urban barrio in Caracas. Journal of Community Psychology. Nov. 1999, Vol. 27 Issue 6, p727

Hughes, Ian.  What is Community? 2000.

Wellman, Barry, From Little Boxes to Loosely-Bounded Networks: The Privatization and Domestication of Community Pp. 94-114 in Sociology for the Twenty First Century, edited by Janet Abu-Lughod, University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Black, A., and P. Hughes. The identification and analysis of indicators of community strength and outcomes - Occasional Paper no, 2001. Department of Family and Community Services Occasional Paper No. 3.  2001.  Commonwealth of Australia.

  Sept. 9:  Roots of Community Organizing:  Saul Alinsky

Saul Alinsky.  1971.  Rules for Radicals

Resource Reading:

Robert Fisher, "Neighborhood Organizing: The Importance of Historical Context"

Three Alinskys? by Peter Szynka, 2002,

Neil Betten and Michael J. Austin. 1990. The Roots of Community Organizing, 1917-1939. Temple University Press.

Wendy Plotkin. 1996. "Alinsky and Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council."

Wendy Plotkin. 1996. "Alinsky's involvement in Organization of the Southwest Community."

Wendy Plotkin. 1996 "Alinsky's involvement in Woodlawn in Chicago/The Woodlawn Organization."

Saul Alinsky, Reveille For Radicals, Vintage Books, 1969.

Saul Alinsky. 1941. "Community Analysis and Organizations." American Journal of Sociology 46:797-808.

Robert Bailey. 1972. Radicals in Urban Politics: The Alinsky Approach. University of Chicago Press.

P. David Finks, "Alinsky in Smugtown" from The Radical Vision of Saul Alinsky, Paulist Press, 1984.

Joan Lancourt. 1979. Confront or Concede: The Alinsky Citizen-Action Organizations. Lexington Books.


  Sept. 14-16: Roots of Community Organizing:  Ella Baker

Barbara Ransby. 2003. Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement

Resource Reading:

Susan Glisson.  n.d. “Neither Bedecked Nor Bebosomed": Lucy Mason, Ella Baker and Women's Leadership and Organizing Strategies in the Struggle for Freedom. University of Mississippi.

Joanne Grant.  1998.  Ella Baker - Freedom Bound.  New York:  Wiley and Sons.

Charles Payne.  1989.  Ella Baker and Models of Social Change. Signs, Vol. 14, No. 4,  pp. 885-899.

  Sept 21-23: The Contemporary Context


Social Policy fall 2008-2009, Vol. 38, issue 4 (These are all very short, so read them all: Barack Obama, Organizing Essentials, ; Lewis Finfer, The Obama Experience, ; Peter Dreier and David Moberg, Community Organizers:  Thank you Sarah Palin, ; Harry Boyte, The Peculiar Attack, ; John Atlas, The Miseducation of Community Organizing, ; Randy Shaw, ACORN teaches McCain about the Power of Community Organizing, ; How Much do you Know about Community Organizing? ; Bill Kopsky, In the Beginning, There was Community Organizing, ; Wade Rathke, Community Organizing at Center Stage, ; Paul Gestos, Organizing, Protest and The 2008 Election--What's Next? ; Charlene Sinclare, Re-examining Community Organizing, )

Staples, Ch. 1 -or- Sen, Introduction and Ch. 1.

Stoecker, Randy.  2009.  What Would Alinsky Say?  10 questions for 100 years.

Resource Reading:

Susan B. Hyatt.  2008. The Obama Victory, Asset-Based Development and the Re-Politicization of Community Organizing.  North American Dialogue, Vol. 11, No. 2,

Marc Pilisuk et al.  2005.  New Contexts of Organizing:  Functions, Challenges, and Solutions.  Chapter 6 in Meredith Minkler (ed.) Community Organizing and Community Building for Health, 2e.  Piscataway, NJ:  Rutgers University Press.

Benjamin Heim Shepard and Ronald Hayduk. 2002. From ACT Up to the WTO: Urban Protest and Community Building in the Era of Globalization.  New York:  Verso.

