Grassroots Community Organizing

Grassroots Community Organizing Grassroots Community Organizing (GCO) is an introduction to systems of oppression and community organizing as a tool for change. GCO is a 5-credit honors anthropology course and is by application only.

Note: Class is open to all majors. Students do not have to be members of the Commonwealth Honors College to apply.

Mission: GCO is part of the UMass Alliance for Community Transformation (UACT). UACT Programmatic Goals and Principles: 1. Build a practical understanding of community organizing as a tool for social change 2. Develop and practice critical and liberatory pedagogies and popular education while building learning communities 3. Explore concepts of privilege, oppression, and identity on individual and structural levels 4. Develop student leadership through student facilitation and overall programmatic participation 5. Build student commitment toward social justice 6. Build mutually beneficial partnerships with community groups organizing for social change

Operating as usual

The GCO application deadline has BEEN EXTENDED to Wednesday, November 25th! Please share widely so we can promote this a...
11/24/2020

The GCO application deadline has BEEN EXTENDED to Wednesday, November 25th! Please share widely so we can promote this amazing class!

11/15/2019

This time of the semester can be very busy...so...The deadline to apply for GCO has been extended to Monday November 18th at 12 pm! We can't wait to hear from you!

The deadline to apply to GCO is coming up fast! GCO is truly a transformative experience. Read how the experience impact...
11/06/2019

The deadline to apply to GCO is coming up fast! GCO is truly a transformative experience. Read how the experience impacted one our 2017 alumni!

Hi Everyone! The application to take Grassroots Community Organizing (GCO) next spring is live! Visit uactumass.org for ...
10/30/2019

Hi Everyone! The application to take Grassroots Community Organizing (GCO) next spring is live! Visit uactumass.org for more information and the application! And stay tuned for some student/alumni stories that tell you why this class is a truly thought-provoking and transformative experience.

A message from the GCO Scholarship Fund Team:We are halfway to our fundraising goal for our Spring 2019 GCO students. Th...
11/19/2018
GCO Scholarship Fund

A message from the GCO Scholarship Fund Team:

We are halfway to our fundraising goal for our Spring 2019 GCO students. This fund helps students pay the $275 course fee and keeps the GCO experience accessible to all!

Please consider making a donation to our scholarship fund--any amount helps and will go towards making GCO a diverse and accessible experience. Visit our fundraising page at the link below, and be sure to read through the comments about how GCO has impacted students in years past. Thank you for your time.

Help us share far and wide!

https://chuffed.org/project/gco-scholarship-fund

Help students pay the $275 class fee for our Grassroots Community Organizing class! Make this transformative experience accessible for all!

Students of color in the urban city, Springfield, MA, have been suffering from gun violence for decades. On April 27th, ...
04/21/2018

Students of color in the urban city, Springfield, MA, have been suffering from gun violence for decades. On April 27th, they will hold a protest in front of SmithWesson Corp and meet the CEO, James Debney. Gun violence is a serious threat to every people in the country. Please join our rally on April 27th 4 pm

Date and time: April 27th 4 pm
Address: 2100 Roosevelt Avenue, Springfield MA

07/21/2017
AJ+

Check out the work being done by GCO Alumni Leslie Saree and other community organizers in Texas! So proud of the work our members go on to do!

This is not a just a quinceañera party. It's a protest against Texas's ban on sanctuary cities.

tl;dr: GCO application deadline extended until Wednesday, Nov 16th, at 5pm!In light of the recent shift in state power i...
11/14/2016
uact-umass

tl;dr: GCO application deadline extended until Wednesday, Nov 16th, at 5pm!

In light of the recent shift in state power in the United States, UACT (the organization that runs Grassroots Community Organizing) has begun talking about the shifts we will be making. We're turning our curriculum, organization, training, partnerships, classes, events and space toward the challenges of this new era. As always, our courses focus on preparing people to build community across difference in order to mobilize the resistance, power, protection, and strength communities need to hold power accountable. But now, we will be building explicitly for the years ahead. At the community level this work will always be led by the people most affected by violence and structural inequality -- by people of color, poor people, queer and trans folks, women, young people, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees, people who have faced religious or ethnic persecution. Also: communities always need to work across differences within, and in coalition across communities. Everyone can become a vital and essential part of this movement. Your energy, dreams, skills, and presence are needed in the world to come.

