2009 marks both the centennial of the birth of Chicago community organizer Saul Alinsky and the inauguration of another Chicago community organizer as President of the United States.
“Alinsky” and “community organizing” trigger very strong negative responses among conservative activists right now, as a quick Google search will reveal. On the other hand, our survey research finds that few Americans have any opinions at all about community organizing, and the most common responses are vague and positive. Those who actually study Saul Alinsky and/or modern community organizing know that the legacy is complex. Community organizing comes in many forms that are sometimes in conflict with each other. Alinsky himself changed his views substantially during his long career.
We will explore these issues on Friday, November 6, 2009 from 12:30pm – 2:30pm in the Crane Room, Paige Hall, Tufts University. It’s an open session. An RSVP isn’t required, but it’s helpful and you can reply here. There will be free food. I will moderate.
chief organizer, Greater Boston Interfaith Organization
author of “Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky: His Life and Legacy”
CEO, Somerville Community Corporation
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, School of Arts and Sciences, Tufts University
executive director, Neighbor to Neighbor
Department of Sociology, School of Arts and Sciences, Tufts University