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Consensus Organizing

Consensus Organizing
Building Communities of Mutual Self Interest

January 2007 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

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.

Key features:
  • 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.

Intended audience:
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.

Ch 1. Community Organizing: Conflict and Consensus
Ch 2. Evolution of Consensus Organizing
Ch 3. Issues Analysis
Ch 4. Program Design
Ch 5. Cultural Competency in Consensus Organizing
Ch 6. Consensus Organizing Strategy and Tactics
Ch 7. Developing External Relationships
Ch 8. Forming Partnerships
Ch 9. Building Personal Relationship
Ch 10.Building Institutional Relationships
Ch 11. Developing Young Organizers
Ch 12. Using Consensus Organizing in Other Professions
Ch 13. The Future of Consensus Organizing
"Answers" to Reflection Questions

"Eichler's new book is a very engaging summary of the consensus method of organizing which he pioneered. Not only is the book informative, but it reads like an extended chat over a hot cup of coffee in Mitchell's diner in the Mon Valley. Eichler's voice in this text is impassioned, analytical, and humorous all at once. He has mastered the art of conveying complicated ideas through the use of memorable and enthralling stories. Eichler has a story teller's eye for just the right details to make the reader feel as though one is on a journey through the multi-faceted terrain of organizing, yet he never strays far from the lesson he intends to convey. Eichler also has a passion for social justice, but he does not come off as being preachy or ideological. This has been one of the keys to his success in organizing."

C. Matthew Hawkins
Customer Review
Key features


Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

Chapter 5

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