Empowering a community takes more than organizing and mobilizing its people; it takes a simple, yet radical, notion that consensus can be reached by creating mutual self interest between key individuals in the community and players of interest. In Consensus Organizing: Building Communities of Mutual Self Interest, author Mike Eichler shows how even poor and disempowered communities can achieve lasting results by implementing some key consensus organizing strategies. Through personal, lively, and relevant examples, Eichler takes the reader on a road trip through various communities and shows how collectively they were able to reach lasting results by finding key areas where consensus could be reached.
- The author shares his twenty-five years of experience as a community organizer, including the development of a national effort to train young people as consensus organizers in diverse locations such as Las Vegas, New Orleans, and New York City.
- Demonstrates how consensus organizing can be applied to a variety of settings, including public education, housing, economic development, health and crime.
- Gives readers the opportunity to learn more about themselves: It helps students to see the other side of any situation and understand how common ground can be achieved.
- It is written in a student-friendly, conversational manner, which will make students feel as if they have taken a journey with the author, struggled with the various communities, won the victories with the disempowered, and had a few laughs along the way.
This book can be used as a core textbook for courses in community organizing and as a supplemental volume in various macro social work courses on community practice. It can also be used in departments of social work, urban planning, public administration, and public health.