Community Organizing

Community Organizing is a set of practices that bring community members together to identify issues that matter to them and build infrastructure that will allow them to collectively build support for their shared interests.  In community organizing praxis, relationship development is of primary importance; the priorities ("campaigns") pursued by organized communities arise organically during an often-lengthy process of listening and dialogue among process participants, and thus frequently evolve over time as the membership itself changes.

Within the UCSC, the Seeds of Justice cohort explores community organizing praxis as part of their year-long experiential study of social justice methodologies.  Otherwise, relatively few on-campus groups focus on this praxis, which often requires an extensive amount of time be devoted to relationship building prior to the development of any action campaigns.

Students wishing to see community organizing praxis in action may need to seek out an organizing group that is at work in the broader community.  Some of these (such as the Latino Union of Chicago) work with specific populations (day laborers, in this case); others are more geographically-focused (for example, ONE Northside).  Many such organizations offer trainings (sometimes for a fee) in community organizing praxis.  For help identifying organizing groups at work in your community, with a population that interests you, or focusing on campaigns that relate to your own issues, contact the UCSC.