If you apply for GCO, you will be applying to become a part of this ongoing effort to bring people together to learn and build. This spring, we will bring in as many resources as we can for you to learn from. We will bring in texts about how people have organized effective grassroots coalitions and powerful movements. We will bring people who have done such organizing for years or decades, and over spring break we will go to see and take part in their work. And we will bring methods of deep and sustainable community-building for you to begin to experience the building blocks of relational power, right away. It will be a looser, more dynamic structure than it has been in the past, facilitated by a diverse and engaged group of about a dozen people: faculty, student facilitators, staff trainers, and community organizers.

More than ever, it should be obvious: this is not practice -- it is preparation. We are seeking people who are ready to get to work, and who are willing to learn that this is long-haul work. It is slow, and challenging, and powerful.

We invite you to join us, and to bring your people. The GCO application deadline has been extended until Wednesday, November 16th, at 5pm. Apply online: www.uactumass.org/apply

**If you have already taken GCO, or have not taken it but can't this year, and want to get involved in this work, please be in touch with us by email. We are scheming and dreaming, and want you to be a part of it!**

Only 10 more days to apply to Grassroots Community Organizing for Spring 2017! This class focuses on issues of social ju...
11/03/2016
uact-umass | APPLY

Only 10 more days to apply to Grassroots Community Organizing for Spring 2017! This class focuses on issues of social justice, systems of oppression, tactics for organizing, identity work, and community building. The class also includes the least expensive alternative spring break option out there! Apply now at http://www.uactumass.org/apply-

APPLY

The time is NOW to make change! Be a part of a growing community that believes in collective power. Grassroots Community...
10/17/2016
uact-umass | APPLY

The time is NOW to make change! Be a part of a growing community that believes in collective power. Grassroots Community Organizing is a class just for students who wish to make a difference. With peer facilitation, engaging classes, and an alternative spring break, GCO students are the community organizers of tomorrow.
Apply today at http://www.uactumass.org/apply- or email [email protected] for more information! Open to all 5-College Students!

APPLY

10/12/2016
uact-umass | APPLY

Social justice. Hands-on. Peer-facilitated. Alternative Spring Break.
Interested?
Grassroots Community Organizing is a 5-credit class that teaches students about systems of oppression and community organizing as a tool for change.
Apply today at http://www.uactumass.org/apply- or email [email protected] for more information!

APPLY

Grassroots Community Organizing's cover photo
10/04/2016

Grassroots Community Organizing's cover photo

Our community partner ACE is organizing to #fightthehike. Boston's MBTA are hiking their fares with reduced service, and...
03/04/2016

Our community partner ACE is organizing to #fightthehike. Boston's MBTA are hiking their fares with reduced service, and ACE wants the communities voices to be heard! Sign the petition at ourmbta.org and share it with your friends!

Hello everyone!! The GCO application deadline is closing in 5 days!! If you are interested in taking this peer-facilitat...
11/09/2015
uact-umass

Hello everyone!! The GCO application deadline is closing in 5 days!! If you are interested in taking this peer-facilitated, hands-on experience class visit our website here http://www.uactumass.org/ for an application!!

Hello everyone!! The GCO application deadline is closing in just a week!!! If you are interested in taking this peer-fac...
11/05/2015
uact-umass

Hello everyone!! The GCO application deadline is closing in just a week!!! If you are interested in taking this peer-facilitated, hands-on experience class visit our website here http://www.uactumass.org/ for an application!!

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Alternatives for Community & Environment is one of the long-term partners for UACT’s Grassroots Community Organizing cla...
11/03/2015
uact-umass

Alternatives for Community & Environment is one of the long-term partners for UACT’s Grassroots Community Organizing class! They are an environmental justice organization based out of Roxbury, MA who are working on creating more affordable and accessible public transportation for low-income communities of color. If they are a group that peaks your interest, visit their website right here: http://www.ace-ej.org !! Reminder that applications aredue Friday November 14th! Visit the website below: http://www.uactumass.org/

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10/26/2015
uact-umass

Interested in how to make social change happen? Want hands-on experience learning from community organizers in Western Mass and beyond? Check out Grassroots Community Organizing, Anthro 380 - a peer-facilitated spring semester course with an Alternative Spring Break! Applications due November 14th! http://www.uactumass.org/

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Time to learn about another of GCO’s fabulous community partners from last year! ACE, or Alternatives for Community and ...
11/12/2014
ACE | alternatives for community and environment

Time to learn about another of GCO’s fabulous community partners from last year! ACE, or Alternatives for Community and Environment, are a group based out of boston ACE who are working to build “the power of communities of color and low-income communities in Massachusetts to eradicate environmental racism and classism, create healthy, sustainable communities, and achieve environmental justice.”

