Movimiento Por Justicia del Barrio
Through CAAAV, I found out about an opportunity to attend an organizing symposium held by another grassroots nonprofit in NYC - Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio (Movement for Justice in El Barrio). The first day of the symposium was Wednesday, and it was pretty interesting. There were about 20 or so of us, mostly interns and organizers from different non profits all over the city, including the Education from the Inside Out Coalition, Citadel Global (Spelling?), Damayan, Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance, and Children and Youth First, represented by my dear friend, Amanda Brown!
We went over some basics of organizing and got on the same page as everyone else since we all come from different backgrounds and organizations. We went over things like the role of organizers, the role of facilitators, and the role of members. We learned about the politics of listening and how important it is to listen when we are doing grassroots work with local communities. The Zapatistas in Mexico are a great example of utilizing listening to unite communities and begin conversations on social justice and social change. The short documentaries and clips were really educational and inspiring! Sometimes you need to let people do all the talking so they can realize what problems they have and feel the need to fight for change. No one knows the problems better than the people affected themselves. We worked in groups as well as in pairs to discuss and work on organizing pitches to recruit members. Amanda and I brainstormed how to create short pitches to appeal to people that may be motivated to join non profits through four different motives, whether it is because they are immediately affected by the issue or they want a better world for others.
During the break for lunch, Amanda and I ate some pizza generously provided by Movement for Justice in El Barrio, and we walked to the nearby Bryant Park and sat on the grass to enjoy the sunshine for a while. I think Day 2 of the symposium will be even more interesting!