NY TRANSFORMATIVE ORGANIZING INITIATIVE (NY TOI)
The purpose of NY TOI is to develop Transformative Organizing as a central approach for social justice organizing in NYC, and to demonstrate its potential to bring about transformation at the levels of the individual, organization, community, movement, and society.
GOALS FOR 2012-2013 PROGRAM
The specific goals of this year’s NY TOI are for participants to:
- Assess the impact poor, working class and LGBTQ people of color, and other oppressed people can have on shifting political trends and conditions in New York City;
- Develop a clear assessment of the ways in which the power and leadership of members from these key oppressed constituencies are both supported and/or limited by:
- Material conditions
- External and internalized oppression and trauma
- Our organizing approaches, models, and culture;
- Develop individual and organizational visions, commitments, and practices that can shift the habits and structures that limit the leadership of their member-leaders;
- Support member-leaders and organizers in taking up transformative base-building practices and strategies that build a powerful base and impactful leadership;
- Contribute our collective learnings to the development of the emerging TO model and to the larger social justice movement that is struggling with this challenge.
WHAT TO EXPECT
NY TOI program activities unfold in two 4-month cycles. The cycles started in September 2012, and will allow for more support for implementation of new practices and learnings at the organizational level. The first month of each cycle involves a Retreat for all participants; the second involves local Organizational Support meetings; the third involves separate level trainings for members, organizers and supervisors/directors; and the forth involves coaching and practice. This four-month cycle repeats starting in January, and the program concludes with a final retreat in May.
WHO SHOULD APPLY
The program is open to membership-based social justice organizations in New York City. To participate, organizations must meet the following criteria and expectations. They must:
- Have an organizational mission and daily practices oriented towards:
- Working to challenge oppression and expand equality and justice in society;
- Building power by recruiting members (individual and/or organizations), developing their leadership, and developing campaigns to achieve social change;
- Be membership-based organizations that work primarily with oppressed constituencies;
- Work to achieve the goals of the Transformative Organizing Initiative;
- Commit to implementing practices that further the leadership of poor, working class, LGBT people of color at the organizational and movement levels;
- Be willing to undertake deep personal and organizational exploration and assessment to build self awareness;
- Commit to support other participants in this exploration, to maintain confidentiality, and to build trust;
- Commit to have their work observed, assessed and documented;
- Make organizational commitments to practicing and contributing to the development of TO;
- Commit to the full participation of their members, staff, and directors;
- Commit to making time for and supporting regular individual and organizational practices;
- Practice interdependence in their interactions and relationship with other organizations; and
- Pay 1% of their organizational budget as dues, assuming most or all organizational staff and a core team of members participate in the program.
Participants in NY TOI multi-year program will:
- Develop a high level of competence in assessing trends, conditions, and habitual reactions on multiple levels -- individual, organizational, community, movement, and societal;
- Use these assessments as a foundation for on-the-ground Transformative Organizing, and collectively contributed to the development of a TO model;
- Collaborate on developing sustainable organizational practices that support strong member leadership, vibrant base-building, and campaigns that are strategic and transformative;
- Build political and strategic alignment and movement orientation within and across organizations.
HOW TO APPLY
Any organization that meets the criteria above and is interested in applying to the NY TOI 2013-2014 program should contact Clay Smith by email at clay [at] sojustlead [dot] org in May or June of 2013. Applications will be available by July, with the program year expected to start in September, 2013.