Community organizing 101
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Community organizing 101

Community Organizing101


Community organizing 101

Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) is a non-partisan coalition of faith communities and partner organizations in Cuyahoga County working together to build power for social justice. GCC unites people across lines of race, class, religion, and geography to promote public, private and civic sector actions which strengthen and improve the quality of life of our neighborhoods.


Key themes of community organizing

Key Themes of Community Organizing

  • Power

  • Self-interests

  • Relationships


Living between two worlds

World as it Is

Power

Self Interest

Relationships

World as it Should Be

Love

Do good/Altruism

Recognition of common humanity

Living Between Two Worlds

Engine:

Motivation:

Glue:


Definition of power

Definition of Power

  • “To be able”

  • The ability to act


Ways of understanding power

Ways of Understanding Power

  • Dominant Power

    • Unilateral (one-way)

    • Zero-sum

    • Power “over”

  • Relational Power

    • Multi-lateral

    • Increasing

    • Power “with”


Discuss with partner

Discuss with Partner

  • Tell a story of a time in you life when you were acted on by dominant power, and what if anything you did about it.

  • Keep the story “public”

  • Spend 5 minutes swapping stories.


Sources of power in a democracy

Sources of Power in a Democracy

  • Position

  • Organized Money

  • Organized People


Context for community organizing

Context for Community Organizing

Values: Profit

Power: Organized $

Values: administration/control

Power: Position

  • Public Sector

  • Elected officials

  • (national, state, local)

  • Government Agencies

  • Private Sector

  • Financial Services

  • Energy companies

  • Real Estate/Constr.

  • Health Care/Insurance

  • Manufacturing

Contracts/grants/regulations

Campaign

Donations

  • Civic Sector

  • Families

  • Religious Congs.

  • Labor Unions

  • Civic associations

  • Advocacy Groups

Workers/Consumers

Voters/Taxpayers

Values: All other motives

Power: Organized People

and organized $


Context for community organizing1

Context for Community Organizing

Values: Profit

Power: Organized $

Values: administration/control

Power: Position

Public Sector

Private Sector

Contracts/grants/regulations

Campaign

Donations

Civic Sector

Workers/Consumers

Voters/Taxpayers

Values: All other motives

Power: Organized People

and organized $


Three levels of power

Three Levels of Power

  • Get to the table

  • Make a deal

  • Keep a deal


Context for community organizing2

Context for Community Organizing

Values: Profit

Power: Organized $

Values: administration/control

Power: Position

  • Public Sector

  • Elected officials

  • (national, state, local)

  • Government Agencies

  • Private Sector

  • Financial Services

  • Energy companies

  • Real Estate/Constr.

  • Health Care/Insurance

  • Manufacturing

Contracts/grants/regulations

Campaign

Donations

  • Civic Sector

  • Families

  • Religious Congs.

  • Labor Unions

  • Civic associations

  • Advocacy Groups

Workers/Consumers

Voters/Taxpayers

Values: All other motives

Power: Organized People

and organized $


Gcc s purpose relational power for justice

GCC’s Purpose: Relational Power for Justice

  • Ability to get to the decision making table and negotiate on behalf of our interests and values

  • Make and keep deals

  • Organizing our people and our money


Frederick douglass on power

Frederick Douglass on Power

  • “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”


Paul tillich on power

Paul Tillich on Power

  • Power without love = tyranny

  • Love without power = sentimentality

  • Power + Love = Justice


Self interest

Self Interest

  • Selfishness (me only)

  • Self interest (inter-esse: me amongst others)

  • Selflessness (others only)


Spectrum of self interest

Spectrum of Self-Interest

Self Preservation

Self Realization


Rabbi hillel says

Rabbi Hillel Says:

  • “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

  • “If I am only for myself, what am I?

  • “If not now, when?”


Discuss with partner1

Discuss with Partner

  • What self-interest brought you here today?

  • 10 minutes


Small change discussion

“Small Change” Discussion

  • What key points did you take from this article?

  • What were the self-interests of the students who initiated the sit-ins?

  • Why these students?

  • 15 minutes


Joseph mcneil and the chickens

Joseph McNeil and the Chickens

  • Self-interests

  • Relationships

  • Tension/agitation

  • Action/Reaction


How will we build power in the civic sector

How will we build power in the Civic Sector?

  • Identifying common self interests we can only realize together

  • Intentionally building relationships necessary to motivate and sustain action


Two organizing tools to identify interests and build relationships

Two Organizing Tools to Identify Interests and Build Relationships

  • Individual meetings

  • House meetings


Definition of leadership

Definition of Leadership

  • Someone who has followers

  • How many followers do you have?


How do you build your leadership

How do you build your Leadership?

  • Intentionally expand your network of relationships.

    • Members of your congregation

    • Members of other congregations and organizations

    • Other community leaders.


Individual meetings

Individual Meetings

  • A 30-60 minute face to face meeting to explore the possibility of a public relationship.

  • Explore: initiate with people you are interested in because you imagine that there’s something to do together.

  • Public: Not friendship, not romance, but respect, an understanding of mutual interests, and a context to work together in the future.


With whom

With Whom?

  • Members of your congregation

  • Members of other congregations and organizations

  • Other community leaders.

  • Anyone who can help you expand your network


Life lessons from lois

Life Lessons from Lois

  • “Meeting someone is not just about meeting someone.”

  • “She had a big job for Helen, she just didn’t know what it was yet.”

  • “First, she reaches out to someone outside her world.”

  • “It’s not merely that she knows lots of people. It’s that she belongs to lots of different worlds.”

  • “(Integration) happened, but it didn’t happen by accident. It happened because a certain type of person made it happen.”

  • “When we talk about power, this is what we are usually talking about: money and authority. But there’s a third kind of power as well – the kind Lois has. It’s social power.”


Elements of individual meetings

Elements of Individual Meetings

  • Credential: who and why

  • Be interesting – share your story and interests

  • Be interested/curious – inquire about stories, interests, passions, values, concerns, experiences, talents, public life choices.

  • Close with specific next step to further the public relationship

    • another meeting a particular topic

    • share names of people in their network

    • pull together a house meeting

    • attend an event connected to their interest


Nature of conversation

Yes

Intentional

Individual

Relational

Two-way/reciprocal

Stories/interests/values

Public/probing

In Person

Art

No

Casual

Group

Task-oriented

Interview

Small talk

Private/prying

Phone/e-mail/chat

Science

Nature of Conversation


Summary

Summary

  • We build a powerful organization by building relationships between civic sector institutions that have common self interests.

  • We unlock the power of organized people by developing leaders with a following.


Context for community organizing3

Context for Community Organizing

Values: Profit

Power: Organized $

Values: administration/control

Power: Position

  • Public Sector

  • Elected officials

  • (national, state, local)

  • Government Agencies

  • Private Sector

  • Financial Services

  • Energy companies

  • Real Estate/Constr.

  • Health Care/Insurance

  • Manufacturing

Contracts/grants/regulations

Campaign

Donations

  • Civic Sector

  • Families

  • Religious Congs.

  • Labor Unions

  • Civic associations

  • Advocacy Groups

Workers/Consumers

Voters/Taxpayers

Values: All other motives

Power: Organized People

and organized $


Core teams

Core Teams

  • 5-25 member team who will be responsible for organizing your congregation

  • Clergy and lay leaders

  • Leaders from all corners of the congregation

  • Agenda for Summer meeting

    • Audit of congregational members connected to each of our issue areas

    • Strategy for approaching each of the above


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