Community Organizing

“A powerful and incredibly gifted facilitator, David was open, honest, and tremendously engaging. Everything he shared had deep meaning and was in service of better understanding issues related to racial equity and community organizing.”

S.Akhtar, Assistant Director, HopeWorks

Below is a selection of some of our most popular workshops. Ranging from three hours to two or more days, these highly interactive sessions are designed to provide a framework and method that will prepare participants to develop a work plan for community and organization.

Understanding Power

Why do we always lose, even from the beginning? Understanding the importance of relations of power in civic engagement and organizing is the critical first step to a successful organizing campaign. Participants engage in a strategic and tactical role-play designed to demonstrate the need to understand their relationships of power, then analyze the forms of power available to most citizen organizations.

Choosing the Right Issues

This two hour session starts with the distinction between a problem (the thing that is wrong) and an issue (the solution to the problem), followed by a presentation, discussion and demonstration of why and how to collectively develop a list of criteria for a campaign to be successful. 

Cutting the Issue to Attract the Right People and Organizations

Sometimes an issue has already been chosen for a campaign. This session re-examines the issue in terms of the comparative criteria process and discuss ways in which to present the issue to different constituencies based upon self-interest or organizational self-interest.

Strategy Development

Strategy development is the core of any community engagement or organizing program. In this workshop, participants will learn how to identify and analyze the relationships between goals, organizational resources and objectives, constituencies, decision-makers, and tactics. Participants can use this method when holding strategy sessions in their community or organization.

Recruitment and Volunteer Leadership Development

Understanding the importance of active and engaged volunteers with clear roles and responsibilities is fundamental to successful organization building.This session includes presentation, discussion, and one-on-one role-plays with the goal to get participants to understand and practice how to identify the self-interest of a potential member. Participants will learn the qualities to be sought and cultivated in volunteer leadership.

Coalition Building and Maintenance is Possible

Beginning with identifying and understanding organizational self-interest, participants go through the advantages and disadvantages of building and joining coalitions. We review guidelines for building and joining coalitions, with an exercise to help participants determine who to invite into their coalition and how to get them to join and be held accountable.

Meeting with Elected Officials

This session will reveal the guidelines for meeting with elected officials in a clear and powerful way. The workshop includes interactive role playing and will cover developing a clear agenda and a clear request, presentation of relevant power, how to adjust to decision makers reaction to their power and request, and how to debrief the meeting.

Media and Message as a Tactic in your Campaign

The goal of this session is to demystify the process of getting media coverage for a campaign and/or a specific request of decision makers. Working in small groups, participants develop a message and short “media demonstration” in front of a group of reporters played by the larger group.

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