“The world is changing rapidly and the practice of community organizing needs to change with it. Representing both an homage to, and a departure from the “alinsky traditions” of organizing, Consensus Organizing offers techniques that are specifically designed for urban and rural communities struggling to succeed in the global economy and the information age. Ohmer and DeMasi are experienced organizers who offer a relentlessly thorough examination of the process of bringing diverse communities together to make change and to bridge the ethnic and economic divisions that keep many communities from succeeding.”
—Bill Traynor Executive Director, Lawrence CommunityWorks Inc.
A person doesn't have to be a consensus organizer to think like one. Consensus Organizing: A Community Development WorkbookA Comprehensive Guide to Designing, Implementing, and Evaluating Community Change Initiatives helps students and practitioners begin to think like consensus organizers and incorporate this way of strategic thinking into their lives and their work. Through a wide range of exercises, role-play activities, case scenarios, and discussion questions, this workbook presents the conceptual framework for consensus organizing and provides a practical and experiential approach to understanding and applying consensus organizing to address a range of issues. This workbook is designed to be used by itself or along with Mike Eichler's text Consensus Organizing: Building Communities of Mutual Self Interest (SAGE, 2007).
Key Features and Benefits
Provides a step-by-step guide on how to conduct a community analysis of both internal and external neighborhood resources; Brings consensus organizing to life through case studies based on the real-life experiences of the authors; Offers field exercises that engage the reader in applying and practicing consensus organizing; Provides practical tools that community organizers and practitioners can use in their daily work; Includes a sample job description, work plan, monitoring report, and field report for hiring and supervising consensus organizers; Presents tools for describing and evaluating consensus organizing and community-level interventions
Instructors and students have access to the many activities and cases on the accompanying website at http://www.sagepub.com/ohmerstudy/.
Chapter 6: Step One in the Community Analysis: Understanding Communities—Their History and Current Conditions
Step One in the Community Analysis: Understanding Communities—Their History and Current Conditions
Purpose: This chapter describes the first step of the community analysis, which includes developing an understanding of a community's history, socioeconomic and political characteristics, assets, and resources. At this stage, a consensus organizer gathers information about the community, including a community's history, information on current conditions and how the community has changed over time (i.e., demographic, economic, and social characteristics), and prior relationships with neighboring communities. Several methods for gathering and analyzing information are discussed, including conducting walking and windshield surveys of the neighborhood, securing census data on the community available through the U.S. Census Bureau, and using geographic information systems (GIS). ...