Jacqueline Mondros and Joan MinieriMay 11, 2023
Organizing for Power and Empowerment
The Fight for Democracy
Columbia University Press 2023
Jacqueline Mondros and Joan Minieri's book Organizing for Power and Empowerment: The Fight for Democracy (Columbia UP, 2023) draws on extensive research to portray how social-action organizations have evolved over the past twenty-five years, building power in the struggle for social and economic justice. It explores how organizers increasingly target corporate influence and attacks on democracy. Their strategies and theories of change confront racial, gender, and economic inequity and fight pervasive intersectional injustice. The book tells the stories of a variety of geographically and racially diverse organizations and features the voices and experiences of more than forty organizers working across a range of issues. The organizers describe campaigns that activate people around issues that matter in their daily lives--work schedules, bail reform, schools, voting, and affordable housing--and connect them to broader topics such as racial justice, immigration, climate change, criminal justice, and workers' rights. They share their thoughts on building community organizations and empowering ordinary citizens to become leaders.
The book underscores the leadership of Black Americans, other people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ people as they lead campaigns to address the disparate effects of inequality faced by their communities. It provides detailed analysis of new organizational structures and change strategies, including electoral activism, statewide organizing, and community-labor coalitions. This book sheds important new light on foundational organizing practices and the challenges and opportunities for progressive social action today.
Stephen Pimpare is director of the Public Service & Nonprofit Leadership program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.