Saturday, September 6, 2008

What is a community organizer and what makes him or her effective?

Most of the most effective community organizers over time and across the world have gone unnoticed and without acclaim. One exception was Gandhi; however even though we all know who Gandhi was, he absolutely understood his responsibilities and place in the process, as well as the importance of those around him and those he was serving.
Great community organizers are more often in the back ground and out of the limelight. They encourage and help others to step forward. They understand that concept of taking responsibility and giving credit, as Gahndi always did.
Community organizing is a team effort, without the team, there is nothing to organize. As with any great team, if something goes well, there are many people who deserve the accolades. I have seen fabulous things accomplished and while I may have played a small part, I have always appreciated and emphasized the efforts of others.
I remember being interviewed one time about the success of a community organization I was involved with. I was asked when the organization had come to belong to the community. The question astonished me because it had always belonged to the community. When ever I hear about a collaboration where one organization is "in charge" I know full well that while they may accomplish a few things and some may even be spectacular, they will accomplish little of significance that is lasting. A great community organizer makes a significant difference in the community and in the lives of the people of that community but is almost always in the quiet background. S/he will help the community and individuals to find strengths and common ground; while promoting others and helping to strengthen the community and her people in the process.

1 comment:

Bang The Table said...

As digital community Engagement innovators we are passionate about empowering organisations and the communities they care about.
Community Engagement software