A Guide to Organizing that works for any major action. This one is for CEDAW , a law concerning ending discrimination against women that has a long way to go in being adopted for USA cities as a path to USA official recognition. You can adapt it to any civil rights’ action.
Building a City Action Coalition: “The Nuts and Bolts”
Following is a path to a sustainable infrastructure for your Cities for CEDAW Action Agenda – from the ground up. More detailed than you may need for any action, but start in the middle of the list if you are already there – and please keep a journal of your path for others to follow.
- Convene leaders of women’s, civil and human rights’ organizations in your city who are interested in working collaboratively on behalf of your city’s women and girls.
- Form a Steering Committee representing the cultural, religious, age, class and ethnic diversity of your city to plan your Cities for CEDAW Campaign and write a mission statement.
- Identify and recruit a “hub organization” to serve as the NGO Peer Leader for your city’s campaign, that might also serve as the Fiscal Sponsor. For example, Women’s Intercultural Network (WIN) created the California Women’s Agenda (CAWA) to serve as the HUB for the California action network.
- Recruit volunteers for a Cities for CEDAW Campaign, keeping in mind a diverse representation of women in the different neighborhoods or districts in your city. Assist them in forming a Task Force of experts and organization resources on CEDAW – the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
- Recruit volunteer coordinators for each neighborhood. Depending on the size, geography or politics of your city, build an infrastructure that is sustainable and representative of your population. Use county census data to seek ethnic, economic and racial diversity.
- Craft a Plan of Action for your campaign using research, census and anecdotal data for building an inclusive action coalition. See California Women’s Agenda Plan of Action that used the Beijing Platform for Action as a framework for the issues (www.win-cawa.org/cawa).
- Invite relevant organizations to join a call to action– try to recruit organizations with competing agendas even and memberships of diverse cultures, religions, ages, economic means, and lifestyles.
- Fine tune each step of your strategic plan in “working groups” at a city call to action on-line, and list barriers, best practices and recommendations for action, with a list of resources and organizations for support.
- Post the recommended Plan of Action on a web site for feedback and edits from women throughout the city, noting a deadline for on-line publication.10. Publish an action plan for the campaign with supportive information about CEDAW and it’s benefits for the entire city on line, distribute it to participating organizations, elected officials, media and other policymakers and stakeholders in your city – don’t forget potential funders and donors.
- Publish an action plan for the campaign with supportive information about CEDAW and it’s benefits for the entire city on line, distribute it to participating organizations, elected officials, media and other policymakers and stakeholders in your city – don’t forget potential funders and donors.
- Build an electronic action alert network with list-servers(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_mailing_list) that reach volunteer city neighborhood coordinators and participating organizations, who will forward information and action alerts to their constituents – who forward to their lists, and so on.
- Stay alert on the progress of the Cities for CEDAW campaign, keep your coalition members updated and prepared for action.
- Set up a survey monkey to collect your city data that can be collated and posted at the Cities for CEDAW Survey Monkey.
- Continue to gather non-governmental organizations, legislators and other stakeholders and sustain your city coalition for the next campaign.
- Charge membership fees to participating organizations from the beginning, so you don’t have to operate with volunteers forever.
© WIN 2013