Category: Community Organizing

July 22, 2020 Maya Boddie

the Other Pandemic

“If our mental health professionals are now at the main source of the seams, then they should also be getting the funding and resources that can help train them in a way that can best humanize Black and Brown people in the streets,” said Wise. “We’ve always said it’s possible to fund other things.” 

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Ayanna Albertson

Digital Organizing In The Time of COVID In the age of social-distancing, many of our everyday leaders have shifted how they operate. From educators offering instruction from a virtual classroom […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Bobbi Dempsey

Our Future West Virginia: New Name, Same Passion for Supporting WV Residents West Virginia residents might not yet recognize the name of an organization dedicated to improving the lives of […]

Why We Should Celebrate National Poetry Month During a Pandemic

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

April is traditionally filled with patronizing one of the oldest forms of literary art — poetry. During National Poetry Month, audiences typically attend readings and discussions and use this time […]

Becoming Civically Engaged

Topacio Marrero

Anyone can become civically engaged. It starts with a desire to contribute to your community.

What to expect when you’re expecting… the worst

Danielle Atkinson

Being asked to be the guest to Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address (SOTU) by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, a representative from my home state of Michigan, is like being […]

Voices of Everday Leaders

Willie Francois

An Accounting Problem: Reimagining Racial Healing in the US Fifty-two years after Martin Luther King’s grueling assassination offered the U.S. its opportunity to pursue a route of cheap justice—a facade […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Melissa Chadburn

Power Concedes Nothing Without Demand This evening democratic candidates will gather at Otterbein University in Westerville, a suburb of Columbus, for the presidential primary debates. While they will be discussing […]

The Cards We’re Dealt

Jamal Meneide

UNO is, at its core, an individualist game. I mean, it’s in the name after all: one. One person alone can win. To do so, you have to actively worsen […]

We need Presidential candidates to detail their commitment to achieving quality, affordable and culturally relevant child care for all families

Danielle Atkinson

Trending with the hashtag #WhatMamasWant, hundreds of mothers in Michigan organized a forum on issues that impact their lives and then gathered to watch the two-day Democratic presidential debates in […]

Our Voices Unite in Washington, Reminding Congress #Not1Dollar for ICE

Cristina Rayas

#NOT1DOLLAR means no more money to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). What we, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM and FIRM Action), […]

Texas will turn blue this decade

Grecia Lima

Another Republican member of Congress announced their plans to vacate their seat, reinforcing what we know: Texas is a swing state. Thanks to a renewal of the long-held tradition of […]

How Community Organizing Helped Me Branch Out While Staying Grounded in My Roots

Jamal Meneide

We all want to see our communities grow into places where all families can thrive. Correia’s reflections reveal how his experience with community engagement and organizing can result in environmental justice and overall powerful change.

We are Wired for Change

Cristina Rayas

Community Change’s Communications Fellows Program is a visionary approach to building power and leaders among our communities – the power to be the ones to tell their truths and be […]

Out on the Town: Paying Our Restaurant Workers (A Living Wage: Episode 3)

Catherine Bugayong

Going out is such a special treat, and it’s a whole team of people that make this experience so enjoyable. In this episode of “A Living Wage,” I hit the […]

Advocacy Network Holds Presidential Candidates Accountable to Bold Immigration Solutions

Sophie Maisterra Navratil

Earlier this summer, FIRM Action, Community Change Action, and CHIRLA Action Fund hosted the Unity and Freedom Presidential Forum to elevate the voices of immigrants and engage presidential candidates in […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Ayanna Albertson

#safetyis reproductive freedom! When my friend told me she was having an abortion It wasn’t for me to give approval To grant permission To give my blessing or the opposite […]

Between Starshine and Clay: Power 50 leads women of color to turn big dreams into real change

Cristina Rayas

Women of color are bringing bold, visionary leadership in greater numbers and with greater visibility, just look at the 116th Congress! Sadly, whether in Congress or within organizations their leadership […]

Silver Telly Award Shines Honor on Community Change’s “5 Organizers” Series

Cristina Rayas

Today Community Change won a Silver Telly for 5 Organizers in 5 Decades, a video series that was part of our 50th Anniversary celebration. We won for the Campaign-Series: Non-scripted/Documentary […]

Mothers just set the table for our powerful movement towards justice

Catherine Bugayong

Growing up, I was often asked to set the table for dinner. In our busy household, dinner was just about the only time we could have both parents and all […]

On Motherhood and Movement Work: Women leaders approach both with ferocity and love

Nicole Melaku

As I sat on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico for a retreat with fellow immigrant rights leaders from the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), I couldn’t help but be […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

The lives of children should not be stymied by social indifference and condemned to the carnivorous margins of society because their parents simply cannot afford quality childcare. For too many […]

Immigrants make their voices heard in Florida’s capitol

Thomas Kennedy

Last week, over three hundred immigrants and other community members mobilized to Florida’s capitol in Tallahassee to defend and protect our communities from Republican lawmakers who are once again attempting to pass […]

When will Nevada address police violence?

