#MacroSW 7/19/18 Social Action 105: Radical Community Organizing

By Rachel L. West

Given the current political clement and the socio-economic reality many people in the US are facing, I figured now would be a good time for us to take a look at radical community organizing. This topic ties in with last week’s chat on Social work leadership in the face of ethical policy conflicts. This chat will be the 5th installment in our social action series.

Reisch (2013, p. 362) defined radical community organizing as a “form of community practice that encompasses a dynamic set of theories, goals, ideologies, values, strategies, and tactics that seek to achieve a more egalitarian, open, and socially just world through the creation of fundamental structural, institutional, ideological, attitudinal, and behavioral changes in communities, societies and individuals.”

The chat will explore the theories radical community organizing is built upon and strategies that have been used.


Q1: What is radical community organizing?

Q2: What theories is radical community organizing built on?

Q3: What examples exist of radical community organizing (in the US or internationally)?

Q4: Do the ends justify the means?


Center for Third World Organizing (note the website is being reworked. They are updating their Facebook page)

The Gamaliel Foundation

A Guide to Radical Social Work

Freire Institute: Theories Used by Paulo Freire

The chat starts at 9:00 PM EST / 6:00 PM PST. It will be hosted by Rachel L. West (@poliSW).

About #MacroSW:

#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com.


Reisch, M. (2013). Radical Community Organizing. In M. Weil, M. Reisch & M.L. Ohmer

(Eds), The Handbook of Community Practice (p. 361-381). Los Angeles: Sage.




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