I spent the last two days catching up on some reading, primarily from fall/winter 2010. When I say reading, I mean hard copy, print publications. For me, they still have a draw and sitting on my bed or on the floor surrounded by their promise takes me back to childhood.
Amongst my pile, I noticed a small book. It was The 7 Components of Transformative Organizing Theory by Eric Mann. I remember receiving the book from a member of the Bay Area Justice Funders Network for whom I was designing and facilitating a general membership meeting last year who had just attended the 2010 Social Justice Forum.
As happens to all of us with many things we receive, I put it in a pile to read later. Yesterday, as we remembered the life and teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. it seemed most appropriate to pick up the small booklet and make my way through it.
Following are the seven key components Mann identified:
- Transformative organizing seeks radical social change through the strategy of building an international united front to challenge the U.S. Empire.
- The transformative organizer is a conscious agent of change, a revolutionary educator with a plan to intervene in and make history.
- Transformative organizing requires the leadership of society’s most exploited, oppressed, and strategically placed classes and races.
- Transformative organizing is produced by transformative organizations.
- Transformative organizing becomes truly transformative in the course of battle.
- Transformative organizing transforms the organizers.
- Transformative organizing requires a transformative political program.
Our work puts us in touch with many leaders engaged in efforts, which include components of the above. It is deeply gratifying and satisfying work.
Moving forward, as a consultant, I will be thinking about my role and that of our practice to deepen and strengthen the needs of our client partners and how organizing fits, or does not fit. And as one African American woman, in her mid 40’s, living in Marin County, California, I know we have made progress but there is much more to do.