Ernesto Cortés, Jr., Reweaving the Social Fabric

Thomas J. Lenz, Building a Force for the Common Good--United Power for Action and Justice.  In Shelterforce Online

ACORN, "Detailed History of ACORN."

Gary Delgado, Chapter 4 "The ACORN Model" from Organizing the Movement, Temple University Press, 1986.

Arlene Stein. 1986. "Between Organization and Movement: ACORN and the Alinsky Model of Community Organizing." Berkeley Journal of Sociology 31:93-115.

Our Resistance Must Be As Local As Capitalism: Place, Scale and the Anti-Globalization Protest Movement, James DeFilippis, 2001,

Local and Global Organizing after 9/11, By Autumn Leonard, Tomás Aguilar, Mike Prokosch, and Dara Silverman, 2001,

Douglas R. Hess, Community Organizing, Building and Developing: Their Relationship to Comprehensive Community Initiatives, Douglas R. Hess, 1999 (Chapter 3)

Michael Eichler. "Look To The Future, Learn From The Past." Shelterforce Online, September/October, 1998.

Gordana Rabrenovic.  1996.  Community Builders:  A Tale of Neighborhood Mobilization in Two Cities.  Philadelphia:  Temple University Press.

  Sept. 28-30: Community Organizing Philosophy

**Due Sept. 30 (by 11:59pm central time): Organizer Memo 1--what is your philosophy of community organizing (include readings from 9-2 through 9-30)

**Note:  I will be travelling this week.  A guest will facilitate the class on Monday, and we will have a virtual class on Wednesday, using the Learn@UW discussion board

Guest:  Brian Christens


Brian Christens and Paul Speer, Changes and Innovations in Contemporary Local Community Organizing (available on Learn@UW course site in the "Content" section).

Szakos and Szakos, pp 1-15, 28-42, 50-65, 73-84.

Staples, Ch 2 -or- Sen, Ch. 9

Resource Reading:

David Glenn.  2006.  Scorching the Grassroots?  Chronicle of Higher Education. September 15

Kavitha Mediratta and Clay Smith.  2001. Advancing Community Organizing Practice: Lessons from Grassroots Organizations in India.  COMM-ORG,

Fisher, R. & Kling, J.N. (1987). Leading the people: Two approaches to the role of ideology in community organizing. Radical America. 21(l), 31-45.

Rapp, D.W. (1982). Ideology as an aspect of community organization and advocacy. Social Development Issues, 6(1), 53-61.

Robert Kleidman (2004) Community Organizing and Regionalism. City & Community 3 (4), 403–421

Cheryl Honey. 2006.  Community Organizing: Past, Present, and Future.  COMM-ORG,

Stall, Susan, and Randy Stoecker. 1998. "Community Organizing or Organizing Community? Gender and the Crafts of Empowerment." Gender and Society 12:729-756. (revised as Toward a Gender Analysis of Community Organizing Models:  Liminality and the Intersection of Spheres, Chapter 11 in Meredith Minkler (ed.) Community Organizing and Community Building for Health, 2e.  Piscataway, NJ:  Rutgers University Press.).

Mike Eichler.  2007.  Consensus Organizing:  Building Communities of Mutual Self Interest.  Thousand Oaks:  Sage Publications

Michael J. Austin and Jane Isaacs Lowe (eds).  1994.  Controversial Issues in Communities and Organizations, Chapter 3 "Should Grassroots Community Organizations be Linked to a Political Party to Promote Social Change?"  Chapter 8, "Should Today's Community Organizer Use the Tactics Handed Down from Earlier Generations?" and Chapter 9 "Should Only African-American Community Organizers Work in African-American Neighborhoods?"  Needham Heights, MA:  Allyn and Bacon.


  Oct. 5-7:  Basics of Community Organizing: Building a Base
**Due Oct. 7 (by 11:59pm central time):  Final project proposal, class facilitation proposal.


