Community Organizing

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Connexions Library

Activist's Handbook
Article
Articles for activists on organizing.
The Alinksy Method: a Critique
Lynd, Staughton
Article
2015
The Alinsky approach involved focusing on local issues and not asking basic questions about the economy or about broader social structures.
At the Escuelita Zapatista, Students Learn Community Organizing and Civil Resistance as a Way of Life: The Class Was Stopped Twice: The First Time to Emphasize the Importance of Discipline in Their Organization
Mensing, Alex
Article
2013
From August 11-17, the Zapatistas brought more than 1,500 people into their communities to attend the Escuelita Zapatista, the Little Zapatista School. According to a February comunicado by the EZLN, ...
Bain Co-op Meets Wages for Housework: A political thriller
Diemer, Ulli
Article
1977
The story of the struggle that gave birth to a housing co-operative and destroyed the credibility of the 'Wages for Housework' sect.
The Barefoot Guide to Working with Organisations and Social Change
Book
2009
A partical, do-it-yourself guide for leaders and facilitators wanting to help organisations to function and to develop in more health, human and effective ways as they strive to make their contributio...
Being an Organizer and Being an Activist is not the Same Thing: Community Organizers are the "Brain" that Injects Strategy into the Heart of a Successful Social Movement
Orellana, Carolina Mascareño
Article
2013
There is a lot of confusion surrounding the role that organizers and activists play in social movements. Both roles have profound differences regarding their goals and the way they face problems withi...
Beyond the Politics of Place: New Directions in Community Organizing
Delgado, Gary
Book
1997
A look at community organizing and its evolution with a focus on groups comprised of people of colour.
Calling All Radicals: How Grassroots Organizers Can Help Save Our Democracy
Thompson, Gabriel
Book
2007
Thompson argues that we can reclaim our democracy through grassroots organizing.
Canadian Information Sharing Service: Pilot Copy, February 1976
Serial Publication (Periodical)
1976
The first issue of the Canadian Information Sharing Service publication. The name of the publication was later changed to Connexions and then to Connexions Digest.
The Case for Grassroots Archives
Diemer, Ulli
Article
2012
Grassroots archives play a valuable role in what has been called "the battle of memory". People's history projects such as grassroots archives preserve and share stories of resistance, hidden historie...
Citizens Group Scores Success in Anti-lead Battle
Wallace, Barbara
Article
1986
Through self-education, out-reach, and activism, the Niagara Neighbourhood Lead Committee has successfully worked to reduce lead risks in their neighbourhood and throughout Canada.
Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice
Nembhard, Jessica Gordon
Book
2014
In Collective Courage, Jessica Gordon Nembhard chronicles African American cooperative business ownership and its place in the movements for Black civil rights and economic equality.
Communities of Resistance: Writings on Black Struggles for Socialism
Sivanandan, Ambalavaner
Book
1990
A series of essays advocating grass roots organisations as the pathway to socialism.
Community organising
Article
2006
Information, guides and tips on organising around issues which affect you and other people living in your local area.
Community Organising - A New Part of the Union
Goulding, Richard
Article
2012
A look at Unite’s community union organizing.
Community organizing: Connexipedia Article
Article
A process by which people living in proximity to each other are brought together in an organization to act in their shared self-interest.
Community Organizing: A Holistic Approach
Kuyek, Joan
Book
2011
Kuyek examines the creation of positive social change based on a coherent and wide-ranging analysis of the context in which the work is done and the principles needed to make it effective.
Community Workshops for the Environment: An Organizer's Manual
Book
1989
A guide to organizing ecology workshops.
Connexions Annual 1994: A Sourcebook of Social and Environmental Alternatives
Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
Serial Publication (Periodical)
1994
Simultaneously a reference book and an introduction to the world of social and environmental alternatives. The bulk of the Annual is devoted to listings of grassroots groups. It also contains a series...
Connexions Annual Resource and Reading List
Article
1989
A short and selective list of resources on issues addressed in the Connexions Annual, such as environment, education, peace, interntional development, women's issues, urban issues, housing, human rig...
