In the fall of 2006, I took Marshall Ganz’s undergraduate seminar on organizing. To illustrate the power of public narrative, Marshall showed us Barack Obama’s speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. “My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya,” Obama recounted. “He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.” Throughout the the speech, Obama connected his own story to the experience of millions of Americans who also believed that “all men are created equal” and […]
Reflections on the LCN Training for Open Buffalo written by Max Anderson BUFFALO – The wintry blast that paralyzed much of the Buffalo region last month brought bitterness and cabin fever to thousands. Less than a week after this historic “Snowvember” deluge, four dozen local social justice crusaders who managed to shrug off its effects for a weekend of coaching, self-reflection, and profound peer-to-peer connections left feeling “blessed,” “full-hearted,” “affirmed.” Read more…
Across the country, educators’ and students’ hearts and minds have been captured by the police murder of unarmed, 18-year-old, African American, Michael Brown, and the ensuing uprising of the people of Ferguson. Educators in Ferguson and around the nation are rising to the challenge of engaging with the transformative purposes of education. The LCN Teaching Initiative would like to share their resources to support faculty with engaging students in learning, reflection, dialogue and action around the events of Ferguson and issues of racism, police brutality and inequality. In August 2014, Dr. Marcia Chatelain, graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and […]
As the coordinator of LCN’s Teaching Initiative, I’m excited to invite faculty to apply to participate in Professor Ganz’s online course Leadership, Organizing and Action (LOA): Leading Change. In addition to enrolling in the course, faculty will benefit from coaching to help them launch similar courses at their colleges/universities. Community college faculty are especially encouraged to apply! See the invitation below from Professor Ganz. Dear College and University Faculty, I’m writing to invite you to participate in my online course entitled Leadership, Organizing, and Action (LOA): Leading Change. LOA, which begins on February 9 and runs through May 15, […]
In 2012, together with a few other Romanians we started a social movement for the national election campaign. We mobilized over 25,000 Roma minority community members to increase the Roma political representation. Besides the relatively good support we obtained in a few areas, we were far from achieving the goal we set initially. Shortly after elections I`ve been overwhelmed by the lessons I had experienced along with the frustrations and disappointments; Paradoxically, I had more questions to ask now, after the elections, that before. Not only did I had huge difficulties in finding answers to my own questions, but people […]
During the Global Gathering we will hear from Organizers about several exciting mobilization efforts, and take time to reflect together on the lessons they hold for all of us as Organizers. Don’t wait until Saturday to learn about these efforts! Take a peek now at content already available online: Boresha Elimu, mobilizing support for early childhood education in Kenya, supported by Tatua Kenya Divest UVic, a campus effort in western Canada to confront climate change The Equitable Food Initiative, finding common cause in the food industry to improve farmworker rights and wages Prawer Won’t Pass, a mobilization to stop the […]
What are you doing on November 15th? This is the last call to register for our Global Gathering, a unique online conference. In 10 days, more than 100 people from 19 countries will be part of a rare opportunity to come together around our shared commitment to strategic organizing, powerful storytelling and effective leadership. We will be digging into some compelling challenges faced by organizers–such as The Role of Organizing, Mobilizing, and Services in Social Change, Sustainability in Organizing and Organizations, and Strategizing in Action– and learning from some powerful campaigns run by Serbia on the Move, Divest UVic, Tatua […]
Here are two reflections from participants in our past community gatherings. If you attended the 2012 Global Learning Conference or the 2013 Global Gathering we’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments. If you are attending this year’s gathering on November 15th (registration closes in two days!) let us know what you are looking forward to. “Last year’s Global Gathering was my first experience with LCN, and since then I’ve learned so much more about social change organizing by working with people from all around the world! Even though I didn’t know a single person at the Global Gathering last year, it […]
You may have noticed some subtle changes to our website about a month ago. What you couldn’t see then is that under the hood, this site has a whole new suite of new features designed to help our network members connect and communicate with each other. If you have registered for the Global Gathering then you have already found one key tool: member profiles. Once you create a profile, you can take advantage of many other tools. You can access them all through the menu under your name in the top-right corner of the site whenever you are logged in. […]
Building bridges across languages and cultures is not new to me as an American who has lived abroad more than half my life, and who has spent time working as an interpreter. What is new and refreshing to me is seeing how I can apply my organizing skills in so many different arenas, in other words, which will be familiar to all – continuing truly to take responsibility for enabling others to achieve purpose in the face of uncertainty. Returning my focus to organizing theory, sharing organizing stories and experiences with others – these keep my eyes and my heart open to all of the organizing work that is out there to do. I hope you will be similarly inspired by this year’s Global Gathering!
Can you imagine more than 100 organizers, learners, researchers from all over the world meeting virtually to get to know each other personally, to share and listen about each other’s campaigns and to discuss challenges that they face? Can you imagine being paired with a coaching partner that works in the same field as you, but in a different country and context?
LEADING CHANGE involves identifying, recruiting, and developing leadership, organizing community around that leadership, and building power from the resources of that community. Taking a “head, heart and hands” approach, we link concepts, values and practice in a highly interactive setting.
The program is designed for leaders conducting real-life organizing projects that support their organization’s ongoing work – campaigns or organizing projects, for example, of NGOs, unions, non-profit organizations, advocacy groups, and other social movements. We also encourage team participation. Participants build relationships, coach one another and learn together online and in their local communities.
In the past 5 years, 458 alumnus from 41 countries have completed the course, working in a wide array of fields, including education, health care, immigration rights, food justice, gender equality, union/workers rights, electoral campaigns, environmental justice, human rights and international relations. Join us!
Applications are open until December 9, 2014. To apply, or for more information on program dates, tuition, and curriculum, please visit the Leadership, Organizing and Action: Leading Change web site at www.hks.harvard.edu/ee/fb
Marshall Ganz recently published a review of Micah Sifry’s “The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn’t Transformed Politics (Yet)” on The Nation website. In addition to being a graduate of Ganz’s online Leadership, Organizing, and Action class, Sifry is the cofounder of the Personal Democracy Forum and an adviser at the Sunlight Foundation, and has been investigating the Internet’s impact on our democracy for over a decade.
Ganz finds that while Sifry gets much of the technological issues right, he misses the organizing lessons and fails to explore why this is a particular problem for the left and not for the right.
I am excited to announce that registration is now open for the 2014 Global Gathering. The event will be held from 9:00am EDT to 12:30pm EDT on November 15th. The early bird rate of $20 will only be available until October 26th, so please don’t delay. Register now, and share this post to tell your colleagues.
The LCN Teaching Initiative is thrilled to share syllabi from nine faculty teaching adaptations of the Organizing: People, Power, Change course at their colleges and universities in the LCN Resource Center. You’ll see that while each instructor has adapted the pedagogy to their unique college contexts and student populations, there are core elements of the pedagogy common to all the courses. Our approach is based on offering students an opportunity to organize others to work together to achieve shared purpose rooted in five specific practices: relationship building, story telling, strategizing, acting, and structuring leadership. Students commit to values based organizing projects that require mobilizing others to determine, strategize, and achieve an outcome by the end of the semester.
If you are in the Bay Area, you might like to check out this exhibition of Bob Fitch’s iconic photos from the civil rights movement. More information is after the jump.