Organizing Models for Social Justice in the City - United Workers Handout (Model)

Organizing Models for Social Justice in the City - United Workers Handout (Model)

http://organizingtoendpoverty.orghttp://unitedworkers.org

The poor people’s economic human rights organizing model answers the question “how do we end poverty?” The model provides a framework for how to effectively organize the poor to build the power required to change the political conditions behind poverty’s continuation. The model’s central strategy is to develop leaders from the ranks of the poor around human rights values of respect, dignity and sacred life.

I. Assumptions of the model

- Poverty is a moral choice made by those in power that can be ended by a change in the political, social and economic conditions that cause poverty.
- People are motivated by moral beliefs in transformative values.
- Poverty will be ended when leaders from the ranks of the poor effectively organize the poor around transformative moral values and build the power required to change the political, social and economic conditions that cause poverty.

II. Objective/purpose of the model

- Build a movement capable of ending poverty.
- End poverty.

III. Organizing base

- Poor people who are morally opposed to poverty and who are committed to the human rights values of respect, dignity and sacred life

IV. What’s needed to end poverty

- The belief that poverty can be ended
- A movement, community and leaders centered on transformative and universal human rights values of respect, dignity and sacred life
- A strategy to organize people and to build the power required to realize the vision of ending poverty and securing the human rights of all
- Leaders who are skilled at community organizing and who carry out effective strategies that will put an end to poverty

V. Methodology

1. Organize people and build community around human rights values.

- Center organizing on universal and transformative human rights values (respect, dignity, sacred life).
- Integrate and fuse organizing with culture and faith of organizing base.

2. Develop consciousness of people and leaders from the ranks of the poor.

- Place primacy of non-partisan political education and community building.
- Provide human rights education through reflective action.
- Celebrate the history of social and non-partisan political movements.

3. Identify and then develop leaders from the ranks of the poor.

- Focus on the 3 C’s of leadership (commitment, consciousness and cooperation).
- Train community organizers from the ranks of the poor.
- Expand base of leaders to other sectors of society (including students, faith, labor).
- Develop leaders with specialized skills.

4. Build and exercise collective power of the poor who are committed to human rights values.

A. Focal point campaign
- Work place outreach
- Leverage through perception management (Battle of Stories Framework)
- Direct engagement around concrete demands
- Controlled outcomes

B. Survival projects

C. Community building activities

D. Coalitions

5. Build and sustain poor people’s institutions committed to expanding human rights values.

- Policy, governance and power
- Education and research
- Labor and economic (production and distribution of goods and services to meet people’s needs)
- Human rights culture, faith and community life

http://organizingtoendpoverty.orghttp://unitedworkers.org