Staples, Ch 3 -or- Sen, Ch. 2

Szakos and Szakos, pp. 66-68, 93-109

Charity Crabtree.  2005. Where Culture, Structure, and the Individual Meet: A Social Movement Organization in Action.  Presented at the American Sociological Association annual meetings. (click "get this document" for pdf version)

Resource Reading:

Dave Beckwith.  1996.  Ten Ways to Work Together: An Organizer's View.   Sociological Imagination.

"Building Public Relationships: The Cornerstone of Our Approach." Written by Ellen S. Ryan for the Virginia Organizing Project. Linked from the VOP Organizing Toolbox

Relationship-Building and Congregational Organizing, by Rabbi Moshe ben Asher, 2002,

Kim Bobo, Jackie Kendall, Steve Max. Organizing for social change: a manual for activists in the 1990's. Washington: Seven Locks Press.  Chapter on Recruiting.

"Holding House Meetings." Reprinted from April 1998 issue of Virginia.Organzing, the news magazine of the Virginia Organizing Project. Linked from the VOP Organizing Toolbox

Fight the Right Action Kit by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Go to link on "Walking the Talk"  at

Lesbian Avengers' Civil Rights Organizing Project. Out Against The Right:  An Organizing Handbook.  See link to Recruitment

The Citizen's Handbook, by Charles Dobson of the Vancouver Citizen's Committee.  Read links to:  Getting People, Keeping People, Block by Block Organizing, and especially Information Sharing.

Basics Of Organizing:  You Can't Build A Machine Without Nuts And Bolts, by Shel Trapp.  Read" Introduction" "Doorknocking."

Road Raging:  Top Tips for Wrecking Roadbuilding. Read Chapter 3, Boosting Numbers and Support

   Oct. 12-14:  Basics of Community Organizing: Leadership and Organizational Development


Staples, Ch. 6 -or- Sen, Ch. 5

Szakos and Szakos, pp. 117-129, 137-143

Kathleen J. Fitzgerald and Diane M. Rodgers. 2000. Radical Social Movement Organizations: A Theoretical Model. The Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 4 pp. 573-592.

Resource Reading:

Developing Leadership, author unknown.

Shel Trapp, Basics Of Organizing, links to:  Identifying Leaders, Leadership Development, Leadership/Staff Roles

The Community Toolbox, by the Community Toolbox Team.  Developing a Plan for Building Leadership , or other sections from or

The Community Toolbox, by the Community Toolbox Team.  Organizational Structure: An Overview , or other sections from

Michael J. Austin and Jane Isaacs Lowe (eds).  1994.  Controversial Issues in Communities and Organizations, Chapter 2 "Should Charismatic Leaders be Recruited by Grassroots Organizations to Promote Social Change?"  Needham Heights, MA:  Allyn and Bacon.

  Oct. 19-21: Basics of Community Organizing: Cutting an Issue


Staples, Ch. 4 -or- Sen, Ch. 3

Szakos and Szakos, pp. 16-27, 110-116

 Robert D. Benford and David A. Snow. 2000. Framing Processes and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment. Annual Review of Sociology Vol. 26: 611-639

Resource Reading:

Dave Beckwith, with Cristina Lopez, Community Organizing: People Power from the Grassroots.

Education Policy Blog.  2006. Community Organizing and Urban Education V: “Cutting an Issue” (Clarity and Passion).

Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization: March, 6, 2007.  USING A FEDERAL ISSUE TO DEVELOP LOCAL POWER.  Contra Costa County, CA Leaders Resist Immigration Raids in their Communities.

The Organizers Forum.  2005.  Bringing Framing to Organizing.

Virginia Organizing Project.  n.d.  Turn Problems into Issues.

