Organiser resources

Communities have been organising for collective liberation for thousands of years!  Here are a few of the resources that others have developed that we think might be useful in your organising.  Several other resources can also be found in our library.

We are always looking for more resources, so email our Resource Centre Coordinator if you know of a resource that might make a good addition to this list.

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Consensus and Group Process

Consensus decision-making is a group decision-making process in which group members develop, and agree to support a decision in the best interest of the whole. Consensus may be defined professionally as an acceptable resolution, one that can be supported, even if not the “favourite” of each individual. Consensus is defined by Merriam-Webster as, first, general agreement, and second, group solidarity of belief or sentiment. It has its origin in the Latin word cōnsēnsus (agreement), which is from cōnsentiō meaning literally feel together.[1] It is used to describe both the decision and the process of reaching a decision. Consensus decision-making is thus concerned with the process of deliberating and finalizing a decision, and the social, economic, legal, environmental and political effects of using this process.

Facilitation and Pop Ed

Popular education is a concept grounded in notions of class, political struggle, and social transformation. The term is a translation from the Spanish educación popular or the Portuguese educação popular and rather than the English usage as when describing a ‘popular television program’, popular here means ‘of the people’. More specifically ‘popular’ refers to the ‘popular classes’, which include peasants, the unemployed, the working class and sometimes the lower middle class. The designation of ‘popular’ is meant most of all to exclude the upper class and upper middle class.

Popular education is used to classify a wide array of educational endeavors and has been a strong tradition in Latin America since the end of the first half of the 20th century. These endeavors are either composed of or carried out in the interests of the popular classes. The diversity of projects and endeavors claiming or receiving the label of popular education makes the term difficult to precisely define. Generally, one can say that popular education is class-based in nature and rejects the notion of education as transmission or ‘banking education’. It stresses a dialectic or dialogical model between educator and educand. This model is explored in great detail in the works of one of the foremost popular educators Paulo Freire.

Though sharing many similarities with other forms of alternative education, popular education is a distinct form in its own right. In the words of Liam Kane: “What distinguishes popular education from ‘adult‘, ‘non-formal‘, ‘distance‘, or ‘permanent education‘, for example, is that in the context of social injustice, education can never be politically neutral: if it does not side with the poorest and marginalised sectors- the ‘oppressed’ – in an attempt to transform society, then it necessarily sides with the ‘oppressors’ in maintaining the existing structures of oppression, even if by default.”

Campaign Planning

Campaign plan is a plan to achieve an objective, usually of a large-scale over an extended period of time. It usually coordinates many activities and uses of resources involving multiple organizations. A campaign plan could also have subordinate objectives or intermediate milestones and is often broken down by phases. They often begin with an assessment of the situation to put the plan in context. Campaign plans are often created in business marketing, political campaigning and military campaigning.

Outreach

Outreach is an activity of providing services to any populations who might not otherwise have access to those services. A key component of outreach is that the groups providing it are not stationary, but mobile; in other words they are meeting those in need of outreach services at the locations where those in need are. In addition to delivering services, outreach has an educational role, raising the awareness of existing services.

Outreach is often meant to fill in the gap in the services provided by mainstream (often, governmental) services, and is often carried out by non-profit, nongovernmental organizations.[1] This is a major element differentiating outreach from public relations.[4] Compared to staff providing traditional services, Dewson et al. (2006) notes that outreach staff may be less qualified, but is more highly motivated.

Activism

Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, economic, and/or environmental reform or stasis with the desire to make improvements in society. Forms of activism range from writing letters to newspapers or to politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing businesses, rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, and hunger strikes.

One can also express activism through different forms of art (Artivism). Daily acts of protest such as not buying clothes from a certain clothing company because they exploit workers is another form of activism. One view holds that acknowledging privileges and oppressions on a daily basis ranks as a form of activism.[1] Research has begun to explore how activist groups use social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action.

Fundraising

Fundraising or fund raising (also known as “development“) is the process of gathering voluntary contributions of money or other resources, by requesting donations from individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies (see also crowd funding). Although fundraising typically refers to efforts to gather money for non-profit organizations, it is sometimes used to refer to the identification and solicitation of investors or other sources of capital for for-profit enterprises.

Traditionally, fundraising consisted mostly of asking for donations on the street or at people’s doors, and this is experiencing very strong growth in the form of face-to-face fundraising, but new forms of fundraising, such as online fundraising, have emerged in recent years, though these are often based on older methods such as grassroots fundraising.

Direct Action

Direct action occurs when a group takes an action which is intended to reveal an existing problem, highlight an alternative, or demonstrate a possible solution to a social issue. This can include nonviolent and less often violent activities which target persons, groups, or property deemed offensive to the direct action participants. Examples of non-violent direct action (also known as nonviolent resistance or civil resistance) can include sit-ins, strikes, workplace occupations, blockades, or hacktivism, while violent direct action may include political violence, sabotage, property destruction, or assaults. By contrast, electoral politics, diplomacy, negotiation, and arbitration are not usually described as direct action, as they are politically mediated. Non-violent actions are sometimes a form of civil disobedience, and may involve a degree of intentional law-breaking where persons place themselves in arrestable situations in order to make a political statement but other actions (such as strikes) may not violate criminal law.

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