mobilization builds on skills we use in everyday life--planning,
communicating, convincing, celebrating--and applies these skills
to community action. Trainings provide a place to learn, adapt,
and practice skills for new purposes and as a newly-formed group.
Training sessions help a group coalesce and develop a clearer sense
of purpose. For
this reason, we've included in this module a number of planning
exercises, which can be done not only in an initial training but
also at CAT meetings, when a campaign is being developed or revised.
the tone you set in the CAT training will carry over to all your
CAT work--so make sure the training is participatory, relevant,
respectful, effective and fun!
kind of training?
addition to community mobilization tactics and strategies, you are
likely to need to educate CAT members about the dynamics of domestic
violence, its causes and local resources for assistance. If you
work at a domestic violence organization, that part of your regular
volunteer training would be appropriate for this purpose. If you
don't work at such an agency, then you may be able to partner with
one in the local community to help bring your CAT members up to
is an activism campaign?
activism campaign is designed to increase community members' awareness
of a specific problem, as well as their willingness to take action
to address the problem. An activism campaign goes beyond other kinds
of outreach education by linking a series of activities together
as part of a sustained effort to achieve a specified set of short,
medium and long-term goals. Ideally, an action campaign helps a
community take ownership of an issue by giving them repeated opportunities
to express their thinking on the issue and to translate those concerns
into action. The brainstorming and analysis that goes into planning
a campaign also helps insure that activities will be focused strategically
to generate the greatest amount of change possible.
does a CAT choose a campaign focus?
team members through the process of translating their awareness
of and concern about a social problem (such as domestic violence)
into a focused team action plan is one of the most important functions
of the CAT facilitator or organizer. There are many different ways
of choosing a campaign focus. The method used most frequently and
effectively by the community action teams at Transforming Communities
is a democratic, consensus-based process involving three steps:
module includes Tips & Tools
an organizer or facilitator can use in guiding the CAT through the
process of brainstorming potential action fields, selecting a campaign
focus, identifying goals and generating a strategic action plan.
This module also contains exercises to help CAT members survey the
skills each member brings to the group, practice public speaking
in a safe environment and develop planning skills. An informational
handout for team organizers outlines tips to help facilitators sustain
CAT members' energy and enthusiasm for the work.