What follows is a compilation of links to resources – including printable handouts & zines, audio/video interviews, reviews of books, notes from talks and group sessions, and more – on community/political organizing for social, economic and enviromental justice and postive change, spanning the individual and interpersonal to the institutional and systemic.
There is a pilot event Tuesday July 10 afternoon in Ottawa hosted by the new Community Mobilization in Crisis project.
It is with this project in mind that I’ve compiled this list of resources – mainly from EquitableEducation.ca – as a contribution to their “Co-Creating Digital Open Educational Resources for Community Mobilization.” They have further pilot events scheduled for Lebanon in August/September and Brazil later in the fall, and potential events for other countries to be confirmed.
Putting these resources together here in one place gives you – and anyone interested – the ability to look at different aspects or areas of community organizing, for consideration on what to prioritize* in improving what you’re currently doing or looking to do.
I’ve had unpleasant experiences where I’ve made efforts to have some of these aspects/resources included by people, groups, and organizations in collective work, only to meet with different forms of resistance to what (to me) seem important principles for collective work, especially when specifically relevant to what those situations involved.
This approach of making this collection accessible to those receptive / desiring of them – who through applying what’s here will be able to do things in a better way, leading to better feelings, relations and results – is an antidote to pushing these principles and approaches on those who resist their implementation.
* Note that a recommended approach is to choose and implement a small number of changes at a time
The list of resources included here is:
(and scroll down for fuller descriptions)
* Intro – with The Revolution Will Not Be Funded’ excerpt
* Anti-Oppressive Facilitation Guide
* Activism Course Zine/E-Book
* BOOK: Joan Kuyek’s Community Organizing: A Holistic Approach
* BOOK: Chris Dixon’s Another Politics: Talking Across Today’s Transformative Movements
* Anti-Authoritarian Leadership: Chris Dixon interview and handout
* Notes from talk by Joaoa Pedro Stedile of MST: Landless Peasants’ Movement, Brazil
* From The Ground Up & Healthy Roots: notes from conferences
* Organizing For Justice: community consulta notes
* Disability Justice & Transformative Justice: Mia Mingus interview, BATJC links
* and more to come
Here are a variety of resources; from ‘how-to’ practical guides through to more ideas/theory and analysis on approaching organizing.
“To our surprise, most organizations could not point to an analytical tool used within their organization to direct their work or strengthen their strategies for change” (Amara H Perez, Sisters In Action For Power).
This quote speaks of organizational needs to create better understandings of their situation/ problem/ approach, which most organizations apparently don’t take seriously. It’s from The Revolution Will Not Be Funded book (2007, edited by INCITE Women of Colour Against Violence) which in part examines issues of how funding sources and paid staff often have different priorities and needs than the people or cause that the project/ organization is purportedly for. Perez goes on to explain the four-aspect definition of colonialism their group developed to base their work and analysis upon.
That type of analysis/analytical tool might be more overall important than a ‘how-to’ guide, but at the same time a good ‘how-to’ is needed to effectively work collectively to create better understandings. For instance, how to have good meetings:
ANTI-OPPRESSIVE FACILITATION GUIDE
This guide is mostly content from AORTA (Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance).
There’s also an article from a facilitation training in Kitchener-Waterloo, by someone in the Fellowship for Intentional Communities: “We don’t grow up learning these [facilitation/meeting] skills, so a lot of us actually need to learn from a workshop or a book or practice or something, because a lot of us don’t grow up in institutions that really encourage this way of relating to each other” – Tree Bressen.
LINK TO THE GUIDE: https://equitableeducation.ca/2014/anti-oppression-facilitation
Format: PDF “front-to-back” or folded zine versions
These tweets from @prisonculture emphasize the importance of learning to have good meetings:
ACTIVISM COURSE booklet/zine/e-book
Collected notes written up after a six-week introductory-style grassroots course on community activism. It includes ideas and discussion of concepts from the course, as well as explanation and appendixes on pedagogy (/learning approach) used in the course & principles for other educational initiatives, plus an annotated reference list.
Table of Contents:
* About the course
* About this booklet (and, Session #0)
Introductory exercises / values / going deeper
Change activities that work…
Community Organizing with Joan Kuyek
Back to the values / even deeper
Book review: Community Organizing
Postive Learning Environments
Case Study: Independent Media Organizing
* Resource List: Links / Books / Podcast / Videos
* Final Remarks: A bit about the Pedagogy / Andragogy
LINK TO THE BOOKLET: https://equitableeducation.ca/2012/activism-course-ebook
Format: PDF ebook, “front-to-back”, and folded zine versions
BOOK REVIEW : JOAN KUYEK’S COMMUNITY ORGANIZING
“Kuyek examines the creation of positive social change based on a coherent and wide-ranging analysis of the context in which the work is done and the principles needed to make it effective” based on her decades of involvement in various communities and organizations.
The following quote from the book speaks to what Rosina is saying in this screenshot
“In my early years as an activist, I would have argued that we must start making change by organizing around environmental, economic or political questions. I no longer believe that is how we do it. Unless we consciously resist it our practice will be shaped by the destructive corporte paradigm of “power-over.” To free ourselves from the systems that hold power, we have to build a culture of hope. And that beings in our own lives and the lives of our neighbours and friends. It’s like gardening: if we want strong, beautiful and healthy plants, we have to build up the soil.”
