Organizing 101 Workshops

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Curricula + Resources

CFJ Grassroots Organizing 101


  • To learn about grassroots organizing and all its elements.
  • To learn the importance of grassroots organizing and why we need to do it.
  • To learn that we all play a part in grassroots organizing towards self-determination, sustainment and empowerment


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Workshop 7 - We Are Community Organizers! Understanding How to Organize Our Community

Provided by: 



  • Connect the work of community organizing to people’s everyday experience
  • Understand the difference between community organizing, education and service
  • Understand how community organizing is a tool to solve community problems
  • Practice using community organizing to solve community problems

This workshop is number 7 in a series of 7 workshops in the curriculum "Uncovering Who We Are: Political Education for Latina Women."  Please see the "Introduction" and "About the Authors" files for more information.

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Purpose of Organizing


The term "organizing" is often used in relation to community work, but what exactly is the function of organizing within our socio-political umbrella, and how is organizing different from advocacy and service work? This workshop focuses on the concept of organizing, institutional change (shifting power relations), and root causes via games, timeline and examples of organizing, and metaphorical activities.

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Approaches to Social Change


Goal: To make sure that participants understand what direct-action organizing is and how it differs from other types of social change.


  • To develop understanding of direct service, self-help, advocacy and direct-action organizing and the distinctions between them.

  • To introduce some basic concepts of direct-action organizing


Time: takes 3 hour with a break, 2 1/2 hours without a break   


Contents & Methods:


Introduction: (10 minutes) This session deals with four different approaches to social change. There are lots of other ways to work for changes in our communities, but we choose to focus on these four. All four are needed. People should to be clear about the differences so they can know which to use to solve the problems they are facing.


This session will deal with four approaches to social change (you can substitute different ones for self-help or community development but we encourage you to review direct service, advocacy and direct action organizing:

  • Direct Service

  • Self Help (or Community Development or some other model appropriate to the group trained)

  • Advocacy

  • Direct-Action Organizing

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Goals of Organizing: An Introductory or Refresher Class


Goals of Organizing Training

Who: Training to be used for new organizers, for members of community groups, refresher courses in community organizing, and wherever understanding community can be useful to leadership development.



To identify six basic goals of organizing and a list of organizing skills associated with each goal.



*   Winning issues 

*   Building Organizations 

*   Empowering individuals

*   Changing institutions

*   Fostering democratic values

*   Overcoming Isms Used to Divide Us

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