In today's political climate it has become very clear that community organizing is the most effective way to create change in the United States.
Our organizing model begins with consistency. We host our meetings at consistent times and locations so that people know when and where to find us, as well as, consistency in principle and values to develop trust. The second component of our model is one part attraction and one part promotion. We do work in, with, and for our communities, and we participate in events, either hosted by JTW or other organizations, speaking and/or working directly toward ending mass incarceration. We also utilize social media with music, videos, and images to foster and sustain our principle base of support. These two wings function to engage people by motivating participation and creating an inclusive and positive outlet to focus their energies. We believe people already posses power and that strong communities do not need strong leaders. So, we share all of our leadership and decision making fairly, which fosters buy-in and ownership with our campaigns and organization, and this is how we build and sustain our base.
Our leadership development begins first by modeling healthy, horizontal, shared responsibility leadership throughout all of our activities. We accomplish the next step in our leadership development through a process of sharing knowledge, learning collectively, and popular education wherein we all come to a shared understanding of our focal issues, goals, strategies, tactics, and the philosophy and ethics, which guide our behaviors. As the developing leaders, we are working with some to share our team's collective perspective and philosophy, and because we believe in horizontal leadership, especially by those most affected by systems of oppression, we share responsibility, decision-making power, and public platforms. We do not believe in top-down leadership or the consolidation of power, but rather, bottom-up, grassroots leadership to guide change. Thus, our ultimate goal is to create a legion of leaders who share responsibility, by living and organizing in the manner fitting the society we hope to help shape.
People most affected by a problem are in the best position to determine the solutions. Therefore, leadership development is an essential component of social change work.
True change occurs only when underlying, systemic forces are understood and addressed.
Lasting change occurs when Social Justice Movements are built from the ground up and grassroots groups come together across sectors and constituencies to work for the common principles of Human Rights and Justice for All.