Missoula It’s been fun to look at the first, advance copies of the new Social Policy Press book, Global Grassroots: Perspectives on Organizing. Sharing a copy with friends and family, the reactions have been positive. People are finding surprises as they open the covers.
The book combines a pile of essays from organizers around the world including John Bauman, PICO founder on organizing in Africa and Latin America, Lawrence Apiyo, head of COPA-K in Kenya on training and organizing around Africa, Denis Murphy from Manila on decades of work organizing in Asia, Kirk Noden now in Ohio on his experiences organizing with London Citizens in England, Paul Cromwell and Chuck Hirt on organizing in Europe, Na Hyowoo on his work in Korea and elsewhere, and a great piece by Judy Duncan of ACORN Canada on their work and experiences with tenant organizing in the North, along with other reports from India, Peru, and Mexico by ACORN International organizers.
There is an entire section on campaigns. This part includes an interesting analysis of how community organization and its principles were important in Eritrea and the resilience of its recovery. There are also pieces on education organizing in France (Shane Adler), successful anti-privatization campaigns in Peru (Luis isarra and Lisa Donner), winning the first municipal living wage measure in Canada in New Westminster (John Anderson), green organizing in Toronto by environmental and community organizers as part of the Live Green project, and reports from Australia by Amanda Tattersall on education and ACORN Canada’s Jill O’Reilly on the tough fight for living wages in Ottawa.
The last section on “global footprints” includes a piece on organizing in Indonesia from Craig Robbins and Jenny Arwade and another on South Africa by Louis Jamerson which came from their experiences on Organizers’ Forum delegations in recent years. Some of my blogs on organizing filed from the field during my travels are included in “Footprints Around the Globe,” as well as an introduction on the spread of community organizing for power around the world and a final essay on the challenge of sustainability and scaling in this work.
Right now the book is only available through the Social Policy website at www.socialpolicy.com, where there is now a “shopping cart” feature. The pricing is organizer-activist friendly at $15 plus shipping. Eventually the book will list on Amazon and be at some book stores and events, but right now we want it to be a tool that advances the work.
The book was a struggle to assemble over thousands of miles and different languages, but holding it in our hands and hearing feedback from the organizers with copies now, it was a journey worth traveling, like so much of our work.
Time to get a copy and see a world of organizing open up for you!