Nissa Tzun

In the last decade, we have seen the issue of police violence resurface on the national platform. Every year since the police shooting of Oscar Grant on January 1, 2009, […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Melissa Chadburn

Today, the James Beard Foundation announced its 2019 slate of finalists. This “short list” of nominees honors the year’s outstanding restaurants, chefs, and food-centric journalism, books, and broadcast media. Community […]

Bold ideas rooted in the lives, experiences of real people

Center for Community Change

Now you can check out some of the discussions from the event and hear for yourself how power and agency are at the root of economic justice for our communities.

Everyday Leaders: Reflections after the 2019 Selma March

Isaias G

“My name is Isaias and I am Undocumented and Unafraid.” This is the usual greeting for many undocumented immigrants in meetings to assert our presence. The whole room applauded in […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

New Attacks on Healthcare from the Right are Wrong No one should have to choose between paying medical costs and exhibiting grandparental love when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has […]

Proposed Work Requirements Rule for SNAP Could Harm Those Already Facing Hunger

Bobbi Dempsey

Implementing strict work requirements for safety net programs—particularly the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—has been a recurring goal for many GOP leaders and the Trump administration. Concerned observers breathed a […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Wandra Green

What Kansas City Is Doing About The Readiness Gap “Approximately 65 percent of our children are not receiving the proper education that would close the readiness gap and eliminate any […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Jody Ellis

Where to go When There’s Nowhere to Go: How Covenant House is Fighting to Solve the Youth Homeless Crisis, One Kid at a time Dash was a first year college […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Bonnie Page

My Story I grew up in the southeast area of Washington, DC and I attended Eastern Senior High School. The year was 1971, I was 15 years old and in […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Jody Ellis

My longtime boyfriend, always the carnivore, asked me the other day why I hardly ever make meatloaf. I shrugged and said “You know I don’t really eat meat.” “But your […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

And the Young Shall Save Us So many economic protections are at stake with this new Congress. The most consequential midterm elections of our lifetime awaited our robust participation last […]

Florida makes history as Amendment 4 goes into effect

Thomas Kennedy

Today is a historic day for Florida. The most significant voting rights act in the state’s history and the most significant expansion of the franchise since the civil rights act […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Tomicka Robinson

Roquesha Oneal is an everyday leader, a woman of fortitude and generosity. She resides in Detroit with her 15-year-old child with a disability and enjoys visits with her two adult […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Willie Francois

Cutting “Food Stamps” is Child Abuse Every Sunday Jose “Frankie” Benjamin-Nay, an 18-year old Puerto Rican-American, darkens the doors of Mount Zion Baptist Church to provide technical support for the […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Wandra Green

SNAP Benefits Guarantees Family’s Food Thirty-seven-year-old LeAnn is married with five children and five stepchildren (who live with their grandmother). She has a Master’s degree in business administration but can […]

Will Latino’s Turnout to Vote This Year?

Thomas Kennedy

With only days left until the midterm election is finally over, one question lingers in the minds of Democratic operatives working in battleground states across the country. Will Latino turnout […]

Underserved communities find no relief as water rates increase

Jiquanda Johnson

Tia Simpson stood in front of nearly 40 journalists pleading her case for clean and affordable water. The 34-year-old Flint resident endured the aftermath of being exposed to the city’s […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Bobbi Dempsey

PA Group Strives to Bust Myths About SNAP—and People Who Use It Lisa Raditz cringes when she overhears some of the comments people make about SNAP recipients based on common […]

En la Florida los votantes estan activos por Gillum

Elizabeth Nazarett

En la Florida los votantes estan bien activos. Este 6 de noviembre muchos dicen que van a unir el voto por Andrew Gillum para gobernador. Dicen que van a votar […]

Column: Voices of Everyday Leaders

Tomicka Robinson

Why we vote I’ve been asked a lot lately “why I knock on doors” to encourage people to vote. Mainly because of my background in social justice work. I’ve used […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Melissa Chadburn