One of their ongoing programs, which past GCO students have had the opportunity to work on, is the T Riders Union (TRU). Together with public transit riders they are organizing for transit justice, advocating for communities in which residents are not likely to own cars and are therefore dependent on public transit to get to work, school, recreation, and shopping.

Their demands to the MBTA are “more buses on the most crowded routes, reliable on-time bus service, and more bus service on nights and weekends,” and they are currently working with the general manager to implement these changes.

Visit http://www.ace-ej.org/ to learn more about the amazing work that this organization is engaging in and https://www.umass.edu/uact/ to find out about how you can get involved in organizing work on your own campus!

Also, just another reminder that the applications are due Friday Nov. 14th so get them in as soon as you can!!!

For three years, the Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project (REEP) has been building community by transforming vacant lots into gardens. This September, we want to share it with you.

Just a friendly reminder that the application due date for GCO is FRIDAY NOV. 14th!! (3 days left!!) This week we will b...
11/11/2014

Just a friendly reminder that the application due date for GCO is FRIDAY NOV. 14th!! (3 days left!!)

This week we will be having office hours in Gordon 217 so stop by if you have any questions or want someone to look over your application! There will be tea and cookies! (Wed. 10-3, Thurs. 11-5 and Fri. 10-5)

Happy Tuesday!!!

Check out one of our awesome campus partners! The Center for Education Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) works on issues of lab...
11/05/2014
Center for Education Policy Advocacy (CEPA)

Check out one of our awesome campus partners! The Center for Education Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) works on issues of labor conditions, access and affordability of higher education, our campus culture, and environmental justice! If you want to get involved, they are currently tabling at the Internship Fair in the Cape Cod Lounge!

In the past, GCO students have partnered with CEPA to work on the Debt Free Future campaign and you can thank the hard work of their Access and Affordability team for the tuition and fee freeze last year!

Learn more:
https://www.facebook.com/CenterforEducationPolicyAdvocacy

CEPA is a student power organization which believes in building grassroots power movements to expand the political consciousness of the campus.

11/03/2014

Interested in learning more about GCO? We will be holding office hours in Gordon 217 this week and next! Come chat with your potential facilitators and other GCO alums!

Monday: 12:45-6:00
Tuesday: 10:00-1:00 and 2:30-3:15
Wednesday: 12:00-2:00 and 3:00-4
Thursday: 11:15-4:00
Friday: 10:00-2:00

As always, e-mail [email protected] for an application or with any questions you may have!

A crucial component of GCO is the alternative spring break trip when each class has the opportunity to work with a commu...
10/29/2014

A crucial component of GCO is the alternative spring break trip when each class has the opportunity to work with a community partner doing organizing work around issues of social justice. Read on to find out about one of the groups that you could partner with!

Virginia Organizing is a “ non-partisan statewide grassroots organization dedicated to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives.” They have chapters all over Virginia in Petersburg, Richmond, Danville and beyond that confront issues of anti discrimination, budget and tax reform, civic engagement, economic justice, the environment, health care, immigration reform, predatory lending, small business, and social security.

In October they worked to connect immigrant students to the resources they needed to obtain DACA status, held a vigil on comprehensive immigration reform, organized a rally to oppose hydrofracking, and hosted a media conference to highlight the voices of people who are being directly affected by the lack of Medicaid expansions in Virginia. Coming up in November they will be holding several events centered on comprehensive immigration reform, dismantling racism, and affordable health care issues!

“Virginia Organizing especially encourages the participation of those who have traditionally had little or no voice in our society. By building relationships with individuals and groups throughout the state, Virginia Organizing strives to get them to work together, democratically and non-violently, for change.”

Learn more at http://www.virginia-organizing.org/

Outreach season has officially begun for GCO! Do you know any bright, innovative students who want to take a unique, 5-c...
10/23/2014
UACT Home

Outreach season has officially begun for GCO! Do you know any bright, innovative students who want to take a unique, 5-credit, peer-facillitated class with an alternative spring break component? Are you one of these students?! Visit http://www.umass.edu/uact/ to learn more or send us an e-mail at: [email protected]. Tell all your friends! Applications due: Nov. 14

UACT is a unique partnership of UMass students, faculty and members of grassroots community organizations. We work together to design programs that build community, promote social and economic justice, advance cross-cultural understanding, and serve the educational and civic objectives of our Land G…

GCO Groups
10/06/2014

GCO Groups

GCO 2014
10/06/2014

GCO 2014

GCO facilitator Johann #alwaysorganizing - Don't miss your chance to become a GCO student! #apply
11/12/2013

GCO facilitator Johann #alwaysorganizing - Don't miss your chance to become a GCO student! #apply

HEY YALL!!! Getting excited to take GCO this spring?!?! Don't forget to fill out your application, which can be found at...
11/12/2013
UACT Home

HEY YALL!!! Getting excited to take GCO this spring?!?! Don't forget to fill out your application, which can be found at our website below! Still on the fence and wanna learn more?! Feel free to ask any q's here or email us at [email protected]. :)
http://www.umass.edu/uact/

GCO Students working with the Alliance to Develop Power for Spring Break last year made the local news. See the story here!

