Resources and reporting for mothers and others who think about social change.
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An introduction to working for change
by Judith Stadtman Tucker


organizing guides & tools:

Created and maintained by the Work Group on Health Promotion and Community Development at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, The Community Tool Box web site is designed to promote the "health and development of communities" through community organizing. The CTB includes over 7,000 pages of resources on skill building, leadership, organizing basics, strategic planning, grant writing, cultural competency, developing and implementing advocacy campaigns, media relations, and influencing public policy -- plus step-by-step outlines on effective goal setting, coalition building, and other essential organizing practices. Sections are clearly organized and text is direct and concise. Whatever you need to know about organizing for change at the community level and beyond, you can probably find it here.

A project of the Massachusetts-based Public Policy Institute, Real Clout is a how-to manual for community activists "who, for one reason or another, need to figure out how their state or county government really works." Although PPI generally works on healthcare-related campaigns, Real Clout is an excellent general guide on organizing to change public policy. Resources include a textbook and workbooks for grassroots volunteer leaders and professional advocates. The text is written for individuals with some previous experience with advocacy activism or community organizing, but is still informative for those who want to learn about the nuts and bolts of state-level legislative activism. All publications are free and may be downloaded from the Real Clout web site.
The Advocacy Center at the Institute for Sustainable Communities provides a wealth of information on community organizing, including suggestions for building effective leadership teams, strategic planning, building and empowering coalitions, designing effective outreach strategies, and preventing activist burn-out. It's all online, and it's all free. Find it at www.advocacy.org.
The Center for Community Change provides a set of Organizational Development Tools for community-based grassroots organizing, including guides on fundraising, forming a non-profit organization, organizational evaluation, facilitating successful meetings, and working with a Board of Directors. CCC also offers How To Tell and Sell Your Story, a guide to developing a strong communication plan, including how to keep on message and write press releases and op-eds (66 pages, in .pdf).

Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) provides helpful, high-quality fact-sheets on getting the attention of your members of Congress, understanding the federal budget process, and working with the media:

It's Your Federal Government
4 pages, in .pdf

Guide to the Media
6 pages , in .pdf

All Our Dollars:
Guide to the Soap-Opera Saga of the Federal Budget Process

6 pages, in .pdf

Did you know that tofu is a class issue? Class Matters offers guidance on cross-class organizing. The information on the web site is directed primarily to progressive, professional-class activists. According to Betsy Leondar-Wright, class stereotypes -- even positive and heroic stereotypes -- can impair effective organizing, because "our efforts to persuade people will be based on inaccurate understandings of what motivates them. …Every class includes people whose relationship to injustice is passive acceptance, enthusiastic collusion, individual gut resistance, and collective organizing." The Class Matters web site is an must resource for those interested in organizing mothers and caregivers for change.

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