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Occupy Wall St Portland

Resources for Community Organizers

By Rachel L. West, MSW, LMSW
The Political Social Worker

When I started this blog one of my goals was to help community practice social workers find reliable and relevant resources that would enable them to grow as professionals.  While I am working to expand The Political Social Worker, the goal of seeking out and compiling solid community practice resources remains a priority.  Below is a list of resources for community organizers.  All of them, with the exception of RootsCamp, provide free tools and articles to organizers and advocates.  If you have a resource you feel should be added to the list, please let me know in the comments section.

Journal of New Organizing
Run by the New Organizing Institute (NOI), the Journal of New Organizing is a free online journal focused on community organizing. On the site readers will find an organizers toolbox that covers topics from campaign management to online organizing.  Additional services include a jobs board and an events section that list workshops and conferences geared towards progressive organizers.

*The New Organizing Institute is also a sponsor of RootsCamp (see below).

RoosCamp describes their conference as:

 an open space “un-conference” with an agenda driven by the people who attend.

There is no pre-set agenda. On the start of each day, we’ll put up a big blank wall. On the left side will be time slots available and across the top there will be rooms. Attendees fill out cards and post the sessions they’re interested in presenting. Before coming to RootsCamp, talk to friends about what you’d like to present and see if you can work together on something. Prior to the event, we’ll host some online trainings on how to make your session as effective as possible!

I suggest looking at their site and following them on Twitter. I have yet to attend (I would love to), but I did follow the twitter feed for this year’s conference, which was very interesting. If you have attended RootsCamp in the past, please share your experience in the comments section.

Center for Evaluation Innovation
The Center for Evaluation Innovation is concerned with developing research on evaluation questions and challenges.  The bulk of their current research is focused on evaluating advocacy, something which is not easily done.  The Center is also interested in research on systems change and strategic learning. Access to The Center’s research is available free of charge.

Bolder Advocacy
Bolder Advocacy’s mission is to educate and equip non-profits and foundations with the tools they need to engage in the democratic process.  The tools are free to everyone.  They include an Advocacy Capacity Tool and Resources for Evaluating Community Organizing.  Bolder Advocacy is a project of the Alliance for Justice.


Photo Credit: By S51438 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/27/Occupy_Wall_Street_spreads_to_Portland.jpg

Posted by Rachel L. West

In addition to being the founder of The Political Social Worker blog, I am a consultant. My consulting practice offers advocacy and community outreach solutions to nonprofits, social good organizations, and private practitioners. Additionally, I offer career coaching to macro social work students and professionals.

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