Have you ever had a drop the mic moment? I’ve had one and the recognition came from an unexpected place.
It was during a prep session for an organizing training. We anticipated that the folks who came to this session would have a hard time internalizing what we meant by “organizing.” It was a group who were taught to rely on data to solve all their problems, yet love the romantic notion of organizing.
To be fair, it is a difficult concept to grasp unless you’ve done it. Sometimes we put the label “organizing” on a rally, the field program in a political campaign or a Twitterstorm. Those actions are really mobilizing. We organize before we can mobilize.
During this conversation, I was trying to link together the words that I associate with organizing: together, power, people.
So I came up with “organizing is bringing people together to build power.”
That’s when my boss dropped the mic.
He and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye and he’s usually better at finding a meaningful turn of phrase than I am. So, when he recognized the moment, I knew I had something.
That’s how “Organizing is bringing people together to build power” became Organizing Rule to Live By #10. (See the full list here or on social media below.)
Every Organizing to Win campaign or training starts with opportunities to build relationships, find common values and develop leadership.
If we’re going to bring lasting change to our communities, we have to do more than win. We have to build power.