New Syllabus: Introduction to Community Organizing

Posted by on June 2, 2009

Aaron Schutz has a course, Introduction to Community Organizing, now posted on the COMM-ORG Syllabi page,

Get the syllabus directly at:

Course Overview (Intro)

This course was created for a lower-division, Introduction to Community Organizing Course at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  The course is NOT intended to teach students how to be a community organizer.  They don’t learn how to work with the media, or run a house meeting, nor other practical skills like that.  Instead the course is designed to help students learn how to THINK like an organizer.  To some extent, the course content reflects my own limitations.  I have worked extensively with community organizing groups but have not actually been an organizer.  For this online version I have cut some of the content specific to UWM, like the number of points for each exercise.


The COMM-ORG mission is to

* help connect people who care about the craft of community organizing.
* find and provide information that organizers, scholars, and scholar-organizers can use to learn, teach, and do community organizing.
* involve all COMM-ORG members in meeting those goals.

COMM-ORG is based on two basic beliefs:

* community organizers and academics can both benefit by exchanging information and resources.  The COMM-ORG membership is composed of about half academics and half practitioners (including some government officials and funders)
* the Internet should remain a place where information and communication is freely available (meaning, at no cost).  That means not only that everything on COMM-ORG is free, but that COMM-ORG runs on completely free open source software, including the Fedora Linux operating system, Apache web server, and Mailman list server software

COMM-ORG defines community organizing as:

* people without power getting power, both as individuals and as a community.
* building relationships,and sometimes this is its primary goal.
* beginning in a local area, often as small as a neighborhood.
* building on shared experience–rooted in a place or a cultural identity.
* often leading to development activities and/or larger social movements when it succeeds.

More in "New Resources"

Stay Current in Philly's Higher Education and Nonprofit Sector

We compile a weekly email with local events, resources, national conferences, calls for proposals, grant, volunteer and job opportunities in the higher education and nonprofit sectors.