Organizing Upgrade is excited to be able to share the video of one of the many exciting sessions that took place at the 2010 United States Social Forum in Detroit: Transformative Organizing Theory: Conscious Organizers Seek to Build Anti-racist, Anti-imperialist Politics Rooted in Working Class Communities of Color. Sponsored by the Labor-Community Strategy Center, this session was based on a piece by that same name written by LCSC’s Director, Eric Mann, an excerpt of which can be found here on Organizing Upgrade and which can be purchased from the Labor-Community Strategy Center here. The session opened with a presentation by Eric Mann, which was then followed by responses from five other experienced left organizers (many of whom are also Organizing Upgrade contributors): Steve Williams, from People Organized to Win Employment Rights, Ai-jen Poo from the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Cindy Wiesner from Grassroots Global Justice, Ng’ethe Maina from Social Justice Leadership and Patrisse Cullors from the Labor-Community Strategy Center. The room was packed, demonstrating how important these types of strategic dialogues are for left organizers today.
Organizing Upgrade wants to engage you - our readers - in the strategic dialogue we have started here. At the recent Social Forum, we heard from so many of you that you have been reading the site regularly and that you really appreciate the dialogue. We are honored that you appreciate the space we have created.
But now we want to hear from YOU!
We are experimenting with a new type of forum - a "Reader's Forum" - designed specifically to draw out the voices of the many left organizers, activists, and thinkers from around the country. We know you are reading. We also want to know what you are thinking!
LCSC is organizing a workshop at the 2010 U.S. Social Forum to discuss their transformative organizing model.
Thu, 06/24/2010 – 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Cobo Hall: W2-63
Developing the theory and practice of transformative organizing is a critical task before our movements as we fight to change the country, change the world. We are excited that transformative organizing is on the agenda at the US Social Forum and we invite everyone to join us for a rich, reflective discussion at our workshop with Ai-jen Poo (National Domestic Workers Alliance), Steve Williams (POWER), Cindy Weisner (Grassroots Global Justice), Ng’ethe Maina (Social Justice Leadership), Patrisse Cullors (Labor/Community Strategy Center) and Eric Mann
Towards Liberation of Self and Society, Part 1
Social Justice Leadership
SJL is organizing two workshops at the 2010 U.S. Social Forum to discuss their transformative organizing model.
Transformative Organizing 101 Wed, 06/23/2010 – 1:00pm – 3:00pm, UAW Building: Ford
Transformative Organizing 201 Wed, 06/23/2010 – 3:30pm – 5:30pm, TWW: 5
Joseph Phelan of Organizing Upgrade sat down with Purvi Shah and Chuck Elsesser of the Community Justice Project based at Florida Legal Services in Miami in early April to discuss the role of lawyers in grassroots organizing, social movements, and building another world.
Welcome back to Fast Forum! We pick a hot topic and ask 3 – 6 organizers from across the country to weigh in. Our hope is to draw out new ideas and to encourage new voices to take a stab at the freshest challenges facing our community. This month, Jidan Koon, Senior Fellow at the Movement Strategy Center in Oakland, guest-edited a FastForum exploring the efforts of different organizations to push the boundaries of the non-profit model.
We are living through dramatic times. What do you find to be the significant shifts and how do they change the context of the work we are doing now?
I go back and forth on how significant the shifts are for the movement. Obviously the economic crisis and the election of Barack Obama are pretty significant shifts. Those two combined allow for a different conversation of what the conditions are. However, the response by the administration to the crisis has not been a significant shift. The initial response (i.e. We need to Save the Banks) and the later response focused solely saving the financial industry, instead of taking the opportunity to invest in other kinds of economic recovery. The response followed pretty mainstream and historical reactions to crisis.
Organizing Upgrade is honored to offer a preview of this insightful reflection on organizing – Engaging the Crisis: Organizing Against Budget Cuts and Building Community Power in Philadelphia – which will appear in Left Turn magazine #36 (April/May 2010). You can subscribe to Left Turn online at www.leftturn.org or become a monthly sustainer at www.leftturn.org/donate.
On November 6, 2008, just days after Philadelphians poured onto the streets to celebrate the Phillies winning the World Series championship and Barack Obama the US presidency, Mayor Michael Nutter announced a drastic plan to deal with the cities $108 million budget gap. Severe budget cuts were announced, including the closure of 11 public libraries, 62 public swimming pools, 3 public ice skating rinks, and several fire engines. Nutter also stated that 220 city workers would be laid off and that 600 unfilled positions would be eliminated entirely, amounting to the loss of nearly 1,000 precious city jobs. In classic neo-liberal style, the public sector was to sacrifice, while taxpayer money would bail out the private banking institutions.