Wednesday, September 10, 2008

August Just Posts

Community organizing is a process by which disempowered people—most often low- and moderate-income people—are brought together to act in their common self-interest. Community organizers act as area-wide coordinators of programs for different agencies in an attempt to meet community needs for health and welfare services. They also facilitate self-help programs initiated by local common-interest groups, for example, by training local leaders to analyze and solve the problems of a community. Community organizers work actively, as do other types of social workers, in community councils of social agencies and in community-action groups. Wikipedia.

Like so many others, I've been dismayed and even outraged at the disrespect that some folks have shown to Community organizing over the past weeks. Community organizing is about equality, about giving a voice to those who cannot be heard, to bring small groups of people together around a cause and turn them into a larger group and have their voices heard. Some of our country's greatest leaders of our time were community organizers, from Dr. Martin Luther King to Cesar Chavez, folks who knew life could be better for others in their community and were brave and talented enough to navigate political systems and corporations and show others why it matters too. But it didn't start with them, community organizing has been a part of our society for more than 100 years, early pioneers include Dorothy Day and her social justice efforts on behalf of the poor.

I've had the honor of being involved in grassroots campaigns and poverty efforts and let me tell you, it's these folks who get things done. By the time the issue is heard in your local community politics or nationally in Congress or the Senate, it's due to thousands of hours of efforts by incredibly dedicated people who are wise enough to be the change they want to see in the world and strong enough to bring us along with them. Without successful community organizing efforts countless people would have been left out of opportunities to live a better and fairer life. Without a resounding choir of voices advocating for good, people would continue to go unheard.

So when folks want to make a mockery of this very patriotic and critical process in America it only serves to remind me why community organizers are so important. They know what the truth is and we count on them to tell our story, not just for them, and not just to get elected, but because they are fighting for causes much bigger than themselves. And that my friends, is change you can really believe in.

The August Just Posts
Anne with Yolanta
Cecileaux with Tomorrow, 40 years ago and Why neoconservatism deserved to fail
Emily with Saving the Planet for Starbucks Customers of Tomorrow
Flutter with Life is good, even when it's crap
Girlgriot with It's not easy being green
HerBadMother on blogher with Toss the Tylenol, Nursing Moms: This is Terrifying, Lost boy and Hide Your Hooters, The Haters Are Coming
Holly with Games for the haves and have nots
Jen with God in the house
Kittenpie with Down and Out in Riverdale
Lara with My little girl is the issue
Lisa with How a graduate marketing class saved my life
Mad with Flotsam and Take back the night
Megan with Realities
Mir Kamin on blogher with School supplies socialism makes for an angry village
Neil with The Orthodox Jewish guy outside of the supermarket
Pundit Mom with DNC on the homefront: Ellen Malcom of Emily's list and Homeless children, don't count on John McCain
Wrekehavoc with Stop using sex as a weapon
YTSL with Life in West Kowloon

Some of the Just Readers

Don't forget to stop by Mad and Su's before you go and see what they've cooked up at their end of the Just Post table. And thank you for participating in this month's Roundtable, whether by writing or reading or leaving a comment to let others know you've appreciated their words. We are here every month on the 10th and all are welcome to join us - all you have to do is write.

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wheelsonthebus said...

I am honored to be included. And I am appalled that people who want to lead our nation are so out of touch with urban communities that they can make the comments they make.

Mad said...

Did you see the fabulous Ill Doctrine riff on this? It was great.

I'm finally up over at my place. Single parenting, week 2, is kicking my butt.

Anjali said...

Bravo for community organizers! What an excellent tribute.

wrekehavoc said...

i too am honored to be included. thanks very much.

flutter said...

as always, thank you for doing this

painted maypole said...


some good reads on that list, and I'm kicking myself that I didn't nominate several that I read. must remember to get better about that.

i'm having a hard time downloading the pic you sent (thanks!) but I'll figure it out. ;)

YTSL said...

Hi Jen --

Thanks for visiting my blog and linking to its "Life in West Kowloon" entry. Glad you looked to have got something out of reading it and do please keep on visiting! :)

(More than BTW: get the feeling you got to know of my blog via Alejna of Collecting Tokens. Coolness, if so! :b)

hele said...


I am sorry I missed this month. It has been a tough week. A good friend slipped away from life on Wednesday morning and my thoughts have been in hiding ever since.

I love you for doing this though and for being who you are.

Susanne said...

Thanks again for doing this month after month. And, as always, I have learned something knew. I had never heard about community organizers before.