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Community Organizers

Representative : Nina Gregg

Methodology

Deepening the Discussion with Selected Participants


by Nina Gregg

Nina Gregg in the USA, Diego Escobar in Colombia, and Antonio Sama in the UK are working together (with Nina as project coordinator) on “Ethics & Responsibility in Community Organizing.” They gave careful thought to how they would be working toward the goal of writing a "Reflection on Action" document. This is their working methodology.


Photo: People have the power to wrestle the world from fools (Fractal Flame Ref. round-100-2-298-1), by Giovanni Rubaltelli

Nina and Diego developed the initial work plan on Ethics and Responsibility in Community Organizing. We were fortunate to have some time together at CONFINT (the International Children’s Conference in June 2010) to discuss our hopes and expectations of the project and determine how to proceed. Among the important issues we discussed were (1) our definitions of ‘community organizing’ with sensitivity to cultural and political differences; (2) the scope of the project; (3) the stages of the project, from identification of participants through to the creation of a written document.

We agreed that a deep discussion with a limited number of carefully selected participants was preferable to a collection of impressions from random participants. For this reason we designed our project to engage 12-15 people in each region (South America, North America, UK, Italy). Participants represent geographic diversity as well as diversity in the issues they work on in their organizing activity. This is an action-research project. All the participants will move through successive stages of the project, prompted first by questions composed by the team and then responding to additional questions coming from the participants. At a specific moment in the project, each participant will be encouraged to convene discussions within their own organizations, using the material that has been generated by participants.

This design incorporates a careful and intentional focus on deepening the discussion and reflection at each stage.

Published on: 7 August 2011
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