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Organizing Strategy and Practice

About

The mission of The Forge is to elevate the strategy and practice of organizing through the sharing of ideas, methods, history, and inspiration, and by building connection and community among organizers and between sectors of the progressive movement.

The Forge is built by organizers and our target audience is both organizers – labor, community, movement, digital, and electoral organizers - in the US, as well as those with an interest in social change who we’d like to engage in dialogue, be they journalists, activists, organizers outside the US, academics, policymakers, and more. In taking on this project, we have multiple objectives that extend from our mission, including:

  1. To elevate and democratize the practice of developing and deploying strategy in our work, including the equity commitments that this entails – for example race, gender and generational/experiential considerations, to name three;
  2. To share best practices and explore methodological questions in organizing;
  3. To create spaces that – given that we are a volunteer organizer-driven journal (and potentially related projects over time), but not a full-blown training organization – address the needs for community and learning among various communities of organizers.

We launched on Friday, September 27, 2019, with an excellent array of articles, interviews, reviews, and even some video that may begin to indicate our hopes and ambitions for The Forge. We won’t be putting out “issues” as much as publishing themed groups of content on a regular basis, as well as a plethora of additional non-grouped content on a rolling basis.

In November, we’re planning a theme around “The Future of Organizing.” Into 2020, in addition to publishing a range of pieces on a rolling basis, we are currently projecting between twelve and twenty themed groupings, ranging from “how to use leverage in campaigns,” to “new trends in membership” to “racial capitalism and neoliberalism” to “training.” Many of these will be guest edited issues compiled by leading organizers and strategists with expertise on the topic in question.

Editorial Advisory Board (in formation)

The Editorial Advisory Board comprises leading organizers and strategists who offer key leadership and guidance to the endeavor. 

  • Ana Maria Archila, Center for Popular Democracy
  • Andrea Dehlendorf, United for Respect
  • Jennifer Epps-Addison, Center for Popular Democracy
  • Janice Fine, Rutgers University
  • Andrew Friedman, Center for Popular Democracy
  • Maurice Mitchell, Working Families Party
  • Sabeel Rahman, Demos
  • Dorian Warren, Community Change

Publishing Committee (in formation), aka The Smiths

The Publishing Committee is the main working group of organizers that has been putting the Forge together.  It is a new and growing working group, and will be recruiting you soon!

Greg Basta, Center for Popular Democracy

Holly Craig-Wehrle, AFT California

Ben Chin, Maine People’s Alliance

Jordi Comas, Equality PA

Dianne Enriquez, Center for Popular Democracy

Mat Hanson, DC Working Families

Jamila Headley, Health Gap

Ben Miyamoto, Scholars Strategy Network

Nelson Soza, SEIU Local 521

Ericka Taylor, DC Working Families

Udit Thakur, Open Markets Institute, former labor organizer

Editor: Brian Kettenring

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the funders who helped make the launch of The Forge possible:

Bauman Foundation

Ford Foundation

Needmor Fund

Rockefeller Family Fund