The work of community organizers is daunting. Late nights. Endless knocking on doors. Rallies and protests to protect our healthcare, ensure we all have enough food to eat and keep […]

Hay que Votar por Nuestra Salud

Elizabeth Nazarett

Vivir diez años sin poder tener un seguro de salud fue realmente difícil. Durante ese tiempo, y como madre soltera con un salario modesto, debí escoger entre darle techo y […]

There’s Too Much On the Line to Skip This Election

Elizabeth Fernandez

With so much at stake in this election, in Florida and across the nation, registering to vote before the Oct. 9th deadline is so important. That’s why former First Lady […]

Use your right to vote to put people in office that have our best interest in mind

Maliha Kareem

Young people are organized and highly motivated to make a difference this year towards an inclusive Florida. Students like Brandon Dasent are changing the political landscape. Although Dasent won’t be […]

Florida voters gather at Netroots Nation to unite the vote

Elizabeth Fernandez

I’m at Netroots Nation along with hundreds of political activists who are passionate about creating stronger communities for all. I took this opportunity to ask my fellow activists from Florida […]

This Land is Our Land: Outgrowing Our Roots

Mikka Macdonald

This Land is Our Land is a series about diversity in the American outdoors. You can read part one here. Today, approximately eighty percent of park visitors are white, and […]

In Florida, we are voting to change the status-quo

Maliha Kareem

With life changing decisions on the ballot, young people in Florida are gearing up for the 2018 elections to hold everyone accountable and make profound changes in our state’s Constitution. […]

Justice for marginalized communities not a factor in filling SCOTUS seat; it’s up to us to vote, voice our concerns now

Alaina Beverly

Whether you care about voting rights, affirmative action, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights and especially a woman’s right to control her own body, filling retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s […]

Bringing the Community Together, One Business at a Time

Sebastian Medina-Tayac

Bounce Milwaukee closed on May Day in observance of Voces de la Frontera’s “Day Without Immigrants” strike and rally.

SNAP works and so should Congress

Marcia Dinkins

WASHINGTON D.C.—  The Center for Community Change hosted a partners and leaders convening to discuss strategies and to develop collective actions opposing the harmful cuts proposed in the Farm Bill, […]

We need people of color to vote: Here’s how.

Thomas Kennedy

Voting is the most basic and important right an individual has in a democracy. As voters, we elect people to represent our communities and if a majority of voters do […]

What’s Next for the March for Our Lives Movement?

Karl Catarata

Exactly one month ago, the world watched as Americans took to the streets to march for their lives and demand that legislators enact common sense gun reform. Sparked by youth […]

Continuing the unfinished work of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy

Center for Community Change

As we are memorializing the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this week during the 50th anniversary of his assassination, we are reminded that the Center for Community Change’s […]

Ideas of MLK, RFK still needed today

Dorian Warren

This piece originally published in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. When President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the War on Poverty in 1964, his audacious goal was to end poverty in the […]

The Resistance is older than the White House

Mikka Macdonald

The Resistance is older than the United States. It is older than hashtags, livestreams, and Facebook invitations. The Resistance began the moment colonizers stepped off their boats and claimed North […]

After Trump’s fake deadline on Dreamers passes, immigrant youth still in limbo

Thomas Kennedy

In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, the focus of lawmakers has largely shifted from finding a solution for the thousands of Dreamers who have been left under threat of […]

Caring for our loved ones is a key issue in this year’s elections in Michigan

Mike Griffin

This November, Michigan has a critical choice to make for the future of families struggling to get by. Attacks on immigrants, a lack of good paying jobs and the exploding […]

Jim Crow lives in Nevada’s elections

Cassandra Little

Several weeks ago, a gentleman came to a Progressive Leadership Alliance Nevada (PLAN) meeting and asked for help restoring his right to vote. After 12 years, he was now eligible, […]

What Happened In Parkland Hits Home in Las Vegas

Karl Catarata

trigger warning: death, gun violence This year, February 14th fell on both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday. The scene here in Las Vegas showed people in the streets with ashes […]

7 Lessons I learned from the Rust Belt and Appalachia

Stephen Smith

I  am a community organizer in West Virginia. At the end of 2017,  I traveled for a week with friends and colleagues through Appalachia and the Rust Belt, seeking lessons […]

When the last measures of security are under attack, it’s time to organize and amplify.

