Resources to support campaigners and organisers | tCA re-boot

April, 2021


Welcome, new tCA subscribers and welcome back, long-term subscribers. It’s been too long since our last update. Warm greetings!

What’s on top?

Much has changed since you last heard from us. Our 2021 Community Organising Fellowship kicked off this week, with a virtual workshop and a diverse and impressive new cohort. Each year, 25 campaigners enrol in this intensive program to extend their skills and confidence to build people power. This year’s Fellowship is being led by Adele Neale and Maxwell Smith, two experienced activist educators and organisers. James stepped back from the Fellowship toward the end of 2021 and remains involved behind the scenes.

Then there’s our new website! Since late 2020, we’ve worked with Glenn Todd (developer) and Monica Shaw (designer) to create a great new website. We couldn’t be happier with the new site. It’s attractive, well organised and streamlines the process of finding what you’re looking for. The new site has an improved campaigners’ toolkit, where you can search for resources by clicking on one or more tag, type or category. You can now also browse the library or simply access our latest resources. Wizard!

Maxwell Smith, co-director of the tCA Community Organising Fellowship

Great online resources

Enews subscribers regularly share with us the websites and online resources they’re developing, discovering and learning from in their community organising and campaigning. Enjoy this month’s batch and be sure to drop us a line to suggest links for the next enews.

mechanisms of change

We each have our own understandings and assumptions about how we’re most likely to achieve our campaign objective. These theories of change guide what we do and what we don’t do. How we spend our time and what we’re most strongly motivated to do.

Often, our assumptions about mechanisms of change are unstated, even between people who work on the same campaign. Members of a team or an alliance can be relying on different mechanisms.


Our new Mechanisms of Change process guide prompts campaigners to articulate our assumptions about mechanisms of change, teams can develop a clearer collective sense of how we believe change is most likely to happen, and to direct resources strategically. Others learn about our assumptions and we learn about theirs. This can energise and inform strategy discussions and help us make better decisions.


Email James for an Excel file that automatically generates ‘mechanisms of change’ radar charts. We’d love to hear how you apply this new tCA strategy tool, and what you learn.

The Pangolin and the Coal Mine

In Australia, the resistance of a group of Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners to the Adani Carmichael thermal coal mine – one of the worlds’ last such mega mines – have centred their rights, including the right to say “no”, in opposing violent extractivism on their homelands. In so doing, they – like other First Nations peoples in Australia, and around the world – are demanding a pathway towards decarbonisation that would also enable Australia to uphold its internationally recognised Indigenous rights obligations. In so doing, Wangan and Jagalingou’s defense of their rights is separate and distinct from the anti-Adani battles waged by environmental and climate groups, often under the banner of ‘Stop Adani’.


Powerful activist research by Kristen Lyons, Anthony Esposito and Murrawah Johnson. Full title: ‘The Pangolin and the Coal Mine: Challenging the Forces of Extractivism, Human Rights Abuse, and Planetary Calamity’

Truth tactics

You’re searching for the truth. What sources of information should you use and trust? Brian Martin recommends reflecting on a topic that you know a lot about and taking note of which information sources were useful or misleading. To illustrate this process of reflection, he tells of his own experiences learning about the effects of nuclear war, the origin-of-AIDS debate and the sources of talent, in each case commenting on different sources of information that influenced him. Truth Tactics is an encouragement to learn from your own learning about how best to pursue the truths that matter to you.


Brian Martin is emeritus professor of social sciences at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He is the author of 21 books and hundreds of articles on dissent, nonviolent action, scientific controversies and other topics.


The book is free to download. We encourage donations to support this important work.

sustain initiative

How Do You Sustain Your Initiative Over the Long Term?

This is a Collective impact initiatives are often convened to tackle some of a community’s most intractable problems. With these ambitious areas of focus often come very long time horizons for the work. When initiatives run for many years (or decades!), it can be challenging to maintain momentum, leadership. buy-in and funding. So – what do you do? If the goals we seek take a long time to become reality, how do we get there?new Text block. Change the text.

People Power Manual cover

People Power training guides

Finally, a plug for the tCA-Pasifika People Power Manual. We publish these training guides to support facilitators and educators help local action groups and social movements win environmental and social justice goals. Available in electronic and print format.


Campaign Strategy Guide: ‘How-to’ guides and training resources to demystify campaign strategy. Social movements become more powerful as more people are equipped to analyse their political context, consider paths to change and mindfully plan tactics. Last updated 2020.


Community Organising Guide: The Community Organising Guide is a unique resource for campaigners, community leaders and activist educators. These 292 pages of training resources deepen our understanding of relational meetings and self-interest, the power of story in organising, building alliances, coalitions and networks, holding decision-makers accountable and leadership development.