Reflections from the IAF 3-day Training
by Allison Basile and Lauren Williams
The November IAF 3-day training was full of inspiration and ideas, and we had a great time representing the Luther Place WIN Core Team. We met people from DC, Baltimore, and other cities who are passionate about building power to make our cities more equitable. Below are a few of the lessons we took from the weekend.
Question the rules
It’s natural for us to accept certain things as given, and assume that they can’t be changed. But every policy is what it is for a reason, probably because it is advantageous to a certain group of people. We should always remember the power we have within us when confronting rules and norms.
Don’t assume why someone takes a certain position
When organizing to make change in our communities, we engage with many people of different backgrounds and views. To be strong organizers, we should never assume we understand what others want without first asking them. We should always seek to understand not just someone’s position, but also their underlying interests in order to transform conflicts. This will require us to build relationships with people.
Be aware of the public and private lines
When building relationships with people in your organizing work, be clear on what is appropriate for a “public” versus a “private” relationship. Sometimes politicians will try to blur the line between public and private, leading you to be less likely to push them on an issue.
Look for the ‘fire that does not consume’
We learned that one definition of ‘anger’ is to grieve for what could be but isn’t, or what was but isn’t anymore. Who do you know who gets worked up about injustice? As leaders, we should look for this “fire that does not consume” in new, potential leaders.
Transform our view of power
If you we want to make change in our communities, we have to get comfortable with the idea of building power. When we can understand, connect with, and align people’s self interests, we can move mountains!