Just the basics

In beginning the process of organizing, both educational and non-educational organizations must first identify issues they consider to be relevant and pressing. Based on these problems, they must then establish common goals, which in itself can be a very challenging processes. Whether or not these steps are done successfully, the next step of expanding the movement and amplifying its message is also a main challenge. In this step, without effective communication, the main mission or goals of an organization can be lost, making it difficult for leaders to spread an authentic representation of the organization in order to develop their movement. 

The challenge of expanding and amplifying a movement’s message arises due to the conflicting views of how one should go about organizing, which often stem from difference in leadership preference. In order for a movement, organization, or change to be lasting and impactful, it must be resilient and stronger than just a few leaders. In order to effectively organize masses of people, and particularly to keep the organization running and self-sustaining, it is the people who must feel empowered to identify problems, generate solutions, and put them into place. Without this vital empowerment, the organization will not be able to survive the many obstacles it must overcome in order to achieve its goals.

Group empowerment can be achieved through effective education. If all group members are educated, they will have a greater understanding and appreciation of the process of organizing. In achieving this, they will be more able to self-advocate and express their own concerns or ideas to the leadership team. This effective communication between group members and the leadership team will allow the leadership team to broadcast an accurate and authentic version of what the people in the organization want or need. The collective education of the group enables them to self-advocate and fosters a more open channel of communication between the group members and leadership, as the group would better understand the leaders’ roles as well as the steps necessary for organizing. With this gained understanding and knowledge, the group members would realize what changes are possible, allowing them to modify and shape their action plan to create feasible solutions that will ameliorate or solve the issues they identified. In this process, education and organization overlap greatly and one is not successful without the other. When the entire organization is educated, communicative, and aware, that is when it is able to function smoothly, guided by shared goals and solutions.

Education is the key to effective organizing, as it is necessary for an empowered group. Once the group of individuals within the organization are educated and empowered, they are able to efficiently communicate their identified problems and established goals to their leaders. The selection of these leaders — as well as the number of leaders and their roles within the organization — affects the longevity of the organization and its effectiveness. When an organization has a larger leadership team comprised of local community members, an organization can be viable.  With the open and functional communication pathway between the leaders and the group, the leaders are then able to accurately advocate for and broadcast the message of the group. Without carefully selected leaders, empowered and educated individuals, and open communication, effective community organizing is simply not possible.