Learning to be a community organizer is learning to be in control of your life. Community organizing training is about unveiling the mainstream power dynamics that exist to keep marginalized people “in their place” and then realizing that we have the power to bring those dynamics into balance.
People learn through G.O.T. Power, MSPJC’s training program, that we can’t and shouldn’t sit back and wait for those in authority to make changes for us—but that we are the ones who know best what our communities need. The most powerful and lasting way for change to occur is by doing it ourselves.
What is G.O.T. Power?
Grassroots Organizer Training for Power, Mid-South Peace and Justice Center’s training program, is committed to building our community’s capacity through building skills in grassroots organizing, providing support to people doing community work and offering oppression awareness and liberation education.
Our method of education is Popular and Direct Education. Direct education means education that directly confronts and challenges the current system of injustice, which includes traditional education.
Rather than traditional education, which gives all the expertise to textbooks and teachers, Direct Education invites the expertise of the people themselves. Direct Education is about liberation and empowerment — going to the direct source of wisdom: the community itself!
Who Participates? G.O.T. Power attracts participants from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some are paid community organizers, some are community activists in their spare time, and some are in social service fields and want to incorporate a community organizing perspective into their work.
Many others are people like you who want to learn more and get involved in their communities. What unites us all is a vision to make our city a better place by building strong, powerful organizations of the people directly affected by the problems in our communities.
Who leads the trainings or workshops? Some trainings or workshops are facilitated by members of MSPJC’s training team. Our staff uses elements of popular education and direct education, resulting in a dynamic, interactive and intensive training format that ensures participants are able to fully integrate what they learn into their work and lives.
We also collaborate with a range of different organizers, community leaders, activists, and supporters who are our associate trainers.
What is Offered?
Building Power with your group and community!
A variety of training and workshop formats and topics are available to meet your or your group’s needs. Whether you’re already working within a group or organization, want to increase your tool box or skills around a specific issue, or are an individual wanting to learn more; G.O.T. Power provides a range of different trainings and workshops, implements popular and direct education, and creates opportunities for learning.
G.O.T. Power (Grassroots Organizers Training for Power) is made up of three components: Core Organizer Training (our flagship grassroots organizing training), a Training of Trainers, and a series of ongoing Support and Development Trainings.
Core Organizer Training
Explores with the participants the foundational skills of organizing and creating systemic change in a group or community, keeping nonviolence as a foundation. This 16-hour training will build the knowledge and experience of community organizer skills in a hands-on, direct manner, while also drawing out the expertise that the group has within. The result is a training that is fully interactive and has direct application in each session.
Topics: The Organizer within me, Organizing my Community, Campaign Planning, Facilitating Meetings, Working with Media and Intro to Nonviolent Direct Action.
Training the Trainer
Training for Social Action Trainers. Interested in joining MSPJC’s training team? Want to learn about the art of being a trainer? Want to be able to offer trainings in your own community? Contact us to learn about our intensive training of trainers program in collaboration with Training for Change.
Support and Development Trainings
Support and Development Trainings are offered to Community Organizer enrollees, graduates, and individuals and organizations in the larger community to enhance our organizing skill set. Trainings available include:
- Nonviolent Communication
- Storytelling for Activists
- Advanced Facilitation Skills
- Grassroots Fundraising and Foundation
- Oppression Awareness and Diversity
- Nonviolent Direct Action
- Framing and Messaging, Media 201
- Citizen Lobbying
- Consensus Building
- Canvassing and Phone-banking
- GOTV and more.
Support and Development Trainings are designed to both build skills and provide personal support structures for G.O.T. Power graduates or anyone engaged in organizing and community change work.
Please contact us to get more information and schedule a training in your group or community. Fees are negotiable, scholarships are available and donations for scholarships are greatly appreciated.
Trainings can be designed specifically for established groups, organizations, campaigns, coalitions, etc. Comprehensive weekend workshops on specific organizing skill sets, issue or community-specific formats are available.
Trainings in Spanish are also available. All trainings are offered in English or Spanish as requested. We work and collaborate with bilingual trainers and facilitators.
Contact GotPower@midsouthpeace.org to inquire about the next scheduled training or to request a training for your organization or group.