Cristina Rayas

The aftermath of the 2016 Election was an opportunity for lawmakers to take aim at the safety net programs in the United States, putting profits over people.

Happy 50th Birthday, to the Center for Community Change!

Cristina Rayas

The Center for Community Change turns 50 this year! Staff and extended family of CCC have special birthday messages for the organization that faces a major milestone in transformational change. […]

Florida gets a second chance to make amends for its racist past

Thomas Kennedy

Back in late 2016, a grassroots coalition of volunteers accomplished a remarkable feat. More than 68,314 petition signatures were collected in Florida, triggering a Supreme Court review on a ballot […]

CBU freshman ‘had a breakdown’ when she learned of DOJ plan to end DACA

Rebekah Marie Yearout

Chantel Barcenas had an identity crisis when learning she was not a U.S. citizen. An Obama-era policy helped her find a sense of purpose — all now in flux

Black and Brown Families United in the Era of Political Dysfunction

Paige DeLoach

This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post. By Paige DeLoach When I visited home for the first time after the 2016 election, my mother spoke to me in a […]

Miami Airport Workers Demand Fair Wages And Health Insurance

Thomas Kennedy

This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post. Summer is a busy time for airports all across this country, but in a major tourist destination like Miami, this is especially […]

Policing the Protesters

Micaela Watts

This article originally appeared on MLK50. When the interim director of the Memphis Police Department linked arms with organizers of a protest that shut down traffic on the city’s Interstate […]

Sunday rally planned to mark one-year anniversary of Memphis bridge protest

Wendi C. Thomas

This article originally appeared on MLK50. On Sunday, organizers will gather at Tom Lee Park to mark the anniversary of the July 10, 2016 protest that shut down the Hernando-Desoto […]

“Take it to the bridge”

Wendi C. Thomas

This article originally appeared on MLK50. MEMPHIS — July 10 marks the anniversary of the largest spontaneous act of civil disobedience in the city’s modern history. The spark: The police killings of […]

Art Gives Voice To Young People Hurt By Trump’s Deportation Machine

Thomas Kennedy

This article first appeared in the Huffington Post. Growing up undocumented, one of my biggest fears was being separated from my family. I remember the anxiety and worry I felt […]

Come Back to Art: How Creativity and Activism Intersect

Alison Stine

This article first appeared on Equal Voice. I wasn’t trained in this. I didn’t go for school for this. Nobody pays me for this, and nobody expects me to be […]

We Will Continue To Fight The Hate Deep In The Heart of Texas

Thomas Kennedy

This article first appeared on the Huffington Post. In 2011, the Florida legislature attempted to pass an Arizona-style “show me your papers” law at the behest of Republican Governor Rick […]

How to Make Your Voice Heard Without Uttering a Single Word

Sharisse Tracey

Saturday Night Live has always taken politicians to task with their own way of friendly banter and jesting. And sometimes they take aim at the average citizen, as they did […]

‘Saturday Night Live’ Skit Has People Talking About Who and What Really is Dividing Us

Wendi C. Thomas

Originally published by The Undefeated. Did a Saturday Night Live sketch last week hint at a future hard to envision in today’s bitter political climate — a future in which […]

And #StillIRise: #PeoplesConvention takes over Pittsburgh

Wendi C. Thomas

Wendi C. Thomas is a writing fellow for the Center for Community Change. [View the story “And #StillIRise: #PeoplesConvention takes over Pittsburgh” on Storify]

Comic W. Kamau Bell: We Are Living In The ‘Most Racial America’

Wendi C. Thomas

Originally published on the Huffington Post.  PITTSBURGH – Police have one standard for black people and another for white people – and as proof, comic W. Kamau Bell played at […]

Out of Homelessness, A Mom Turns Advocate

Fred McKissack Jr.

Originally published on Rooflines, a Shelterforce blog. Jenean F. and her husband worked hard to achieve the increasingly elusive American Dream. She was a stay at home mom and he […]

Black Lives Matter Movement and Opportunities Deprived Go Hand In Hand

Fred McKissack Jr.

Originally published on Equal Voice.  What does it say about the value of Black lives when too many of those lives are in crumbling schools, drinking poisoned water, finding themselves […]

Missouri Athletes Bust Through Intolerance

Fred McKissack Jr.

