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CONGREGATIONAL (FAITH-BASED) & COMMUNITY ORGANIZING RESOURCES


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 Analysis of the Peoples Temple—Applies community organizing practice theory to understanding the history and tragic end of the Peoples Temple in the Guyana jungle. (4 pp.)

Basics of Parliamentary Procedure (GTP Training Guide #36)—Question-and-answer format explains basics of getting recognized by a chairperson, making a motion, and "calling for the question." (2 pp.)

 Before and After the Action—Describes the essentials of action-planning and review (ca. 1980). (3 pp.)

Bi-Annual Strategic Evaluation (GTP Training Guide #42)—Guide to bi-annual strategic organizational inventorying and evaluation for faith-based, congregational community organizing projects. (3 pp.)

 The Blinding Rapture of Mobilization—Explores the shortcomings of mass mobilizations not grounded in long-term organizational development and seasoned leadership; the downside of failing to target indirect decision-makers; the disappointing experience of the Million Mom March, which employed a tactic as a strategy, and was opposed by the NRA; the basis of the extraordinary NRA political power; the Wall Street-led "billionaire brotherhood" behind the NRA, working to replace a bottom-up elective democracy with a top-down empire; and the most practicable means of remedying the imbalance of power by securing institutional powers for the general citizenry. (11 pp.)

 The Coming Dark Age—Acknowledges that the U.S. is headed for a Dark Age, marked by the wholesale moral collapse of our institutions, a slide toward authoritarianism; recognizes that the devastating assault is masterminded by a brotherhood of billionaires; laments the general lack of appreciation by the American public for the potency of the evil arrayed against our democratic form of government; itemizes the discouraging conditions which indicate we will not avoid the looming darkness; and proposes that although the darkness can no longer be avoided, it may be limited to years rather than decades if the institutions of democracy are rebuilt from the grassroots. (3 pp.)

 Community Organizer Evaluation—Detailed form for evaluating community organizer job performance. (3 pp.)

 Community Organizer One-to-Ones in Faith-Based, Congregational Organizing—Reviews a full range of material from which an organizer might choose elements to incorporate in a one-to-one visit, including: credentialing; vision, values, and religious legitimization; personal biography and surfacing pressures; strategic organizing vision; and stumbling blocks. (9 pp.)

 Community Organizing Leadership Development Strategy for "Swimming with Sharks"—Highlights the leadership deficit in progressive community organizing attempts to hold accountable the stockholders and executives of the country's massively consolidated corporations; the need for continuous broad-based leadership development to build a unified national progressive grassroots-driven movement; the importance of organizers taking greater risks in trusting leaders; the practical requirements of developing individuals as leaders; essential organizational support for continuous broad-based leadership develoment; and criteria for evaluating the growth of individual leaders. (8 pp.)

 Community Work and Social-Learning Theory—Illustrates the relevance of social learning theory to community practice based on two case examples. (6 pp., published in 1981 under Moshe ben Asher's former English name, Michael Silver.)

Conflict and Cooperation in Community Organizing Macro Theory and Practice—Proposes and describes the dynamics of a cycle of cooperation, competition, conflict, and negotiation in community organizing. (5 pp.)

Congregational Organizing: Relationship-Driven Leadership Development—Explores leadership development in the context of institutional corruption, unification, and reconstruction. (6 pp.)

Credentialing (GTP Training Guide #45)—Guide to organizational credentialing in one-to-ones (phone and in-person), meetings, and actions. (3 pp.)

 The Decade of Grassroots Activism—Review of The Backyard Revolution (Temple University Press, 1980) by Harry Boyte. (3 pp.)

Democratic Planning—Advocates and defines a grassroots, democratic approach to planning, in contrast to rational, incremental, and mixed scanning forms. (13 pp.)

Dialectic of Social Action (diagram)—Schematic depiction of the relationship between contingencies of social learning and exchange and the social construction of ideological realities. (1 p.)

 Directly Democratic Metropolitan Government: Envisioning Beyond Oppression, Rebellion, and Reform—Proposes two-tier government in urban areas, with public powers granted to directly democratic neighborhood organizations, to satisfy both political and economic empowerment needs and to stop the "endless cycle of oppression, rebellion, and reform." (18 pp.)

 A Doorknocker's Guide to Canvassing—Includes the basics of canvassing knowledge and skill, parts of the pitch, and myths and facts. (4 pp.)

