Reaching the Tipping Point: Organizing Strategies that Make a Difference
David Gist, the California Regional Organizer and Matt Newell-Ching, the Western Regional Organizer facilitated a workshop about organizing strategies that make a difference. They started the workshop with a great scene from Three Amigos. They showed the scene when the community decides to take on El Guapo. They ask each other, "What can we do well?" The community responds, "We can sew!" The organizing lesson from the movie was: What do you do better than anyone else? What is your El Guapo?
Matt said one of the first lessons of community organizing is learning to tell your story. We need to be comfortable with telling your story. All of our speakers this weekend are excellent story tellers. "Our hearts and minds are moved by storytelling," said Matt Newell-Ching. When you identify with someone's story, it evokes a powerful emotional response and it connects you with people.
The group spent a few minutes sharing in groups of two their stories. How did you become involved with justice for people who are poor and hungry? Tell your story. If you have a story to share with us, please comment below!
Matt asked, "How did you get to advocacy? What is the common thread?" People responded by saying they didn't see charity working, so they wanted to be an advocate. Another shared about the influence of their family. Matt shared that he met people who got "screwed" by the system. By meeting this people, he became an advocate.
The principles from this part of the session were:
1) Share stories
2) Be authentic
3) Build a sense of ownership
4) Develop a basis for relational organizing and relational advocacy
All significant social justice movements for change emerged out of people's living rooms and church basements. When people share their stories, lives are changed.
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