Alliance Building

My Queer Chicana Eye on My Brother’s Keeper

By |Apr 1, 2014|

I am a queer Chicana building an alliance with boys and men of color. The connections between who I am and who I work with may not seem obvious to you or to many people, including those launching My Brother’s Keeper, President Obama’s new initiative aimed at empowering boys and young men of color. In fact, the connections weren’t even completely clear to me just three years ago.

Creating Sea Change — To Win

By |Feb 18, 2014|

Over the course of 15 months, Caring Across Generations engaged a base of more than 1 million people. By our second year we were a leading force in the coalition that won minimum wage and overtime protections for 2.1 million workers. Many of us in the community based organizing field see this scale of engagement and impact as cutting edge for our sector. But, as innovative and exciting as they are, these indicators of scale are an entirely inadequate measure of success.

Three Ways Capoeira Upped My Organizing Game

By |Nov 18, 2013|

Every organizer knows that awful moment, that slow stomach-churning realization that your campaign is about to hit a dead end. I had that moment recently in the work I was doing with a coalition of local youth organizations fighting for Restorative Justice in public schools. Unlike harsh and ineffective “zero tolerance” policies, Restorative Justice programs create a way for those who have committed harm to dialogue with those who have been harmed, to understand what happened, agree on a remedy, and build relationships that reduce the possibility of future harm. Deep in our bones we wanted Restorative Justice and an end to the disciplinary policies that push out large numbers of African American, Latino, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander students every year.
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    Don’t Get Stuck in the Muck! Six Common Pitfalls of Emerging Alliances

Don’t Get Stuck in the Muck! Six Common Pitfalls of Emerging Alliances

By |Sep 28, 2013|

Close your eyes and imagine the worst collaborative meeting ever. You know, the one that feels like a big dysfunctional family? The one where everyone’s worried because funding’s on the line, where the organizers and services people don't trust each other, where the small scrappy groups feel the well established organizations are getting all the shine, where no one actually believes anything collaborative is going to get done?

What Do We Want? Synchronicity! When Do We Want It? Now!

By |Sep 28, 2013|

Twenty years ago I was sitting at the Alex Haley farm with an amazing groups of young activists and veteran organizers from this country’s past freedom struggles. We were learning about how the conservative movement had organized and built a web of infrastructure to turn back the victories of the movements of the 60’s and 70’s and infuse fear...