 The End of the Beginning of the Oligarchic Empire of the United States of America—Notes the beginning of the end of electoral democracy in the U.S.; the probable effects of a 6-to-3 conservative majority-SCOTUS; the likely end of progressive legislation and policy from the federal government for the remainder of this century; the necessity of countering oligarchic power with an empowered demos; the lessons to be learned from the labor movement of the late-19th to mid-20th century; that the remaining institutions of the Congress and the Presidency will not save American democracy; and that the only hope is to build bottom-up institutional power from the grassroots. (2 pp.)

 Ethical and Moral Demands of Professional Community Organizing—Describes the necessity for organizers to build relationships of trust with those they're organizing, which requires that they demonstrate moral and ethical character; the demands of "professing" organizing, the purposes and obligations; the critical role of teamwork and team culture; and the principal means of overcoming one's ethical and moral shortcomings as an organizer. (4 pp.)

 A Faith-Based Community Organizer's Primer—Outlines initial steps in faith-based community organizing, from relationship-building with clergy to workshops and organizing committees. (6 pp.)

Faith Into Action—Congregational Community Organizing in Orange County, California—Case study of PICO approach used by the interfaith federation, Orange County Congregation Community Organizations. (7 pp.)

Gather the People, Organizing for Awe, A Strategy for Strengthening Covenantal Community—Relates in the story-form an ongoing discussion between three congregational rabbis, describing a detailed approach to the development of the congregation as a kahal poalei tzedek (community of doers of righteousness and justice), not only among their own members but in the larger world. (124 pp.)

Grassroots Lobbying (GTP Training Guide #46)—Outlines role of coalitions in lobbying, choosing a decision-maker to lobby, questions to help devise a lobbying campaign strategy, preparation of a policy brief, meeting with a decision-maker, and testifying at legislative hearings. (8 pp.)

Grassroots Organization Campaigns (GTP Training Guide #17)—Outlines information on basic principles, issues and targets, approaching allies, a barebones campaign model, and tactics. (2 pp.)

Grassroots Organization Meetings (GTP Training Guide #11)—Outlines essentials for planning and conducting meetings. (2 pp.)

Grassroots Organizer's Roles (GTP Training Guide #3)—Outlines four different perspectives, drawn from diverse sources, on the grassroots organizer's roles. (3 pp.)

Impatience of the Soul—Links the contemporary pattern of violence in the U.S., the pressures faced by most Americans, and the need for a "commonwealth of faith" that is organized for action. (3 pp.)

 The ISA Model of Community Organization and the Leadership Crisis of La Vecindad Unida/United Neighborhood-ISA—Moshe ben Asher's MSW thesis describes a specific model of grassroots community organization, developed by Warren Haggstrom, and includes the model's theoretical framework and organizing strategy. The thesis includes a case study of a leadership crisis, focusing on the destructive role of a "cool alternator." (47 pp.)

 Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue . . . in 2021: the Rubric for Prosecuting Donald J. Trump—Points to the contemporary relevance of Deuteronomy (Devarim) 16:18-20; notes the importance of clarifying the national motivation for prosecuting President Trump; posits that revenge, retribution, and deterrence rationales will all increase division and hatred in the country; and proposes an untarnished moral justification for prosecuting Trump and his co-conspirators. (2 pp.)

Key Learnings in Congregational Community Organizing Workshops—Outlines the foci of congregational community organizing workshops. (3 pp.)

Media (GTP Training Guide #26)—Includes brief text and extensive outline. (4 pp.)

Meeting Miscellany—Covers miscellaneous essentials for effective meetings. (5 pp.)

Micro and Macro Tensions in Generalist Practice—Considers dissimilarities that create tensions between micro and macro forms of social work practice and teaching. (3 pp.)

 Moral-Spiritual Infrastructure: Touchstone of Movement-Building Community Organizing—Explores the failure of faith-based and other forms of community orgajnizing to recognize the importance of integral religious faith in movement-building; the inadequacy of "self-interest" alone to sustain long-term participation in movement-building; the origins, characteristics, and effects of moral-spiritual infrastructure; and the practice implications for organizers. (16 pp.)

Negotiations (GTP Training Guide #14)—Includes brief text and extensive outline. (6 pp.)

 Neighborhood Government Through Special Districts—Examines the role of special districts in the context of community organizing for social change (ca. 1981). (4 pp.)