Connexions Library: Organizing Focus Page
Website
Selected articles from the Connexions Online Library.
Critical Paths: Organizing on health Issues in the community
Keck, Jennifer; Dauphinais, Denriette; Lewko, John
Book
1989
Dancing with Dynamite: Social Movements and States in Latin America
David, Benjamin
Book
2010
The complex ways in which grassroots movements work for, with, against, and independently of national governments in Latin America.
DARE's Struggles in Rhode Island: Against The Current vol. 110
Buhle, Paul
Article
2004
Let's start in a scene from last summer that will be familiar, not exactly but approximately, to many older readers: the labor awards banquet. The setting is a "casino"— in the 1880s sense of a banqu...
The Dialectics of Community Control
Aronowitz, Stanley
Article
1970
The movement for community control will fall short often, unless it becomes a broader struggle for popular, democratic control of all public institutions and the economy.
Dignity of the Nobodies: La dignidad de los nadies
Solanas, Fernando E.
Film/Video
2005
The degraded socio-economic condition of Argentina leading to the December 2001 rebellions, and its consequent social chaos analyzed by focusing on real people from Buenos Aires' poorest shantytowns, ...
Disputed Territory: The green economy versus community-based economies
Overbeek, Winnie; Pazos, Flavio
Film/Video
2012
A story of the peoples of the Atlantic Forest in southern Brazil, looking at what happens when so-called "green economy" projects move into the area, clearning the forest, and taking over the land.
Door knocking guide: Tips for effectively carrying out door-knocking visits and talking to people in your local area.
Article
2006
In community politics, door knocking plays an essential role. From just getting to know your neighbours better, to carrying out a local survey or trying to sign people up to a local campaign or petiti...
The Fallacy of "Community Control"
Repo, Marjaleena
Article
1971
The idea of community control which proceeds from a geographic definition of community contains the serious fallacy of assuming that any neighbourhood is or can becomes a community (of equals). This f...
Film Review: Revolutionary Medicine - A Story of the First Garifuna Hospital
Sugiyama, Jim
Article
2014
A review of the provocative documentary Revolutionary Medicine, which tells the story of the first Garifuna hospital, in Honduras.
First Person Plural: A Community Development Approach to Social Change
Smith, David
Book
1994
Smith provides an account of his experiences and addresses the ways of building an effective and democratic orgranization to bring about social transformation. Useful for those interested in adult edu...
Grassroots Cells, Devil's Architects Defend Communities
Diemer, Ulli
Article
1973
Organizational principles and campaign tactics communities can use to fight projects or developments being foisted on them.
Greece's solidarity movement: 'it's a whole new model - and it's working'
Henley, Jon
Article
2015
Citizen-run health clinics, food centres, kitchens and legal aid hubs have sprung up to fill the gaps left by austerity – and now look set to play a bigger role under a Syriza government.
The Householder's Guide to Community Defence Against Bureaucratic Aggression - Review: A report on Britain's Government Machine
Diemer, Ulli
Book
1972
Organizational tactics communities can use to fight projects or developments being foisted on them.
How People Get Power: Organizing Oppressed Communities for Action
Kahn, Si
Book
1970
A book about community organizing, written for organizers.
It's a Question of What Unites Us
Leonard, Tyson
Article
2016
An interview with Harold Lavender on accountable structures, systemic change, and the peril and promise of alliances against gentrification.
John Kerry and Me
Giordane, Al
Article
2012
Experiences in community organizing and electoral organizing.
Key ideas for community organising: Some very broad basic ideas for getting started at organising in your local area
Article
2006
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...
Lessons From Arizona: Direct Action Organizing From 1999 to Now
Strauss, Jesse
Article
2010
What we saw in Arizona over the summer showed a new model of organizing, wherein cooperation between people who are dedicated to different tactics as well as space for accountability within the strugg...
Let the People Decide: Neighbourhood Organizing in America
Robert, Fisher
Book
1994
A history of neighbourhood-based community organizing in the United States.