Hey folks!!! Make sure to check out the info sessions for GCO this week! Here are the dates, times and places!!Tuesday 1...
11/04/2013
UACT Home

Hey folks!!!

Make sure to check out the info sessions for GCO this week!
Here are the dates, times and places!!



Tuesday 11/5: 6pm-7pm in Bartlett 65 (Followed by 2007 Student Strike screening!!)

Thursday: 11/7: 4pm-5pm in Student Union Conference room 413 (2nd floor)



If you can't make any of the sessions, please don't hesitate to send us questions at [email protected]!

Applications due 11/15! Find them @ http://www.umass.edu/uact

We can't wait to see you!!

GCO Students working with the Alliance to Develop Power for Spring Break last year made the local news. See the story here!

Check out our info sessions coming up next week! Movie Screening & Info Session: Tuesday 11/5: 7pm- in CEPA office (Stud...
10/29/2013
UACT Home

Check out our info sessions coming up next week!
Movie Screening & Info Session:
Tuesday 11/5: 7pm- in CEPA office (Student Union, 2nd floor)
Info Session :
Thursday: 11/7: 4pm-5pm in Student Union Conference room 413 (2nd floor)

We can't wait to see you there!

Applications due 11/15 --> http://www.umass.edu/uact

GCO Students working with the Alliance to Develop Power for Spring Break last year made the local news. See the story here!

Harvest of Empire – Harvest of Empire
10/27/2013
Harvest of Empire – Harvest of Empire

Harvest of Empire – Harvest of Empire

Harvest of Empire, the critically-acclaimed documentary on immigration produced and directed by local filmmakers, won the prestigious Imagen Award as Best Documentary Feature at a star-studded ceremony held in Los Angeles on Friday, August 16. Produced by Wendy Thompson-Marquez and co-directed by

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Hello GCO Networks/Community! Passing along information about this semester's collaboration event with Movement for Justice in El Barrio. Please do share far and wide! Con Amor, Ana "Movement for Justice in El Barrio The Fight for Humanity & Against Global Displacement A screening and discussion taking place Friday, November 30th from 3:00-4:15pm at the Commonwealth Honors College - Events Hall East - at UMass Amherst. Join us for a screening and discussion with representatives of Movement for Justice in El Barrio -- a majority-immigrant women of color, grassroots community organization that fights for immigrant justice and against gentrification in New York City’s El Barrio. Committed to autonomy and self-determination, Movement practices participatory democracy and horizontal decision-making on a community-wide scale."
Thurs 9/20, 7:00-9:00 pm, Du Bois Library, 26th floor We will watch a short video of a keynote address by adrienne maree brown. How does the natural world teach us about transformative justice, through ideas of adaptation, decentralization, resilience, iteration, fractal selves, and creating more possibilities? brown is the author of Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds. Includes facilitated discussion with Brennan Tierney who is active with the UMass Alliance for Community Transformation (UACT). http://blogs.umass.edu/talkingtruth/…/21/fall-2018-schedule/
CLPP's 2018 conference, from "From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom" will be held at Hampshire College from April 13th-15th. As always, student-led organizing plays an invaluable part in bringing the conference together. In the spring, CLPP Student Group forms six committees (descriptions provided in the application) to organize different aspects of the conference throughout the semester. Our committees are: Abortion Speak Out, Accessibility and Transportation, Childcare, Entertainment, Outreach, and Support Team. If you are interested in taking on a leadership role in conference organizing, you can apply to be a co-chair for one of these six amazing committees! A couple of important things to note: CLPP Student Group meets at Hampshire College. If you are applying to be a co-chair, you must be available for our weekly meetings on Tuesday nights from about 5PM (there is wiggle room for start time) - 7:30/8PM. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected]. I am more than happy to talk to folks about working with CLPP! Applications are due January 30th! You can find the application here:
Come by people's market and get more info or just do ur homework !