Neighborhood Organizing Committees—A to Z of building neighborhood organizing committes. (8 pp.)

 New England Town Government: A Model for Popular Assembly in Two-Tier Metropolitan Government—Considers the directly democratic form of New England town government as an organizational model for empowered urban social infrastructure, based on an historical survey of the town government form from colonial to modern times. (9 pp.)

New World Coming (Organize, Organize!) [sheet music]—Music, in a Woody Guthrie style, suitable to be sung at organizing actions and events.

 New World Coming (Organize, Organize!) [streaming audio]—File will open and play only if an mp3 player is installed on the computer's hard drive.

On Jewish Congregational Leadership—Reflections on leadership, focusing especially on appropriate aspects of leaders' character. (2 pp.)

 Opposing Ideologies of Infrastructure Sponsors: Bottom-Up and Top-Down—Depicts (in table form), as sociologically ideal types, the bottom-up and top-down ideologies of the sponsors of social infrastructure. (1 p.)

Organizational Structure and Culture (GTP Training Guide #7)—Describes the characteristics of organizational structure and culture, their relationship to community organizing, and some implications for the organizer's role. (4 pp.)

 Organizing + Lobbying = Power Tool—Proposes that community organizing campaigns work as more powerful tools when they combine the demonstrated power of organizing with the persuasive argumentation of lobbying. Examines problematic aspects of both, including: choosing coalition partners, setting campaign priorities, tareting decision-makers, strategizing a campaign, pressuring decision-makers, preparing lobbying arguments, assembling a policy brief, motivating decision-makers, planning a traditional media campaign, misusing social media, meeting with decision-makers, and testifying at legislative committee hearings. (10 pp.)

Our Crisis of Faith: On Redeeming Ourselves, Our Faith Communities, and Our Country—Looks at the linkage of mass bureaucracy to loss of faith and political corruption, and the necessity to enliven faith by organized congregational action. (4 pp.)

 Our Moral-Spiritual Path to Tikkun Olam As Faith-Based Community Organizers—This paper confronts the challenge of tikkun olam, repairing the worlds of personal, marital and family, communal, and public life; recognizes olam as the trajectory of Divine Providence; proposes the necessity of body-mind-emotion-spirit integration to achieve holistic commitment to tikkun olam; explores the obstacles of oppositional pressures; posits the role of the soul-mind based on contemporary neuroscience and neuropsychiatry; considers the singular human responsibility to create ourselves as moral-spiritual beings; and introduces a unique constellation of Jewish guideposts of moral-spiritual holiness as the basis of action in the world. (29 pp.)

 Political Liberty and Neighborhood Government—Proposes grassroots organizing as the vehicle to expand and institutionalize political liberty (ca. 1978). (3 pp.)

The Poor in the Hebrew Bible—Selected verses from Tanakh (Torah, Prophets, and Writings). (2 pp.)

The Power Bind—Paper by Warren Haggstrom that describes the formation and demise of the Syracuse Community Action Training Center (ca. 1964-65), which employed Saul Alinsky and Fred Ross, and Haggstrom's concept of the "power bind" and its implications for community organizing. (60 pp.)

The Price of Social Development—Highlights massive inner-city educational failures as symptomatic of contemporary community organizing's inability to achieve social development, and considers precursors to a strategic vision for faith-based community organizing. (9 pp.)

 The Promise of Radical Municipalism—Explores the current activism of radical municipalists, their conviction that they can launch a post-capitalist movement based on directly democratic municipalities linked in libertarian confederations that would supplant all other levels of government, and the strategic and tactical shortfalls of their ideological and institutional objectives. (5 pp.)

The Prophets—Excerpts from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel's classic study. (5 pp.)

 Public Powers for the Commonweal: A Challenge to Faith-Based Organizing—Explores the effects of power-inequality and the necessity to institutionalize public powers for the commonweal, with progressive faith-based federations serving as vanguard organizations. (13 pp.)

 Refocusing Our Strategic Organizing Vision—Considers the implications of Election 2016 for community and congregational organizing, the handicap of limited funding for building a national progressive coalition, and the need to focus on democratizing metropolitan government to build permanent, directly democratic grassroots power. (3 pp.)