Shel Trapp, Basics Of Organizing, links to: Identifying Issues,

Community Toolbox:  Developing a Plan for Identifying Local Needs and Resources,

Community Toolbox:  Conducting Public Forums and Listening Sessions,

Community Toolbox:  Collecting Information About the Problem,

  Oct. 26-28:  Basics of Community Organizing: Organizing an Action and Negotiation

**Due Oct. 28 (by 11:59pm central time):  Organizer Memo 2--What is your basic organizing strategy for community "X"? (choose a specific community) (include at least one reading from each week of 10-5 through 10-28)


Staples, Ch. 5 and pp. 282-288 -or- Sen, Ch. 4

Szakos and Szakos, pp. 130-136, 156-181, 189-196

 Marco G. Giugni. 1998. Was it Worth the Effort? The Outcomes and Consequences of Social Movements. Annual Review of Sociology Vol. 24: 371-393

Resource Reading:

Shel Trapp, Basics Of Organizing, links to:  Public Meeting, Check List for the Public Meeting, Organizing a Demonstration.

The Community Toolbox, by the Community Toolbox Team. Organizing Public Demonstrations, or other sections from

Lesbian Avengers' Civil Rights Organizing Project. Out Against The Right:  An Organizing Handbook.  See link to: What's Wrong With This Picture? A Critique of the Mainstream Campaign Model,   Also see tactics links at: Direct Action for Visibility

Kim Bobo, Jackie Kendall, Steve Max. Organizing for social change: a manual for activists in the 1990's. Washington: Seven Locks Press.  Choose from chapters on Choosing an issue, Developing a strategy, A guide to tactics, Designing actions

Road Raging - Top Tips for Wrecking Roadbuilding, Chapters 8-13.

Tactics of Targets, by ACORN.

Eisinger, Peter K. The Conditions of Protest Behavior in American Cities. The American Political Science Review, Vol. 67, No. 1. (Mar., 1973), pp. 11-28.

Tulloss, Janice K Transforming Urban Regimes - A Grassroots Approach to Comprehensive Community Development: The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative.  A COMM-ORG Working Paper.

G. William Domhoff. 2005. Social Movements and Strategic Nonviolence


   Nov. 2-4:  Advanced Community Organizing: Action Research


Collette, in Staples, p. 222  -or- Sen, Ch. 6

Randy Stoecker.  2005.  Research Methods for Community Change.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage. Chapter 3,

Carl Wilmsen. 2005. In Urban and Community Forestry: Working Together to Facilitate Change, edited by Zhu H. Ning and Kamran K. Abdollahi pp. 49-56.

Resource Reading:

Randy Stoecker (ed). 1996.  Sociology and Social Action--two special issues of Sociological Imagination,

Michael J. Austin and Jane Isaacs Lowe (eds).  1994.  Controversial Issues in Communities and Organizations, Chapter 10 "Are Quick and Dirty Community Needs Assessments Better Than No Needs Assessments?"  Needham Heights, MA:  Allyn and Bacon.

 Anne B. Shlay and Gordon Whitman. 2004. Research for Democracy: Linking Community Organizing and Research to Leverage Blight Policy.  COMM-ORG,

Lutz Wessels. 2003. Research! Investigating, Organising and Fighting.  COMM-ORG,

Chris M. Coombe.  2005.  Participatory Evaluation:  Building Community While Assessing Change.  Chapter 20 in Meredith Minkler (ed.) Community Organizing and Community Building for Health, 2e.  Piscataway, NJ:  Rutgers University Press.

Meredith Minkler and Chris M. Coombe.  2005.  Using Force Field Analysis and SWOT Analysis as Strategic Tools in Community Organizing.  Appendix 4 in Meredith Minkler (ed.) Community Organizing and Community Building for Health, 2e.  Piscataway, NJ:  Rutgers University Press.

  Nov. 9-11:  Advanced Community Organizing: Coalitions and Allies


Simmons, Sampson, and Rosenthal and Mizrahi in Staples, pp. 302-330. -or- Sen, Ch. 7

Szakos and Szakos, pp. 43-49

 Randy Stoecker. 1993. The Federated Frontstage Structure and Localized Social Movements: A Case Study of the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood Movement. Social Science Quarterly Vol. 74 Issue 1, p169-184 

Resource Reading:

Araham Wandersman et al.  2005.  Understanding Coalitions and How They Operate as Organizations. chapter 16 in Meredith Minkler (ed.) Community Organizing and Community Building for Health, 2e.  Piscataway, NJ:  Rutgers University Press.