Making Change
Guthrie, Eileen; Miller, Sam
Book
1977
How to effect community change as an individual or as a member of a support group, a neighborhood organization, a board of directors, or other political group. Organizing skills, conflict diagnosis an...
Managing Wastes: A Guide to Citizens' Involvement
Jackson, John, Wallace, Barbara
Book
1985
Second editon of booklet first published in 1984, outling how citizens can involve themselves in decision-making about waste management. ...
Memory as Resistance: Grassroots Archives and the Battle of Memory: Preservation as subversion: Do grassroots archives have a future?
Article
2012
CONNEXIONS and Beit Zatoun are spotlighting grassroots archives this November with an open house and networking event November 24, a talk and discussion November 27, and an exhibit (November 16-27). G...
Mountain Justice: Homegrown Resistance to Mountaintop Removal, for the Future of Us All
Shapiro, Tricia
Book
2010
In recent years, local people fighting against Mountaintop Removal's destruction of their homes in West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia have invited volunteers from outside Appalachia's co...
The Movable Airport: The politics of government planning
Budden, Sandra; Ernst, Joseph
Book
1973
An account of the manoeuvring and bureaucratic runaround that went into the planning of the Pickering airport, and of the resistance that it produced.
The New Student Left: An Anthology
Cohen, Mitchell; Hale, Dennis
Book
1966
A collection of essays by active participants in the 1960s student movement on American college campuses.
Nothing Is Ever Won Without Organizing: Remarks to the First Nonviolence Training Session of the Mexican Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity
Giordano, Al
Article
2012
All organizing begins with the telling of a story. When we listen carefully to somebody’s story, we learn what motivates him, what she is passionate about. Listening is the first skill and duty of a c...
Organize! Organizing for Social Change
Bobo, Kim; Kendall, Jerry; Max, Steve
Book
1996
A guide to community organizing with attention to specific tasks such as hosting meetings, public speaking and making partnerships with other activist groups.
Organizing in a Small Town
Two members of the Toronto Liberation School
Article
1976
Experiences in organizing in a small town in Ontario in the early 1970s.
Organizing "The Poor" - Against The Working Class
Repo, Marjaleena
Article
1971
The newly found "poor" have become a focus for middle class activists. Having learned in the schools and universities that the working class either did not exist or that if it existed, it was co-opted...
Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - March 12, 2015: Organizing
Diemer, Ulli (editor); Khan, Tahmid (production)
Serial Publication (Periodical)
2015
The focus of this issue is organizing. How can we challenge and overcome entrenched structures of economic and political power? Our own source of power is our latent ability to join together and work ...
Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - October 8, 2015: Elections
Diemer, Ulli (editor); Richwood, Darien Yawching (production)
Serial Publication (Periodical)
2015
Elections are the topic of the week, with items related to the October 19 Canadian federal election, and also to broader issues of parliamentary democracy, voting and whether voting can bring about ch...
Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - November 21, 2015: Climate Change and Social Change
Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
Serial Publication (Periodical)
2015
This issue of Other Voices spotlights climate change, the escalating crisis that the upcoming Paris climate conference is supposed to address. But climate change is not a single problem: it is a produ...
Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - January 16, 2016: Working class organizing
Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
Serial Publication (Periodical)
2016
Working to change things for the better, fighting to prevent things from getting worse, remembering the past to illuminate possibilities for the future: as always, that is the focus of Other Voices. I...
Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - May 7, 2016: Tax Evasion
Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
Serial Publication (Periodical)
2016
Employing a network of accountants, tax lawyers, corporate shells, tax havens, secret bank accounts, and other methods, the 1% have become extremely adept at evading even the low rates of taxation the...
Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - July 2, 2016: Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn, and Contempt for Democracy
Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
Article
2016
Brexit, the British vote to leave the European Union, has thrown the political elites into turmoil and confusion. The referendum was supposed to be a safe political manoeuvre, a way to produce an appe...
Pragmatics of Community Organization - 4th Edition
Lee, Bill
Book
1986
Information on how to plan action, how to organize meetings, how to train participants for action, how to negotiate, and how to end a particular exercise in community organization.
