or·gan·iz·ing | verb
the process of building the people power necessary to win and maintain systemic change.
cen·ter | noun
the core; the place from which activity is directed
The Organizing Center offers training, coaching and support to individuals and organizations fighting for justice. Our work sparks the imagination of what is possible and cultivates hope for the future.
Organizing is hard work and what is ahead will demand more of us than ever. It takes time to build relationships, build leadership, challenge power and make change. Years, not months. The Organizing Center has what it takes to strengthen your existing practice and support the building of new ones.
We believe that the three elements that move people to action are ANGER, HOPE and a PLAN. People can be angry at existing conditions but have no hope that things will change. Or they can believe change is possible but are not be upset enough to act. Or they can be angry about conditions, believe change is possible, but have no idea what steps to take. Only with all three does action take place.
The Organizing Center develops and strengthens organizers who can BUILD RELATIONSHIPS with new people through transformative organizing conversations, articulate a CLEAR AND COMPELLING VISION for the world we are trying to build, understand why and how to conduct a POWER ANALYSIS, identify resonant campaign issues and develop WINNABLE DEMANDS, develop the LEADERSHIP of directly impacted people, create and analyze campaign STRATEGY, build and maintain STRONG COALITIONS, and move people to ACTION.
To learn more about what we did last year, check out our most recent annual report.
Our staff and facilitators bring combined decades of experience organizing for and winning people power. We have worked with groups at the frontlines of the fights for housing, public education, healthcare, immigration, and mass liberation.
CHRISTI CLARK, DIRECTOR
Christi brings over twenty years of community and labor organizing experience where she developed the leadership, organization and coalitions necessary to win. Prior to founding The Organizing Center she built strong unions, won policy changes that decriminalized black and brown high school youth, and led a campaign that won $100M for affordable housing in Philly. She believes people power is the only way to win and that another world is possible.
SHAKIYA CANTY, TRAINING & PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Shakiya Canty is a 4th generation West Philadelphian who enjoys identifying innovative approaches and improved solutions to social movement and organizational challenges. Previously, she spent 5 years serving as an organizer in Brooklyn, NY and Philadelphia, PA, where she helped leaders and coalitions to win policy changes for housing, sanitation, and transportation. She has deep interests in healing justice, the intersection of spirituality and organizing, and economic alternatives and believes that Collective Power, Love, and Imagination are the tools necessary to create the world we wish to see.
Power comes from the people - when we fight together we win. Building across race, gender, class, ability, sexuality, age and all other oppressed identities is necessary because our fates are connected to each other. Nobody is free until everybody is free.
Directly impacted people know the best solutions to the challenges they face. They should lead the work to create and implement those solutions.
Hope sustains the fight. Organizers need to actively cultivate hope in communities and organizations.
RESPECT & ACCOUNTABILITY
Direct and principled conversations move people through tension and toward consensus. We must practice emotionally intelligent communication that works to reorient power dynamics.
Imagination pushes the boundaries of what's possible. It inspires us to dream up new solutions and invite alternative ideas to inform current and future strategy.
For over 30 years David has worked with a diverse and eclectic range of clients – from local and national non-profit community organizations and foundations to colleges, universities, social change and grassroots organizations, religious institutions, and government at all levels. His energetic, charismatic, and fun-loving spirit supports organizations to to reflect, enjoy, learn, and grow together as they resolve conflict, plan strategically and organize powerfully
With over 15 years of experience in community building, Eboni has maximized the leadership skills of community members, teachers, youth, and parents to advocate for transformative systemic change on issues that impact their lives. She has also supported organizations on outreach, strategy, program management, leadership development and political education.
A’Brianna has been a Mass Liberation Organizer with Reclaim Philadelphia since November 2019. She is a founding member of Reclaim and served on their first Steering Committee. Later, she was a Field Organizer for the 2019 General Election, helping elect the brilliant and powerful Kendra Brooks to City Council! She’s committed to making sure Mass Liberation campaigns are not siloed from other issues and that Healing Justice is centered in all that we do.
Diana is a social justice educator, trainer and facilitator based in Philadelphia, PA. For over thirty years, Diana has facilitated, trained, and coached individuals and groups in conflict resolution, experiential education, leadership development, mediation, and principled disagreement. She believes that these skills are critical for strong, empowered organizations and communities committed to fighting for justice. Supporting people in rising to mutual power across differences is her superpower and Transformative Education and storytelling are Diana’s two loves.