Each week the AIT community receives #TakeActionTuesday with tips for creating impactful change in their community and beyond. From new online tools, to pending policy updates, subscribe today to make sure you don’t miss these action-oriented recommendations.
Next week, we will be sharing a free educational webinar created with our partners at Puente Movement Arizona that covers the basics of what it takes to be a community organizer creating change on the issues that matter most to you. This week, we are highlighting one of the most important tools in a community organizer’s toolbox: listening to and gathering input from those most impacted by the issue.
Community Organizing is all about relationships and growing your understanding of what your community needs. Holding a house meeting is an effective and personal way for you to learn from and build relationships with community members and local experts who have experienced your focus issue firsthand and who understand its real-life consequences.
This Take Action Tuesday, plan a house meeting with the members of your community who are most directly impacted by your focus issue and use their perspectives to inform your advocacy.
- Make Your Meeting Accessible. Think about the people who you are inviting to participate and be intentional about breaking down any possible barriers to participation. Whether it’s transportation needs, work schedules, childcare, or language barriers, make sure that your meeting is designed with care to accommodate the needs of your participants.
- Share Your Purpose and Next Steps. Make it clear to those attending your house meeting what your purpose is for the meeting, and remember that their time is valuable. Why is it important for them to attend? Then, share with them what you hope to do next, and how they can stay connected as you continue your advocacy.
- Really Listen. Especially if you are just beginning your organizing or advocacy, the purpose of a house meeting should be to learn from and better understand the perspectives and needs of your participants. Take steps to make sure that you are really listening and centering the voices of others during the meeting, without shaping the discussion around your own views. Be willing to be surprised, and take care to create a safe space for participants to share openly. Encourage participants to do the same for one another!
Want more tips for hosting your first house meeting? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.