 Relationship-Building Questions to Clergy in Congregational (Faith-Based) Community Organizing—Provides an outline of questions designed to build collegial relationships between organizers and senior clergy-members toward the goal of bringing their congregations and parishes into a federation of community organizing projects. (3 pp.)

Seeding the Vision: The "Faith Link" in Congregational Community Organizing—Explores the need for biblical foundation in bringing faith to life in organized congregational action. (4 pp.)

 Should We Revive Murray Bookchin?—Considers whether Bookchin's vision of libertarian municipal confederations (as replacements for "neoliberal capitalism") can effectively drive community organizing towards two-tier urban government decentralization and direct democracy. (7 pp.)

 Siddur Klieil Shel Kharakim—The prayerbook of the Kharakim: who seek to be visionaries, teachers, and keepers of sacred time and space; who work tirelessly for the empowerment of the people in the image of God; who stand against the perversion and corruption of governance and commerce; and who measure tikkun olam by righteousness, truth, justice, freedom, peace, and kindness—who are openings (kharakim) through which one may look and Divine Light may be seen. (217 pp.)

Social Infrastructure Organizing Technology—Practice theory based on theories of social learning, social exchange, social construction of reality, and social development, plus micro and macro practice technologies. (120 pp.)

 Social Learning [Theory] and Community Organizing—Describes social learning theory, concepts, and procedures, and outlines organizing technology based on social learning, with applications in the micro to mezzo range and exploration of modeling methodologies. (Authored in 1978 by Moshe ben Asher under his former English name, Michael Silver.) (95 pp.)

 Staff Development and Leadership—Explores the challenge of staff development, a leadership strategy for staff development, the primary role of leaders to maximize staff development, the basic tools of leadership development that drive staff development, and the measure of successful leadership development. (4 pp.)

 Team-Building and Participation: Guide to Tips on Principles and Practices—Guide to multiple lists of tips on building successful teams and contributing to them as members. (10 pp.)

 The Triple-A Flyer—A primer on the basic principles of designing effective flyers. (2 pp.)

 Trump's Evil Yet to Come 2.0—Proposes Trump's likely action if the pandemic continues to have extremely disruptive effects on the economy and the health care system and if it appears he will lose the election in November; outlines a strategic vision to deal with the constitutional crisis that threatens American democracy; and acknowledges the necessity for Americans to question whether to pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the Government of the United States if Trump declares himself "king." (4 pp.)

 Unified Community Organizing Theory—Provides a unified theoretical description of the community organizing action field based on theories of social learning, social exchange, social construction of reality, and social development; and proposes a set of related theory-based practice roles for community organizers. (42 pp.)

 Vill Economics—Explores issues and concepts related to the economic viability of small-scale political institutions; reviews surveys of "decentralization experiments"; and considers the potential for small-scale (neighborhood) government to play an ecocomically useful role in providing neighborhood-based health care service delivery. (Authored in 1978 by Moshe ben Asher under his former English name, Michael Silver.) (84 pp.)

 Will America Be?—Describes the recent predations on American democracy as threatening the moral-spiritual core of the nation; notes the specific reasons for pessimism about the nation's future; and proposes rebuilding the institutions of democracy at their roots by organizing directly democratic assemblies as lower tiers of metropolitan government, through which citizens could shape their own laws and policies, and ultimately hold accountable corporations and higher levels of goverment. (3 pp.)

 Winning the War for Grassroots Empowerment: Benefits of Building a Public Powers Movement—Focuses on the value of directly democratic neighborhood assemblies with public powers to respond to local, regional, and statewide problems and issues. Describes four examples of neighborhood-based public powers to achieve police accountability, sustainable energy generation, compassionate immigration policies and practices, and low-cost entry-portal health care. (5 pp.)

 Workshop on Intra-Organizational Accountability & Confrontation—Workshop outline for training leaders and organizers on the essentials of intra-organizational accountability and constructive confrontation, with particular focus on failure to challenge non-feasance and malfeasance from fear or anxiety at the prospect of confrontation; and the development within the organization of a "culture of accountability." (8 pp.)

Writing Daily Macro Practice Notes On Professional Community Organizing—Principles, guidelines, and extensive examples for writing community organizing practice notes. (12 pp.)

You Too Can Organize A Government—Essentials for neighborhood organizations to acquire and exercise public powers as the lower tier of two-tier metropolitan government federations. Originally published by ACORN in The Organizer. (8 pp.)


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Updated: 2/26/21