 Amanda Tattersall, There is Power in Coalition: A Framework for Analysing the Practice of Union-Community Coalitions.  COMM-ORG,

Joan M. Roberts.  2006. A Six-Step Development Framework to Build Successful Alliances, Coalitions and Partnerships.  COMM-ORG,

Margaret Groarke. 2003. Organizing Against Overfinancing: The Northwest Bronx Coalition Campaign Against Freddie Mac. COMM-ORG,

Michael J. Austin and Jane Isaacs Lowe (eds).  1994.  Controversial Issues in Communities and Organizations, Chapter 1 "Should Community-Based Organizations Give Priority to Building Coalitions Rather than Building their Own Membership."  Needham Heights, MA:  Allyn and Bacon.

  Nov. 16-18:  Advanced Community Organizing: Technology and Media
Student Facilitation:  Kim Ukura

**Due Nov. 18 (by 11:59pm central time): 
Organizer Memo 3--How might action research, coalitions, and technology/media fit into your basic organizing strategy for community "X"? (choose a specific community) (include at least one reading from each week of 11-2 through 11-18)


Weltman and Roberts-DeGenarro in Staples, pp. 264-281 -or- Sen, Ch. 8

 William K. Carroll and Robert A. Hackett. 2006. Democratic media activism through the lens of social movement theory. Media, Culture & Society 28: 83-104.

Randy Stoecker. 2002.  "Cyberspace vs. Face to face: Community Organizing in the New Millennium."   Perspectives on Global Development and Technology. 1:143-164.

Resource Reading:

Sonja Herbert.  2005.  Harnessing the Power of the Internet.  Chapter 18 in Meredith Minkler (ed.) Community Organizing and Community Building for Health, 2e.  Piscataway, NJ:  Rutgers University Press.

Lawrence Wallack.  2005.  Media Advocacy:  A Strategy for Empowering People and Communities.  Chapter 23 in Meredith Minkler (ed.) Community Organizing and Community Building for Health, 2e.  Piscataway, NJ:  Rutgers University Press.

  Nov. 23-25:  student facilitation

Nov. 23:  Jenn Randolph--Resiliency Theory and Community Organizing


Marschke, M. and Nong, K. (2003). Adaptive Co-Management: Lessons from Coastal Cambodia. Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 24 (3), 369-383. 

Resource Reading:

Wilmsen, C. (2008). Partnerships for empowerment: Participatory research for community-based natural resource management. London: Earthscan. Chapter 12, "Participation, Relationships and Empowerment".  


  Nov. 30-Dec. 2:  student  facilitation
Nov. 30:  Kristin Klingman and Ismael Cuevas--Indigenous Community OrganizingRequired:Required:

Carving Out Space from Below: The Zapatista Autonomy Movement in Chiapas, Mexico 

Resource Reading:

Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle

Dec. 2:  Becky Thompson--Indigenous Community Organizing


The Use of Ecological Science by Rural Producers: A Case Study in Mexico

--Final Project Draft:  Dec. 2 by beginning of class


  Dec. 7-9:  student  facilitation

Dec. 7:  Heather Strutz--Rural Alaskan and Indigenous Community Organizing


Alaska’s Rural Schools Fight Off Extinction. 

Dec. 9:  Jennifer Skolaski--Conflict Resolution


Office of Quality Improvement & Office of Human Resource Development. “What is conflict? Definitions and Assumptions About Conflict”  

Office of Quality Improvement & Office of Human Resource Development. “8 Steps for Conflict Resolution” This is just the website address for Step 1. Continue to read through the 8 steps.

  Dec. 14:

student facilitation

Dec. 14:  Becca Girard--GLC project

**Due Dec. 14 (by 11:59pm central time):  Organizer Memo 4--How would you change any of your previous memos, or how is your thinking reinforced, based on the material presented in the student led sessions? (include information from at least four student-led sessions)


  Dec. 23:

DUE--All Final Projects, 10:05 A.M. WED. DEC 23