Pragmatics Of Community Organization - First Edition
Lee, Bill
Book
1986
Information on how to plan action, how to organize meetings, how to train participants for action, how to negotiate, and how to end a particular exercise in community organization.
Putting Power in its Place: Create Community Control!
Plant, Judith; Plant, Christopher
Book
1992
Essays arguing for the devolution of government and putting forward workdable models, many of them tested in practice, of how we might restructure society to better represent the full diversity of its...
A Question of Place
Boggs, Grace Lee
Article
2000
Global capitalism relentlessly displaces people and abandons places because it views local communities, cities, and even nations as inconveniences in the path of progress. Place-consciousness, on the ...
A Race Struggle, a Class Struggle, A Women's Struggle All at Once
Mann, Eric
Article
2001
In Los Angeles, the Labor/Community Strategy Center is carrying out a difficult Left experiment in the age of the omnipresent Right. The center is an explicitly anti-racist, anti-corporate, and anti-i...
Red Menace #1: Volume 1, Number 1 - February 1976
Article
1976
The first issue of The Red Menace, a libertarian socialist newsletter.
Relentless Persistence: Nonviolent Action in Latin America
McManus, Philip and Schlabach, Gerald (ed.)
Book
1991
There is in Latin America a tradition of "firmeza permanente," relentless persistence, which has enabled the people to preserve parts of their culture during five centuries of conquest and oppression.
Resistance After Foreclosure: Against The Current vol. 158
Burt, Dave
Article
2012
In 1973, in the class- and race-polarized city of Boston, City Life began as a socialist collective fighting against evictions and gentrification in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Over the years, it ...
Reveille for Radicals
Alinksy, Saul D.
Book
1946
Alinksy connects his theoretical notions on radicalism to practical movements and events.
The Revolution Game: The Short Unhappy Life of the Company of Young Canadians
Daly, Margaret
Book
1970
A historical overview of the Company of Young Canadians.
Revolutionary Medicine - A Story of the First Garifuna Hospital
Geglia, Beth; Freeston, Jesse (directors)
Film/Video
2014
The story of the building of a hospital in Ciriboya, Honduras -- an authentic, grass-roots, community development project, from the initial community meetings, the organized planning, the community de...
Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals
Alinsky, Saul
Book
1971
Alinsky's Rules for Radicals provides perspectives, principles and lessons for realistic radical organizers.
Seven News
Serial Publication (Periodical)
1970
Seven News (7 News) was a community newspaper published in the area of Toronto east of downtown which at the time was known as Ward 7. Seven News was published from 1970 to 1985. Seven News is no long...
Social Activist Grace Lee Boggs on Shaking Up the Status Quo in America
Film/Video
2007
Grace Lee Boggs has been a part of almost every major movement in the United States in the last 75 years, including: Labor, Civil Rights, Black Power, Women’s Rights and Environmental Justice.
Some ideas about organizing from Citizens for Local Democracy
Article
1997
Suggestions about starting a local group which will focus on issues of local democracy.
Stir It Up: Lessons in Community Organizing and Advocacy
Sen, Rinku
Book
2003
An overview of contemporary organizing strategies and philosophies with case studies.
Take Back The Land, Give Root To Democracy: Book Review by Alex Knight
Knight, Alex
Article
2010
In many ways, Take Back the Land is a direct heir of the bottom-up, Black self-empowerment, civil disobedient, movement-building tradition, and is one of the most inspiring examples of a group renewin...
Transforming Ourselves Transforming the World: An Open Conspiracy for Social Change
Murphy, Brian K.
Book
1999
Addresses society's pessimism about social change and provides a theoretical means and practice to overcome this fatalism.
Transit Activism and the Urban Question in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Tonucci, João; Veloso, André; Kipfer, Stefan
Article
2016
The demand for free transit has been an important starting point of recent mobilizations in Brazil, notably those that shook the whole country in the summer of 2013. This interview with local activist...
