James Alan Diers
SOC W 536
Focuses on social, economic, and political problems from an organizer's perspective, and strategies, tactics, and skills necessary to engage in organizing activities. Emphasizes principles common to community, electoral, union, and issue organizing. Addresses why people organize, how organizing works, and what it takes to be a good organizer.
Community organizing has proven to be an effective vehicle for mutual support, neighborhood revitalization, and social change. Through direct-action organizing, low-income neighbors and communities of color are demanding justice from external forces. Meanwhile, practitioners of asset-based community development are strengthening their communities by mapping and mobilizing internal resources.
The course will explore these two models of community organizing and their variations. Through case studies found in readings, lectures, videos, slides, and their own experience and research, students will gain inspiration about the change that is possible when individulas come together as a community, build democratic organizations, mobilize their resources, and demand justice. The students will also acquire tools and learn skills that will better equip them to work as organizers and leaders for social change in their careers and in their daily lives.
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