THIS MONTH’S THEME: COMMUNITY ORGANIZING, PART I

THE POPULAR EDUCATION NEWS (www.popednews.org)

Connecting popular and community-based educators and activists to resources for improving educational work in social movements against oppression and for democracy, sustainability, social justice, and peace.

NO. 11 DECEMBER 2003

A monthly newsletter about the Popular Education/Community Organizing Resources Collection in the Penny Lernoux Memorial Library at the Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406. It is a collection of practical materials for facilitators and practitioners to improve the educational work in our movements for democratic social change. The three main parts of the collection are 1) Materials in English, 2) Materials in Spanish, 3) Books by Paulo Freire some titles in Spanish. An annotated bibliography with links to where to purchase materials is at www.americas.org (follow library/popular education link).

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1) REVIEWS OF THE MONTH
2) OTHER COMMUNITY ORGANIZING RESOURCES
3) ONLINE COMMUNITY ORGANIZING RESOURCES
4) LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ONLINE BOOKSTORES
5) “WHAT IS POPULAR EDUCATION?” DEFINITION OF THE MONTH

***************************************************************************************************** 1) REVIEWS OF THE MONTH

Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements by Bill Moyer; with JoAnn McAllister, Mary Lou Finley and Steven Soifer. New Society Publishers, 2001, 227 pages.

Doing Democracy is a practical guide to movement building. Citizen activism has achieved many positive results. But the road to success for social movements is often complex, usually lasting many years, with few guides for evaluating the precise stage of a movement’s evolution to determine the best way forward. Doing Democracy provides both a theory and working model for understanding and analyzing social movements, ensuring that they are successful in the long term. Beginning with an overview of social movement theory and the MAP (Movement Action Plan) model, the book outlines the eight typical stages of social movements, the four roles of activists, and case studies from the civil rights, anti-nuclear energy, Central America, gay/lesbian, women’s health (breast cancer), and globalization movements. Doing Democracy will appeal to social movement activists and organizations working on all issues, as well as to academics in a variety of disciplines ranging from political science, sociology, and peace studies, through women studies and the various courses in social work schools. Accessibly written, it will also be of interest to all those interested in better understanding the social movements they hear about in the daily media. Bill Moyer has spent more than 40 years as a full-time theorist, writer, organizer, consultant, educator and participant in social movements focused on a wide variety of issues on three continents. The originator of the MAP Model, Moyer has given training courses and workshops to over 20,000 people.

Grassroots Journalism : A Practical Manual for Doing the Kind of Newswriting that Doesn’t Just Get People Angry, But Active --That Doesn’t Just Inform, But Inspires by Eesha Williams. Apex Press, 2000, 185 pages.

Grassroots Journalism is not just for journalists. In part a how-to manual, in part a reference book, and in part an inspirational incitement to action, this book will be of interest to all who, as author Williams puts it, “are aware that someone is taking advantage of them” and want to do something about it. Part One focuses on what a grassroots journalist (Williams sometimes uses the term “reporter-organizer”) actually does and where she or he might find work. Also included is an inspiring chapter of stories in which such journalism actually made a difference in the towns where the stories were published. Part Two, the longest part of the book, is the “how-to” part, filled with the nuts-and-bolts skills that a would-be journalist-organizer will need to get started practicing the craft. Chapters include “How to Find the Issues in a Community that Will Get Your Audience Agitated and Agitating,” “Using the Internet to Do Research,” and “Putting It All Together.” While the section focuses on building concrete skills, the techniques and anecdotes used will be of interest to anyone who uses the media and has an interest in “how it works.” The final 20-page section of the book concisely states the author’s case for why we need “energizing, community-based journalism.” This is the more theoretical part of the book. Almost a quarter of the entire book­40 pages­is devoted to a multi-part Appendix, labeled simply “Resources.” Here readers will find a comprehensive bibliography and a wide range of organizations and education resources. The section called “Reporter’s Rollodex”­organized around a variety of issues, from labor, to the environment, to electoral politics, to transportation, to the media­ will be of particular usefulness to any journalist and any organizer looking to get a start on researching their issue. The short book is laid out in workbook-style format, using a large typeface and including lots of graphics, photos, and cartoons, making it easy on the eyes.

…Reviews by Jeff Nygaard

***************************************************************************************************** 2) OTHER COMMUNITY ORGANIZING RESOURCES

Organizing for Social Change: A Manual For Activists in the 1990s. Second Edition by Kim Bobo, Jackie Kendall, and Steve Max. Seven Locks Press for The Midwest Academy, 1996, 288 pages.

Getting the Community Into the Act: 72 Participatory Activities for Field Workers and Trainees by Pat Ellis. Published by WAND - Women and Development Unit, University of the West Indies, Barbados.

Counting Our Victories: Popular Education and Organizing (Facilitators Manual and video ) by Repeal the Deal Productions, 1997.

Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets by John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight. The Asset-Based Community Development Institute, 1993, 376 pages.

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3) ONLINE COMMUNITY ORGANIZING RESOURCES

In Australia, Griffith University’s Environmental Advocacy Program web site, http://www.environmentaladvocacy.org/resources.html, contains sections such as Workshop Materials, Education and Training materials (including Power Point slides on community organizing), and Tools For Facilitation and Action Learning. The site includes links to other good resources like the Complete Activist site, http://www.naclc.org.au/activist/index.html.

The Ruckus Society web site, http://www.ruckus.org/resources/nvda/index.html, is a good link to many organizing resources.

The Community Organizing Toolbox website, http://www.nfg.org/cotb/, has many resources including materials introducing community organizing.

COM-ORG website, http://comm-org.utoledo.edu/train.htm, has many links to Training Programs and On-Line Community Organizing Training Manuals – Free ***************************************************************************************************** 4) LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ONLINE BOOKSTORES (*those with online bookstores)

*Catalyst Centre

*Highlander Center

*Institute for Peoples' Education and Action

*Resource Center of the Americas

*Growing Communities for Peace

Project South

Center for Popular Education and Participatory Research

Pop Ed Links Directory

WE LEARN: Women Expanding-Literacy Education Action Resource Network

***************************************************************************************************** 5) “WHAT IS POPULAR EDUCATION?” DEFINITION OF THE MONTH

Popular Education is learner-centered participatory education where groups of people explore and exchange our lived experience and ideas about social, political, and economic problems. The purpose is to gain understanding of common problems and develop, implement, and evaluate solutions. Its agenda is democratic change and empowerment of the disempowered. It is based on the work of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire.
…From the flyer for ALLY’s class in Cincinnati, Introductory Popular Education, taught by Steve Schumacher and Dorothy Wigmore.

***************************************************************************************************** A thing that causes an elephant to fall: how small may it be!-- Luganda proverb *****************************************************************************************************

This newsletter is produced by the Popular Education Resource Collection Circle. Betsy Barnum, Jeff Nygaard, and Larry Olds worked on this issue. You can contribute to future issues by sending suggestions, notices of materials and short reviews to lolds@popednews.org. Help improve the newsletter. Subscribe by sending your email address to lolds@popednews.org.