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         Sider Endorsement - On Power - Wheaton Professor - Rev. Youngblood - Community Organizing 
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 Defining Community Organizing

“An organizer’s job is to assist people to build a powerful vice through which they can effectively speak on their deepest concerns. An executive director works for a board of directors; the board makes policy and the executive director (and a staff) implement that policy; an organizer, on the other hand, assists leaders and members of a democratic organization to make – and implement – their policy and programs. In current terms, the iron law of organizing is not to do anything for people that they can do for themselves. …

“Community organizing is a process to build people power. It is deeply rooted in democratic values and the moral, economic, and social justice teaching of the world’s great religious tradition. Community organizing today is making regional, state, and national challenges to the present ‘power structure.’ This particular approach to people power addresses all the issues stemming from inequalities of wealth, income, and power. It solves or ameliorates specific problems for specific constituencies and tackles big issues that affect most of the American people.

“Community organizing process shifts people who think of themselves as, and who in fact often are, powerless, helpless victims of unaccountable power to become active participants in civic life. If often brings together diverse groups, replacing suspicion of ‘The Other’ with mutual respect and cooperation. This diversity can be of race, ethnicity, religious belief, age, neighborhood, income, gender, citizenship status, or any of the other sources of conflict that typically divide people.

“Community organizing deepens the experience and meaning of ‘community’ – whether inside an already existing organization, like a religious congregation or a union or among residents on

a block, tenants in an apartment building, or any other group that might have some weak sense of common identity but little means to express it.” (p. 1-2)

A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER'S TALE by Mike Miller, Berkeley:Heyday Books, 2009. CSCO believes this is the best book on organizing. Miller has been with CSCO for many years.

Difficulties of Organizing

Successful Coalitions

Community Organizing Today

Myth Control

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  CSCO, P.O. Box 60123, Dayton, OH 45406; email: cscocbco@charter.net phone: 937-276-4077