With every election cycle and issue campaign, we are reminded of the critical role that community organizers play in supporting the civic participation of all Americans. In this episode, you'll learn from new research on the working conditions of community organizers in social justice nonprofits. You’ll hear how organizers, their executive directors, and funders view the issue. You’ll get recommendations for change, and the next steps the All Due Respect Project is pursuing to ensure that all due respect is given to organizers!
We speak with Kinzie Mabon and Kevin Simowitz from All Due Respect, an exciting new project that seeks to set new labor standards and ensure fair wages for community organizers.
This episode (S3:E8) explores Talent-Investing Principle #3: “Address the Problem, Not Just the Symptoms.” This principle is all about ending the deficit of investment in the nonprofit workforce, not just tackling the symptoms of the deficit, such as employee burnout and turnover. As usual, there are other principles we touch on in this episode as well. To learn about all 8 principles, listen to S3:E1 The 8 Principles of Talent-Investing - with host Rusty Stahl.
Resources from this Episode:
- All Due Respect web site
- All Due Respect research report - Building Strong Organizations by Creating Fair Labor Standards for Organizers
- Kevin’s email: email@example.com
- Kevin on LinkedIn
- Kevin on Twitter
- Kinzie’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources Recommended by Kevin and Kinzie:
- Be Realistic: Demand the Impossible (a pamphlet by Mike Davis)
- Building Powerful Community Organizations (book by Michael Jacoby Brown)
- Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds (book by adrienne marie brown)
- Organizing for Social Change (Midwest Academy's Manual for Activists, 4th Edition)
- Solidarity Is... (Resources and Publications from "Solidarity Is," an initiative of Building Movement Project)
- Tools for Radical Democracy: How to Organize for Power in Your Community (book by Joan Minieri and Paul Getsos)
- White Supremacy Culture (website and article)
Additional Resources on Community Organizing:
- Saul Alinsky's Tried-and-True Rules for Creating Meaningful Social Change (article based on famed book Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals)
- Community Organizing 101 (a primer webpage from Brightest)
- Community Organizing 101 (a toolkit from Resident Action Project)
- Connecting Social Justice People, Orgs, and Jobs - with Linda Nguyen, Movement Talent
- The Social Justice Talent Boom - with Gara LaMarche and Deepak Bhargava, City University of New York
Kinzie Mabon, Deputy Director, (she/they), has worked as an organizer, field director, mentor, and trainer for the last 8 years focusing on voting rights, voter registration and mobilization, community and coalition building, and developing a leadership pipeline for organizers. In her most recent role as Field Director at the Nebraska Civic Engagement Table, she focused on building organizational capacity for member organizations working on a multitude of issues including voting rights, women’s rights, TLGBQIA2S+ rights, anti-racism, and a wide range of economic issues. Their proudest accomplishments in this role were their development of Organizer School, a comprehensive training and placement program for organizers in the Nebraska nonprofit community and their service as a member of the inaugural National Coordinating Committee for the State Voices network. She is a firm believer in building sustainable intersectional movements, and ensuring that all community builders and organizers have a strong foundation and network to lean on.
Kevin Simowitz, Co-Director, (he/him), has worked for nearly two decades as an organizer, campaign manager, and political strategist. As a consultant, Kevin works with leading political and advocacy organizations to develop creative and successful campaign strategies for some of the most pressing legislative issues at the state and federal levels, and works with foundation funders to sharpen the ways that philanthropy can be of service to movement organizations. As the Political Director at Caring Across Generations, Kevin led the coalition to pass the Kupuna Caregivers Act, a first-of-its-kind initiative to support family caregivers of older adults, and also co-led the 2018 Homecare for All ballot initiative campaign, demonstrating the robust grassroots support for an innovative new model of care. At Maine People's Alliance, Kevin worked as the Organizing Director and directed the Maine Small Business Coalition, coordinating the membership development and political program for more than 3,000 Coalition members. Kevin is a board member of Renew New England.