Organizers in Residence 2019

For the 2019 Fort River and 2020 Fort River, Crocker Farm and Pelham Elementary Schools’ programs, we were funded by grants from Teaching Tolerance.

“…each class began to develop strategies and tactics around their campaign with the support of our Organizers in Residence and a website they developed containing resources for each of the campaigns. This site was also used for communication between the Organizers in Residence and the students, as well as between the students themselves.” – Fort River Elementary Civic Literacy and Organizing Unit Diverse Democracy Grant Report.

Download the full 2019 grant report here.

Process (English and Language Arts, Elementary Schools)

Learning how social change happens by organizing to make social change happen.

Emphasis not on learning about organizing but learning organizing itself.

Observing their community, noticing and expressing what they would like to see changed.

Identifying motivating values, such as:

    • People deserve to live without fear of violence.
    • We should treat one another and the planet with respect.
    • We should all take responsibility for caring for one another and for the planet.
    • All people are inherently valuable and worthy of respect; money, race, gender should not determine a person’s worth.
    • Our actions have impacts.
    • We are connected; another person’s struggle is connected to my own struggle.
    • We should pay attention to the suffering of others and work to alleviate it.

Through recognition of shared motivating values and goals for change, we facilitate moving from individual projects to collaborative organizing. In 2019 the campaigns were:

    1. Stopping deforestation and planting new trees
    2. Encouraging support for a Green New Deal
    3. Changing the MA State Flag

This video is an example of grouping specific campaign goals into larger social movements so that students begin to make connections across issues, concerns and values.

How does social change happen? from Stephanie Jo Kent on Vimeo.