A Troublemaker's Handbook 2
Slaughter, Jane (ed.)
Book
A manual for workers who want to take control over their lives at work. In hundreds of first-person accounts, workers tell in their own words how they organized and struggled to do that.
An Unauthorized Biography of the World: Oral History on the Front Lines
Riordon, Michael
Book
2004
This book uses oral history to discuss oral history. It is in memoir style, and delves into how oral history is done in such places as First Nations (Canada), Turkey, Chicago, Newfoundland, Peru, New ...
Up Against City Hall
Sewell, John
Book
1972
John Sewell describes his early life and explains how he accidentally got involved in politics. He tells of his experiences in Trefann Court, and how this opened his eyes to the realities of civic pol...
The Uses of an Earthquake
Cleaver, Harry
Article
1987
The people of Tepito have proven themselves far more capable than the government both of responding to the dangers and of seizing the opportunities created by the earthquake. The earthquake crisis has...
When Hate Groups Come to Town: A Handbook of Model Community Responses
Williams, Randall; Wells, Lyn (eds.)
Article
1986
A handbook for dealing with hate groups in communities across North America, dealing with the nature of such groups and how they work and how communities can band together to combat them.

Connexions Directory of Groups & Websites

Alternatives
To provide insightful environmental research and opinion from Canadian scholars, professionals and activists through publishing a quarterly environmental journal.
Canadian Dimension
Canadian Dimension is published by, for and about activists in the struggle for a better world, covering women's issues, aboriginal issues, the environment, labour, etc. in ways not found in the mains...
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Established in 1960, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW) is a non-partisan Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) comprised of a network of diverse women with consultative status at the United Nation...
Connexions Archive & Library
The Connexions Archive & Library is Toronto-based project dedicated to keeping alive the rich history of grassroots movements for social justice. Connexions preserves 'alternative' histories that r...
Connexions Information Sharing Services
Connexions provides information and services for advocacy groups, voluntary and non-profit organizations, and individuals, who are working for social and economic justice, environmental responsibility...
Food Banks Canada
National umbrella group for Canadian food banks, distributed nearly 9 million pounds of food in 2003 to member food banks in all provinces. Works to promote the eradication of hunger and poverty in Ca...
New Society Publishers
New Society Publishers' mission is to publish books that contribute in fundamental ways to building an ecologically sustainable and just society, and to do so with the least possible impact upon the e...
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
OCAP is a direct-action anti-poverty organization based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We mount grassroots political campaigns against regressive government policies as they affect poor and working peop...
Ontario Coalition for Social Justice
A provincial network of organizations and local community based coalitions dedicated to development of a people-oriented society. Justice and jobs, we can have both.
Ontario Public Interest Research Group - Toronto
A provincial organization with seven chapters, OPIRG engages in research education and action projects on a wide variety of social justice and environmental issues.
Ontario Public Interest Research Group - Ottawa
A student-based organization dedicated to research, education, and action for social change.
Society for Socialist Studies
The society's purpose to facilitate and encourage research and analysis in Canada with emphasis on socialist, feminist, ecological, and anti-racist points of view.
Tadamon
A Montreal-based collective of social-justice organizers & media activists, working to build relationships of solidarity with grassroots political movements for social and economic justice between Bei...
Wellstone Action
A national centre for training and leadership development for the progressive movement.
Woodgreen Community Centre
Committed to a comprehensive community approach to enhance the quality of life and self-determination for all people of East Toronto.
Workers Solidarity Alliance
Workers Solidarity Alliance is an anti-capitalist, anti-authoritarian organization of activists who believe that working people can build a new society and a better world based on the principles of so...

Sources Library

Madrid barrio expels 'racist' police patrols
Jeering crowds chase away officers who try to detain immigrants
Tremlett, Giles
2011
Community protests police practice of racial profiling: the protests have been dubbed the "indignant" movement.
Place-Based Imagination: Globalism and the Politics of Place
Dirlik, Arif
1999
Place-consciousness, according to Duke University historian Arif Dirlik, is the "radical other" of global capitalism.