Community Organizing for Social Change (547)
Starting with personal stories and the communities of the participants, this course focuses on how to design and facilitate the social change process at a community level. Participants will examine strategies they have been using and learn new strategies in community and network organizing. The course integrates advances in social networking and information technology into how communities organize today. Participants will learn social change processes on two continua – strengths versus needs and collaborative versus confrontational approaches. Across approaches, students learn to design and implement each phase of the social change process with a core group of the affected community – from from framing an issue through assessment and power analysis to mobilizing and empowering community actors to affect short and long-term change.
Participants will develop skills in issue identification, civic engagement, empowerment, and inclusion. Participants will examine various new approaches to engagement, from social networking to community building. Recognizing that everyday people and minority groups are often excluded or ignored in current political processes, this course will explore strategies for strengthening the voice of marginalized people in public decision making. Participants will examine the strengths and weaknesses of both theory and practice.
This course is being offered for training and for academic credit. The syllabus details the number of credits hours and associated course requirements.