Originally published by The Progressive.  With the walk-out that led to the resignation of a university president and chancellor, the University of Missouri’s black football players showed their power to […]

UFCW Leading the Fight for Immigration Reform

Andi Ryder

In 2014, there were 8.1 million undocumented immigrants employed in the United States. These hard-working men and women live in constant fear of arrest and deportation which would rip their […]

Shouting Beyond the Feminist Choir

Angela Zhao

When America celebrates Women’s Equality Day today, perhaps she will post pictures of her inspirational inhabitants on Instagram, or write a long heartfelt post about female empowerment on Facebook, sprinkling […]

Netroots, #BlackLivesMatter and the Putting Families First campaign

Olivia Chow

This week we have seen a phenomenal shift in the conversation around race and poverty.  We are beginning to see a movement’s narrative take hold in the public debate and […]

Building Coalitions at the 2015 White House AAPI Youth Forum

Angela Zhao

Last Thursday, July 9th, over 150 Asian American and Pacific Islander college students from across the nation convened at the White House for the 2015 White House Initiative on Asian […]

Grassroots Leaders, Politicians, the American People All Agree: It’s Time to Expand Social Security

Angela Zhao

Although the White House Conference on Aging is held only once every ten years, Monday’s event was a crucial time to address issues for older Americans, especially as they retire […]

Arnie Graf: 2015 Change Champion in Community Organizing

Melissa Hewitt

Kate Casa contributed to this article. It was the mid-1960s and Arnie Graf, a 19-year-old student at the mostly segregated University of Buffalo, found himself witnessing discrimination in a very […]


Deirdra Reed

This blog was originally published on  When my sister-in-law was pregnant with her first child, she drove me crazy, calling me at all hours to tell me about every little […]

Thinking of My Mother and Our Broken Economy

Chris Dasan Ahanu Massenburg

When I was growing up, I was a “latch key” kid, a popular term for a child who has to come home and lock himself in after school because no […]

Baltimore doesn’t need more mothers like Toya Graham

Wendi C. Thomas

When Baltimore mom Toya Graham saw TV footage of her masked son joining rioters following the funeral of Freddie Gray, she found him on the streets and beat him. Video […]

Reflections from Selma

Tamika Middleton

Savannah Williams remembers where she was on March 7, 1965. “When Bloody Sunday happened, “ she explained, “I was at my first job working for the United States Department of Agriculture […]

“I believe that we will win!”

Tamika Middleton

At 7:30 am, about 100 airport people marched into the atrium of the world’s busiest airport chanting, “We can’t survive on $7.25.” The crowd got bigger as they rallied, with […]

MLK and the “Beloved Community”

Ronnie Galvin

On Friday, January 16th, Kica Matos, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice at the Center for Community Change, delivered the keynote address at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum’s 30th […]

A Mother’s Love, An Activist’s Mind

Allie Carter

Below is a post from Tammy Thomas Miles, Field Organizer with CCC — Each year at Thanksgiving I often take the time to reflect on all the things which I […]

The livelihood of our families at the heart of our #OneStruggle

Olivia Chow

Can we talk about these last few days? They have been emotional. We ended last week taking part in rallies and events across the country celebrating the long anticipated administrative […]

We Can’t Survive on $7.25

Tamika Middleton

This piece originally appeared on At 6 a.m. last Thursday, a small group of people gathered at the Burger King on the corner of North Avenue and Hunt Street in […]

Reflection on Ferguson, Missouri

Tammy Thomas-Miles

Field Organizer Tammy Thomas-Miles went to Ferguson, Missouri over the Labor Day weekend as part of a strategy session with other organizers. Here is Tammy’s first person account of the […]

When Enough Gets to Be Enough

Tamika Middleton

This blog was originally posted on the Voices for Human Needs blog.  On Monday night, thousands of people marched through downtown Atlanta in the pouring rain.  Most of them I […]

Anatomy of a Veto

Gary Sandusky

Gary Sandusky is a Senior Field Organizer at the Center for Community Change. In 2009, Center for Community Change assigned me to work closely with the Alliance for a Just […]

Raising America’s Pay

Donna DeLaCruz

On June 4, the Economic Policy Institute launched “Raising America’s Pay,” a research and public education initiative that seeks to make wage growth an urgent priority. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez […]

Minimum Wage Momentum!

Donna DeLaCruz

Pictured here: People cheer the moment the minimum wage bill passes in the Seattle City Council. There have been a lot of minimum wage victories in the news lately. Yesterday, the […]

‘Ain’t Got No Wiggle Room’

Deepak Bhargava

Originally published on the new blog Poverty is everywhere. More than one in three Americans—106 million people—live below or perilously close to the federal poverty line. If you pick […]

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