How can we plant and grow the seeds of organizing in environments with limited civic infrastructure?
Organizations around the world are working to bring organizing into their communities, regions, and countries. But many face the challenge of introducing the organizing framework in socioculturally relevant ways, sometimes being met with resistance as they adapt the practices to the local context.
On May 25th, we’re launching our new series Organizations Learn, a space dedicated to sharing and learning from successes and failures by organizations training and practicing the organizing and Public Narrative pedagogy.
In our first session of the series, we’ll be zooming in on the work of Community Organizing Japan (COJ), an organization started in 2013 to develop and support civic leadership using the community organizing framework developed by Marshall Ganz and his associates.
But in Japan, with its stigma against social activism, strong culture of conformity and widespread mentality of “it can’t be helped, it is what it is”, this was no easy feat. Since then, COJ has succeeded in building a national network of 20 trainers and 450 coaches, trained 3500 people and supported 20 campaigns, and organized local hubs across Japan.
We’ll be joined by Kanoko Kamata, Akira Nakajima, Toor Kuzumaki, and Ryutaro Arakawa from COJ who will share their lessons from adapting organizing to the Japanese context. Come learn how they designed various programs and pathways to make organizing accessible for their constituencies and enable them to overcome social and cultural barriers, and spread organizing as a vehicle of hope that “it can be helped; we can do something about it”.