A Certificate Program for Faith Leaders
In his 2002 book Going Public: An Organizer's Guide to Citizen Action, Michael Gecan writes:
"Power in our society does not just come from the concentration of wealth on Wall Street, the dictates of great governmental agencies, the barrel of a gun, or the fanaticism of a terrorist in the cockpit of a plane. Power can come from the habit of building new public relationships.
"The trouble with many of us, and with our culture as a whole, is that we don't take time to "relate," to connect publicly and formally but meaningfully with others . . . to meet one to one with others, to hear their interests and dreams and fears, to understand why people do what they do or don't do what they don't do. We forget or deny that the appetite to relate is fundamental, and that the willingness to relate is nearly universal. All real living is meeting--not meetings."
Indeed, all real living is meeting. No one better exemplified this principle than Jesus Christ himself. Every one of Christ's miracles, every teaching, every parable, every hardship was born from--or gave birth to--meaningful public relationships.
The purpose of this certificate program is to teach persons how to cultivate meaningful public relationships and, consequently, help build capacity for the long term systemic change that can make real improvements in our neighborhoods, communities of faith, and people's lives. Topics covered include:
- theologies and philosophies of organizing
- the purpose and structure of the relational meeting
- organizing and disorganizing
- power defined
- organizing and money
- qualities and actions of leaders
- activism and protest
- mediating institutions
- use of technology
- history of social movements