Community Organizing will provide an overview and introduction to the fundamentals of organizing to win, implement, monitor and sustain change in the private and public sectors. We will compare, contrast different forms of participatory community organizing and explore the linkages between community organizing and social movement building in the 21st century. We will probe the moral values and priorities imbedded in different organizing approaches and cultivate or hone participants’ concrete skills in active listening, leadership development, strategic analysis, campaign design, research, coalition-building, mobilization, design and use of non-violent direct action, communication (including use of symbols and art), assessment, role of funders, monitoring and sustaining change. While the principal focus will be organizing in the US, we will examine approaches taken by people’s organizations in Sri Lanka and Haiti and how these approaches can be adapted in the US context as well as how strategic international support for organizing can effect change in these countries elsewhere in the world.
Through readings, class activities, speakers, reflections, and a final organizing project, students will emerge with an enlarged vocabulary and set of models for organizing, the skills to catalyze and build organizations, and the ability design campaigns for the purpose of achieve and sustain change.