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Community Projects as Social Activism
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Community Projects as Social Activism
From Direct Action to Direct Services

  • Benjamin Shepard - New York City College of Technology, California State University, Long Beach, USA


July 2014 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Community Projects as Social Activism: From Direct Action to Direct Services by Benjamin Shepard is an engaging and accessible work that will get today's students excited about the very real prospect of achieving lasting, positive change within their communities. It outlines a distinct approach to community practice born out of the intersection among social movements, day-to-day organizing, and the lessons of five decades of community change practices. This invaluable resource is a must-have for anyone involved in community organization, community health, and community activism practice research and policy.


 
Foreword, by Steve Burghardt
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Part I: Theory, Contexts and Understandings
 
Chapter 1: On Community Practice
A Framework for Action

 
Community Practice: Theory and the “Real” World

 
 
Chapter 2: Activism in a Changing World—Looking Back to Move Forward
The Assault on the Poor

 
Organizing for Social Justice

 
Getting Started--Playfully

 
 
Chapter 3: Learning from Community Projects
Approaches to Community Engagement

 
Community Projects and Service Learning

 
Part One – In Conclusion

 
 
Part II: Practice and Power
 
Chapter 4: Introduction to Part II on Social Action and Power
Case Study: “Set Jean Free!”

 
The Changing Face of Social Movements & Social Work

 
Taking Power and Addressing Needs

 
 
Chapter 5: Identifying Issues
The “Winnable Win”

 
Case Study: Jim Eigo and the ACT UP Treatment and Data Committee

 
 
Chapter 6: Research as Action
Participant Action Research

 
Community Analysis Framework

 
Social Settlements and Community Projects

 
Case Study: David Crane and the “We Can’t Breathe” Campaign

 
The Advocate as Researcher

 
 
Chapter 7: Mobilization and Spreading the Message
Text Messaging, Media Activism, and Social Justice

 
Organizing and Narrative

 
Case Study: Jay Blotcher and the Stop the Church Protest

 
Media Activism

 
On Media and Language

 
Video Activism

 
Occupy Wall Street and the Media

 
 
Chapter 8: Direct Action and "Getting the Goods"
A Short History of Civil Disobedience

 
Some Practical and Ethical Guidelines for Direct Action

 
Direct Action: Theory and Practice

 
Case Study: Eustacia Smith—Social Ministry to Direct Action

 
Action, Reaction, and Narratives of Disobedience

 
Direct Action and Storytelling

 
 
Chapter 9: Legal Strategies
Know Your Rights

 
Case Study: Greg Berman and the Red Hook Community Justice Center

 
An Afterword

 
 
Chapter 10: From Joy to Justice: Mixing Fun and Community Building
Defiant Laughter and the Power of Play

 
Case Study: Mark Andersen and the Transformative Power of Punk

 
Cultural Animation

 
Play as a Low Threshold Entry into Politics

 
Part Two—In Conclusion

 
 
Part III: Praxis: From Direct Action to Direct Services
 
Chapter 11: Social Movement to Social Services: From the Black Panthers to the Young Lords
Black Panther Community Survival Programs

 
Do-It-Yourself Direct Action with the Young Lords

 
Common Causes

 
 
Chapter 12: From Critique to Coexistence with Capital: The Woodlawn Organization and the Dilemmas of Community Development
Improve, Don’t Move

 
 
Chapter 13: ACT UP to the World: Direct Action to Direct Services
Social Services and Global Social Movements in AIDS Activism

 
 
Chapter 14: Affinity Group to Movement Organization: Housing Works
Housing and the AIDS Pandemic

 
 
Chapter 15: Harm Reduction and Human Services: Experiments in Syringe Exchange
From the War on Drugs to Harm Reduction

 
Experiments in Syringe Exchange

 
 
Chapter 16: The Perils of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex
The “Iron Cage”

 
A Virus in the System

 
Beyond Psychic Prisons

 
 
Chapter 17: DIY Politics and World-Making: Mutual Aid, Anarchism, and Alternative Solutions
Do It Yourself to Create Counterpower

 
Anarchism, Mutual Aid, and Communities of Support

 
A Politics of Freedom

 
A Short History of Anarchism

 
Anarchist Social Services

 
 
Chapter 18: Multi-Issue Organizing From the Women’s Movement to Struggles for Global Justice
Women, Social Work, and Social Movements

 
Ella Baker and the Civil Rights Movement

 
Gay Liberation and LGBT Organizing

 
The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power

 
Prefigurative Politics within the Global Justice Movement

 
Creating a New Multi-Issue Politics

 
 
Chapter 19: Community Building against Inequality: Zapatistas, Occupations and Transnational Advocacy
The Occupy Movement

 
Common Preservation

 
The OWS Sustainability Committee

 
Rejecting Scarcity in Favor of Economic Democracy

 
Zapatismo from Oaxaca to the Bronx

 
 
Postscript: Concluding Notes on Friendships, Social Networks and Social Change
 
References
 
Index

Was visually not stimulating for students and somewhat "boring".

Professor Drey Campbell
Social Work Dept, Northwest Nazarene University
September 9, 2015

An interesting book offering a wealth of strategies, based on case studies in the US, transferrable across a borders and disciplines

Lesley Godfrey
Playwork Group, Leeds Beckett University
June 19, 2015

excellent for community social work practice

Professor Catina Caban Owen
Social Work, Eastern Connecticut State Univ
May 17, 2015

the book did not meet the objectives of my course

Professor Alice Del Vecchio
Interdisciplinary Programs, Slippery Rock University
February 18, 2015
Key features

KEY FEATURES:

  • Shows how to successfully organize a community project/campaign using a seven-stage framework that links the theoretical underpinnings of community practice with practical lessons from the field
  • Bridges the gap between direct services and direct action in the community, drawing on the author’s extensive experience as a successful community organizer
  • Features evidence-based best practices and real-world case studies proven effective in community change programs
  • Features in-depth interviews with influential organizers of historical movements from the past five decades, including the Mattachine Society, the Black Panthers, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), the Young Lords, and the Harm Reduction Coalition
  • Offers an essential “how-to” guide for community protest—from organizing to achieving sustainable change or action

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 3

Chapter 4


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