Equipping nonprofits to advance social change

Missed our call for organizers in social service organizations?  Here’s the low down.

On Wednesday, March 16th, the Building Movement Project hosted the first of what will be an ongoing series of “cohort calls” that concentrate on the different roles/activities of service providers involved in social change work.  The purpose of the calls is to build connections and share information among staffers across the country working in service delivery groups that are also looking to address larger issues affecting their clients.

This first call focused on the experiences of organizers, advocates and directors of civic engagement who work within a service context.  Over 25 participants joined the call, during which our three guest speakers (organizers Maria Zavala and Amina Saleh from the Family Partnership in Minneapolis, MN and Anna Dioguardi from Queens Community House in Queens, NY) responded to questions such as:

• What’s an example of a direct action or ongoing social change work that has gotten clients and community members really engaged.

• What challenges did you face (if you did) to get all the service delivery staff to change their orientation from serving “clients” to organizing? If staff didn’t accept the change were they retrained or eventually replaced?

• What structures do you have in place for people to communicate the needs of the community to the organization and how does the organization and participants decide what campaigns to work on?

To read how our speakers responded and for more insight into the discussion on the call, click here to take a look at the meeting minutes.

This call is one of the many ways that the Building Movement Project is working to build a network of service providers who are working for social change. We will be hosting additional calls over the next several months for this and other cohorts (i.e. executive directors of service organizations and associations, development directors, board members, etc.) so stay tuned.

In the meantime, learn more! The Building Movement Project engages in research and resource development that you may find helpful. Check out the case studies that featured speakers from the call and our toolkit for those engaged in social change work at service organizations which includes resources like this one developed by the Family Partnership about addressing cultural conflicts in multicultural coalitions.

If you would like to participate in future calls or receive more information on the network, email cweber@demos.org or sign up for our newsletter.

 

Service and Social Change activism community involvement public discourse social services