Community Empowerment

C O M M U N I T Y   E M P O W E R M E N T  

Empowering community members to become their own powerful agents of change, while reclaiming our collective power.

Personal experiences shape our unique motivations that fuel our social change advocacy. And we’re each walking in the door with distinct levels of skills and experience; not to mention diverse willingness to take risks. Sometimes, we don’t even agree on the most pressing issues to be tackled and how to craft the most effective message. How do we create an inclusive space, all the while maintaining a certain level of cohesion? As the Occupy movement
has demonstrated over the last few months, a viable option is to adopt models of consensus while giving people
an opportunity to practice Participatory Democracy. The issues are many, the motivations even more so, and yet the resistance must be unified as the power of our numbers is undeniable.

In an effort to honor our differences within PeaceUp, we’ve come up with community agreements to promote respect and authentic communication -- about our capacity, limitations and triggers. It’s important to work within our capacity, as activists often have the habit of taking on too much, then getting burned out which can easily lead
to personal resentment. We share the skills that we have, whether it be with each other or the larger Salt Lake community. In late 2011, we ran a campaign strategy training and a civil disobedience workshop that we offered to the entire community of local activists, with no other agenda in mind than to share knowledge.

If (as MLK stated) we only need 5% of the population to create change, what will synergy look like within our respective communities of resistance? How will we ensure to reach outside of our small circles to activate and empower future agents of change?

OUR CHALLENGE TO YOU:  Reach out to your allies and friends and plan a workshop, training or community event that’s sole purpose is to share information and knowledge.