community organising: mobilising for change

Community organising builds power in workplaces and communities by facilitating effective grassroots participation. In the USA and UK, this approach has built the power among networks and alliances of active and informed communities. Community organising differs from advocacy, service delivery and community development in important ways. Unlike advocacy, it tends to be informed by a long-term perspective and involves activists in support roles rather on the front-line. The US-based Midwest Academy advocate an approach to community organising that wins real, immediate, concrete improvements in people’s lives, gives people a sense of their own power and alters the relations of power.

This tCA workshop introduces participants to community organising tactics and strategies and explores opportunities to apply them.


  • understand the strengths of community organising as an approach to social change
  • critically reflect on experiences and observations of community organising
  • stretch our understandings of the craft of community organising
  • practice and apply community organising tools and techniques

Elements and tools

  • building and maintaining alliances and coalitions
  • interacting with powerholders and allies: accountability sessions and relational meetings
  • defining community organising; differentiating this from other advocacy approaches
  • community and relationship mapping
  • situational and problem analysis
  • political opportunity structure
  • engaging and sustaining grassroots activists

Who would benefit?

This workshop has been designed for people who are actively working on social and environmental justice issues and who seek to mobilise communities to bring about change. It is intended for people who are clear their campaign objectives and who recognise that people power is a necessary step along the way.