Key ideas for community organising

Acorn Bristol picketSome very broad basic ideas for getting started at organising in your local area.

Firstly, remember: If you are going to do community organising, do it in your own area; don’t be a missionary!

 

Research and preparation

Look around your local area and determine what issues it faces. Talk to your neighbours, what issues do they think are important regarding the area. Determine what kinds of projects you can develop or direct action you can take that meet the area’s needs or address the community’s issues.

Find out if others are already working on the problems in their area and if they’ve been effective and what you can learn from them. Determine what kinds of resources you have available and who in your area might be useful allies in accomplishing your goals.

 

Volunteering or starting your own group

If there is a group doing work in your area and they are effective, it would be a good idea to volunteer with them to gain experience. If there is no group doing work on the issues you are concerned about or existing groups are not effective, start your own group but try to remain on friendly terms with existing groups.

 

Planning

Set a goal. Devise objectives (or strategies) to achieve the goal. Devise actions to achieve the objectives.

 

Community-building projects

Plan everything you do in your area with an effort to bring people in the community together and get them involved. Make a special effort to get people in the area who are not politically conscious to work on projects and become active.

In short, gear your work towards not just helping the community but towards actually strengthening a sense of community.

 

Fight prejudice as you organise

Make a special effort to ensure that your organisation and its projects reflect the racial, ethnic and gender diversity in the community and make sexual equality and anti-racism explicit parts of your organisation’s politics and policies.

 

Get attention

Be visible in your area, make every effort to let people nearby know you exist. Seek press attention when you do an action, gain a victory, or establish a project.

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