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The Popular Education and Community Organizing Collection Annotated Bibliography

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Last Update: 09-Oct-2005 10:27:02 am


Building by Building: A Tenant Leadership Manual


Manna Community Development Corporation (Manna CDC)


Manna CDC







Gloria Robinson, Community Organizer Manna CDC 614 S Street NW, Carriage House Washington, DC 20001 grobinson@mannadc.org





Manna CDC uses popular education techniques and values for leadership development and skills building. This handbook arose out of the "Section 8 Housing Preservation Initiative," which stems from the Organizing and Housing Development programs of the Manna CDC. This manual was inspired by and aimed at changes occuring in the Shaw district of Washington D.C., a previously low-income neighborhood now facing city renovations and price hikes on rent. While low-income long time residents are slowly being driven out of their neighborhood, this manual stives to expose key aspects of systemic poverty at work, in conjunction with such glorified myths such as the "American Dream." After illuminating the stark inequalities, the manual illustrates ways in which poor or oppressed people have in the past and currently continue to do organize for social change and control. The aim is to show tenants living off small incomes that they are not powerless and can and should fight for equitable rights. Section I, entitled "Making Change: What's Going On and What We Can Do About It," includes chapters such as "Taking Action for Change," "Developing Leaders," "Recruiting and Base Building," and "Action Steps for a Tenant Association." Section II, entitled "Making it Ours: Exercising Your Power Through Ownership," includes information on tenant ownership. Both sections include a glossary of commonly used landowner-terms. The various chapters include tips, examples, and worksheets. An index at the end of the manual includes names and addresses of legal help, organizing assistance, and development assistence, as well as links "For Your Further Education." It is clear that, although this manual was originally built with the Shaw District in mind, its ideas and tecniques can be extended to all who wish to build a tenant association or are concerned about their rights as a low-income tenant.




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