Please join Kevin at Slant Truth and all of the amazing bloggers listed there in writing a post about community organizing tomorrow Monday Sept. 8, 2008
If you are a community organizer please share your story. If you use your blogging as a political act and a means of organizing across communities, tell us why you blog and why it counts as serious political work. Or if you prefer, highlight your favorite community organizer and let the world know who they are and why they matter.
This is not about the specific partisan insult Sarah Palin made at the national level about Barack Obama. It is a non-partisan response to the way that insult demeaned all community organizers by saying we had “no responsibilities” and therefore no relevance. Across the political spectrum community organizers’ work is the first and best defense for marginalized N. Americans regardless of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, age, location, status, etc.
Everyone who cheered and everyone out there who might think that what they do is more important, more valuable, or more relevant than the serious political work we are all engaged in as community organizers need to know that our work is not only relevant it is vital. You don’t have to be sanctioned by a political party, media coverage, or even a university. No one ever needs to see your face on a poster or a magazine for your work to count; in fact the majority of serious political workers never get that kind of attention. And sadly, many of our most amazing community organizers are purposefully erased from the record lest we remember and learn from their example.
Regardless of your politics, if you work hard to inform, engage, and radicalize your communities, if you work with them to change the world for the better, if you make space in the mind, the heart, and/or the world for the marginalized and the forgotten you are a serious political worker and the work you do matters. No words of condescension or erasure can change that.
This nation was built on a legacy of community organizers. When we do not honor the struggles of the past nor the powerful work of the present, when we demean those among us b/c their work is different than ours, we dishonor ourselves.
(Just in case I don’t get a chance to write my own piece on this issue tomorrow, you can read my original piece AND check out the links to amazing female community organizers of past and present here)