I have a new favorite quote. So the first question for this post is, who knows how to make a bumper sticker?
“To do service work without organizing for justice is a form of paternalism. To organize for justice without having a visceral connection to the people can lead to vanity,” Scott Douglass, Greater Birmingham Ministries.
Yeah, what he said.
And the second quote, when does my job at Building Movement start?
Seriously, I took so many notes when reading this (short–I promise!) report that I nearly copied the entire thing. It’s awesome. I’m so excited.
Essentially, it is an effort to profile how organizations around the country are combining direct services and organizing, mostly starting with organizing and layering on services, kind of the “opposite” of some of Building Movement’s other work. I have actually worked with some of the organizations profiled, CASA de Maryland and PCUN, and they are really, totally cool.
Some of the highlights, with my own social work-y reflections:
Can you imagine if we had tons of these organizations, scaled to really move on some of the terrible injustices that our clients present to us everyday? And clients who viewed that they have a right to such action because, after all, they’re members of this place,? And organizing staff who spent the morning talking with social workers providing direct services, and social workers who won’t be in the office tomorrow because they’ll be at a mass rally with their organizer colleagues (and some of their clients)?
Alliance for Change ends with a series of questions to guide our organizations’ evolution towards these goals, and I would LOVE to hear where any of your organizations are along this continuum, and how I can help you as you figure out how and where to move.
With a nod to my friends at PCUN (They have their own radio station! They’re rock stars!), Sí se puede!