How to Mobilize and Organize our Communities

 

Below you will find a selection of readings handpicked by one of the country's leading grassroots organizers and Session Two speaker, Sara El-Amine, in order to help prepare you to understand a basis of how to mobilize and organize communities.  With these readings and her upcoming session, Sara wants to demonstrate that average citizens are often better equipped than professionals and academics to fight and win electoral and issue-based battles.  Sara will explore how a significant amount of institutional knowledge is actually premised on flawed beliefs.  What excites Sara about Resistance School is that “there aren’t schools for organizers, and there should be. In the meantime average folks do it better than experts and with the right training, we can build a much more accessible, really beautiful revolution.”


All of the readings have been selected by the session’s speaker and do not reflect policy positions of the Resistance School.


Full Session Two Syllabus

 

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/why-facts-dont-change-our-minds
This article discusses research on the shortcomings of our ability to think rationally based on facts. Biased towards our own perspective, we struggle to take the perspectives of others and believe we know much more than we actually do. The article suggests that many who express strong political opinions base their ideas on fairly shallow information and have little ability to explain the rationale behind their thoughts. For these reasons, providing people with facts often does not change their minds.  

 

Organizing for Action Organizing Manual

https://www.ofa.us/get-involved/build-support/organizing-manual/
Organizing for Action (OFA) offers this free manual for group and individual organizers at all experience levels. It contains guides for building strategic issue campaigns, methods for building capacity, and step-by-step advice for building people-centered power through teams and chapters. The appendix contains guidance notes on organizing press events, pledge drives, trainings, and more.

 

We Don’t Have Spaces to Feel Vulnerable and Imperfect

https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-we-dont-have-spaces-to-feel-vulnerable-and-imperfect/
“How can we be honest, imperfect, and vulnerable with one another?” This stop-motion video features a conversation between Krista Tippett and Brene Brown on the shame and collective fear that stops us from connecting deeply with one another. It offers wisdom for releasing this fear and together stepping into the discomfort of imperfection.

 

The Problem with Philanthropy

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/03/the-problem-with-philanthropy/520989/
With the growth of extreme wealth in America, individual philanthropists have replaced government funding in the political arena. While this ‘disruptive philanthropy’ can have swift and positive results, the influence these few wealthy donors have over the political system is concerning. The article discusses the challenges of these new patterns of political funding as well as possibilities for change.

 

Indivisible Guide

https://www.indivisibleguide.com/guide/
The free Indivisible Guide offers strategy for individuals, groups, and organizations looking to replicate the Tea Party’s success in getting Congress to listen to a small, vocal, dedicated group of constituents.  It provides guidance on how to get the attention of Members of Congress and strategically advocate for issues of concern. The guide also offers advice on starting or joining a local organizing group or network.