Michael Pulsford (centre) is a graduate of the 2014 Fellowship program and is currently a community organiser with the Australian Conservation Foundation.
Why is community organising an important part of the solution in my community?
Climate change, in 2015, is a problem of power: the climate movement has less power than we need to win what we need. Plenty of people know it’s a problem and want to do something about it, but don’t know what. We have numbers but lack organisation; lacking organisation we lack power. Community organising builds connective tissue between those who want to help but don’t know how and those who know what to do but can’t do it alone.
How has the Community Organising Fellowship impacted on my work?
I was a volunteer with 350.org when I completed the Fellowship. I had big ideas but didn’t know how to put them into practice. The Fellowship grounded those ideas and taught me better ones, made me value strategy, and changed the way our group did things because it taught me in a way which has helped me teach others. It’s also helped me diffuse better ways of doing things in my wider networks. Also, I wouldn’t have been hired for my current job without the skills I learnt and the connections I made during the Fellowship.
One of my favourite quotes about community organising is: “The way I see it, it’s all organising. Mobilising is organising around events, campaigning is organising around issues, and community organising is organising around power.” –– Dave Muhly, Sierra Club