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Organizing People: Constituents and Coalitions

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Often, we are anxious about the happenings and plans of a top social community event or inclining to a community organizing duty. There is a number of guidelines and rules that guide a person in an effective community organizing and tools which give a distinctive way to plan and execute a successful community development endeavor. Indeed, there is a way to look at a situation or an event, identify the issues of concern, and go forth to react on them. Therefore, community organizing, even if it does not have a distinctive blue print to define its complexities, is an issue which requires a certain baseline and presentation of constant change to be effective.

The tools of community organizing presented in the book, indeed, provide an effective way to handle community organizing but then, with the presentation that there is contention on the effectiveness of any community organizing guidelines, do they present effective results.  Thereby, the ideals of Fannie Lou Hamer, a Mississippi activist, that “three people are better than none” comes into question. Indeed, Fannie’s statement came out of the desperation for many people to join the community development projects. Establishing an actual base is the major element of a community organization. A base could be the first step of establishing an effective community.  

To redefine further the essentials of organizing constituents and making of coalitions, an evaluation of the key elements on the same is needed. These key elements elaborated in the book seem very essential. Among the key elements, empowerment is the foundation of a successful organizing.  By establishing a base that includes people who are affected directly or indirectly by a certain issue, these people will be involved or engaged in the process. This engagement will empower them and probably bring a certain level of realization and control. Major community groups and organizations have grown stronger and bigger when the members are empowered. Empowerment presents a challenge that members would wish reach for or beat. But sometimes, basic identification of issues affecting people may not empower them such much to present a progressive community organizing. There are issues that affect individuals which are above realization and empowerment. Accountability and relationship maybe are the major keys that can work out a perfect community organizing. Accountability allows individuals to participate and experience for themselves the solution and progress of issues that are affecting them. In the progress, this creates a relationship which binds further the organization. For an organizer, it is pivotal to have a good relationship with people he/she is going to organize and instill participation. This way, you will be able to bond and create a social change that binds. In fact, the definitions of these elements are effective for a certain percentage and for some are not. Community organization can be a complex matter when all these key elements are difficult to achieve.

At the same time, the concept of organizing individual constituents presents an unlikely challenge.  The task of individual conversions is typically ineffective in organizations that are marginalized and not so strongly bonded. It will be a challenging task to convert an individual who fears to lose something that is important hence the ideology of relational meeting presents a solution. Communicating and challenging a person who could rather keep private issues affecting them would put strength and confidence in the individuals. Hence, an ideal of building a public and timely relationship with individuals is sure the best way to solve the challenge and gain a perfect organizational skill. Leadership development is another entity which has proved to be effective. An organizer should be able to build a leader from the person he/she has converted; these would open more doors for more involvement and conversions.

In reality, community organizing has been a challenging institution which has a number of complexities. But the issues and skills presented an addressed in the book open doors for an effective organizing which is grounded on a huge base.

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