LINK TO THE REVIEW: https://equitableeducation.ca/2011/kuyeks-community-organizing-book
LINK TO THE INTERVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nr5BfAJ9zA
Annotated resource list prepared to accompany the book: https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/community/
BOOK REVIEW: CHRIS DIXON’S ANOTHER POLITICS
This book has three main sections: politics, strategy and organizing. It’s based on in-depth interviews with 47 anti-authoritarian activists and organizers in major Canadian and U.S. cities who organize around principles that are anti-capitalist, anti-oppressive, and anti-imperialist, as well as pre-figurative in that the ways in which the organizing is done in the present already contain elements of the social relations and other aspects of the world that we are working to build.
LINK TO REVIEW: https://equitableeducation.ca/2015/another-politics-review
LINK TO INTERVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=be6kOAjaTHU
Also with Chris Dixon, an interview from before his book was published – and a two-page handout.
“In this model, leadership is a set of capacities and activities, including skills, knowledge, confidence, experience, and responsibilities. The aim is to develop and share these capacities and activities in order to deepen democracy and widen participation.
The three “C’s” of anti-authoritarian leadership:
1. Clear: identifying actually existing leadership roles and practices in our work.
2. Conscious: intentionally designating leadership responsibilities, and being accountable and transparent about what we say and do as leaders.
3. Collective: organizing responsibilities and training so that leadership is shared and dynamic.”
LINK TO POST: https://equitableeducation.ca/2012/anti-authoritarian-leadership
LINK TO INTERVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uhvhqkRvCc
STRATEGY FROM THE MST / LANDLESS PEASANTS MOVEMENT
In 2005, Joao Pedro Stedile of the MST was on a speaking tour and these notes are from his Ottawa talk. According to him, there is a need for the following three things, and the notes presented here hopefully help with this:
“Sharing experiences and ideas with others
Listening to others’ experiences and ideas
Discussion and dialogue:
learning from each other, what lessons we’ve learned about how to advance forward”
FROM THE GROUND UP & HEALTHY ROOTS
From The Ground Up was a series of over two years 2002-2003 in Kitchener-Waterloo, focused on creating healthy communities.
There are some rough notes from an overall strategy discussion, and also specifics: Diversity & Making Membership Accessible; Decision-Making; Environmental; Partnership-Building.
LINK TO OVERALL STRATEGY NOTES: http://equitableeducation.ca/2003/from-the-ground-up-notes
LINK TO SPECIFIC TOPICS NOTES: http://equitableeducation.ca/2003/ftgu-breakout-notes
Also see the organization’s report-back: http://temp.waterlooregion.org/healthy/2002/report/index.html
Healthy Roots was a conference held in nearby Guelph. It was focused on community-building and the notes here cover the following discussions: Anti-poverty organizing – Community Gardening – Media – The Native experience – Building Communities – Urban Sprawl.
One highlight, from John Clarke of OCAP (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty):
“They’ve found the key to organizing in poor communities is to be able to consistently demonstrate the ability to provide something of value to that community. When people need food for their kids or help to keep from being evicted, being told about a march happening next week is not going to meet their needs.”
LINK TO NOTES: http://equitableeducation.ca/2003/healthy-roots
ORGANIZING FOR JUSTICE
Collected notes from ideas, discussion, process, and individual+community activist needs – at the 2011 May Day community consulta in Ottawa for activism on social, economic, and environmental justice and healthy communities.
LINK TO THE COLLECTION: https://organizingforjustice.ca/?p=760
Format: online notes in text, also with PDF ebook, “front-to-back”, adn folded zine versions
DISABILITY JUSTICE & TRANSFORMATIVE JUSTICE
This resource on Disability Justice, an interview with Mia Mingus, gives context to discussion of access and inclusion and goes beyond. It’s important to recognize ableism and other oppressions are located within our movements as well as in the institutions and systems we’re working to change.
Description: “Disability Justice deals with the oppression of disability, but at the same time deals with other systems of oppression and injustice – it is a ‘multi-issue politic.’ It moves beyond rights- and equality-based approaches, beyond access and inclusion in unjust systems, instead working towards collective justice and liberation, towards transforming society as a whole.”
LINK TO WEB POST (incl transcript): https://equitableeducation.ca/2013/mia-mingus-disability-justice
LINK TO INTERVIEW (incl captions): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cJkUazW-jw
Mia is also part of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective.
Areas such as accountability, violence, harm, abuse, support, safety, healing, and resiliency, are important to deal with in community work.
Pods are a concept that BATJC uses to designate specific relationships able to support people in such processes – versus the vague term ‘community’: https://batjc.wordpress.com/pods-and-pod-mapping-worksheet/
Values, principles, and practices, are important guides for the work: https://batjc.wordpress.com/batjc-values-principles-practices/
Mia Mingus was interviewed re Transformative Justice and Healing, on KPFB We Rise radio/podcast: https://www.mixcloud.com/WeRiseRadio/12-17-17-we-rise-mia-mingus-of-the-bay-area-transformative-justice-collective/
The following screenshot is four tweets from this thread of Mia’s
… more resources to come …
This version was published 4pm Monday July 9th
There are some more resources that will be added.
Any feedback or suggestions please email greg Ⓐ equitableeducation . ca
MORE on the COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION IN CRISIS project
The CMIC project – which I’m not a member of – is a collaboration between people at the University of Ottawa and the American University of Beirut. It was started to support Syrian refugees in Lebanon – but has grown to be an ongoing collaborative effort to research, develop, and use open-access online learning materials for and with individuals and communities around the world, in order to hone their skills in collective action (cooperation), coping, and communication. Part of this is about capturing a real cross-context dialogue, and ensuring materials are accessible both linguistically and culturally. More info at cmic-mobilize.org