- Geoffrey W. Wilkinson, Geoffrey W. WilkinsonBoston University
- Lee Staples, Lee StaplesBoston University
- Ashley SlayAshley SlayBoston University
- and Iliana PanameñoIliana Panameño32BJ Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Community organizing centers the leadership of community members in developing and controlling organizations created to express, sustain, and build community power through action for social justice. It is distinguished from other forms of community practice by the ethos, “nothing about us without us,” and may combine elements of community development, direct action, popular education, and community action research. Community organizing promotes individual and collective empowerment. It is practiced in communities of geography, identity, shared experience, and other arenas. In the United States, organizing takes three major approaches to building sustainable bases of community power—organizations formed through individual membership, institutional networks, and coalitions. Innovations in community organizing arising particularly from the leadership of women and people of color—known as transformational organizing—take an intersectional approach to addressing racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of systemic oppression while also addressing the personal and social needs of community members. Organizing increasingly takes advantage of internet technology and is effective for influencing legislation and electoral politics, as well as a wide range of community-based issues.
- Macro Practice
- Policy and Advocacy
- Social Justice and Human Rights
Updated in this version
Content and references updated for the Encyclopedia of Macro Social Work.