[Springboard] [Dialogue] Alinsky & Freire and ICA's approach
Martin Gilbraith (ICA:UK)
martin at ica-uk.org.uk
Thu Jan 13 07:22:26 CST 2011
Hi all, thanks for all your responses so far, its all very intersting to me,
On 12/01/2011 22:35, Len Hockley wrote:
> There is also a great story (true or not) about Alinsky and King
> meeting in O'Hare airport just before the housing march.
> It seems King was carrying on about how his movement was so
> "grassroots and unstructured" and Alinsky comes back and says "The
> only movement without structure is cow shit."
> On 1/12/2011 11:13 AM, Bill Schlesinger wrote:
>> The primary difference between our approach and Alinsky's (who did
>> not lecture in any early Academy I remember in the 60's) was
>> methodological, not an establishment/disestablishment orientation.
>> Alinsky's approach depended on a responsive establishment that would
>> not simply shoot organizers. It relied -- as did Ghandi's and Dr.
>> Martin Luther King, Jr.'s approaches -- on the moral values perceived
>> by the establishment system. 'Rub raw the sores of discontent' was
>> intended to energize marginalized communities to a level of
>> dissatisfaction with the 'status quo' that would then provide the
>> emotional strength to make specific demands of the ruling elite, and
>> to expose contradictions of normative value within the ruling elite
>> in order to create open dissension and a change of practice in that
>> elite. That was a basic strategy of the Civil Rights movement.
>> Our approach -- 'locality development' in social service literature
>> -- was more focused on organizing available resources within the
>> marginalized community ('Every local community can feed itself') and
>> creating a partnership with identified elements in the wider society.
>> The intent was to develop an approach that did not rely on a
>> specific response from the governing elite ('OK, OK, we'll put a stop
>> sign on the corner').
>> Bill Schlesinger
>> Project Vida
>> 3607 Rivera Avenue
>> El Paso, TX 79905
>> (915) 533-7057 x 207
>> (915) 533-7158 FAX
>> pvida at whc.net <mailto:pvida at whc.net>
>> *From:*dialogue-bounces at wedgeblade.net
>> [mailto:dialogue-bounces at wedgeblade.net] *On Behalf Of *Len Hockley
>> *Sent:* Wednesday, January 12, 2011 11:43 AM
>> *To:* Colleague Dialogue
>> *Cc:* Springboard Dialogue
>> *Subject:* Re: [Dialogue] [Springboard] Alinsky & Freire and ICA's
>> For what it is worth, it has been noted that Alinski was a lecturer a
>> one of the early Academys. Also, he did early work in Detroit where
>> we had his people come and talk with us. As I remember it he was a
>> bit too disestablishment for the likes of us.
>> I looked up the IAF in Portland (OR) within the last 15yrs were they
>> were still active in parishes.
>> On 1/11/2011 8:28 AM, R Williams wrote:
>> There are those who will be able to address your questions much more
>> directly than I, but here's one strand you might pursue. If you
>> Google "Industrial Areas Foundation" (IAF) and go to the Wikipedia
>> page you will find reference to Ernesto Cortes, Jr. as the Alinski
>> protege who took Alinsky's approach from the 1940s and in San
>> Antonio, TX made it a congregation-based process.
>> Ernesto (Ernie) Cortes went to RS-1 in the late 60s or early 70s and
>> at one time was a part of the San Antonio cadre. When I was in the
>> Houston house I remember him from various meetings in San Antonio.
>> If you could find a way to get in touch with him you might get some
>> answers to your question as far as Alinsky is concerned. I expect
>> what he may be able to share with you ways in which EI/RS-1, etc.
>> influenced his work in deciding to be congregation-based as well as
>> that of IAF in general.
>> As for Freire, his book //Education for Critical Consciousness// must
>> have had an influence in our development of imaginal education, not
>> just the course but the process used in our whole educational
>> approach, although we referred more to Kenneth Boulding and //The
>> Image//. His later book, //Pedagogy of the Oppressed//, although I
>> believe not published at the time, is consistent with, but in some
>> ways clearer than, his earlier book.
>> --- On *Tue, 1/11/11, Martin Gilbraith (ICA:UK)
>> /<martin at ica-uk.org.uk> <mailto:martin at ica-uk.org.uk>/* wrote:
>> From: Martin Gilbraith (ICA:UK) <martin at ica-uk.org.uk>
>> <mailto:martin at ica-uk.org.uk>
>> Subject: [Springboard] Alinsky & Freire and ICA's approach
>> To: Dialogue at wedgeblade.net <mailto:Dialogue at wedgeblade.net>,
>> "Springboard Dialogue" <springboard at wedgeblade.net>
>> <mailto:springboard at wedgeblade.net>
>> Date: Tuesday, January 11, 2011, 9:46 AM
>> Hi everyone, I am hoping that colleagues with longer memories
>> might be able to help me with some history please...
>> The 'big idea' of the UK's new coalition government is Big
>> Society - variously, applauded as empowering the people, and/or
>> derided as a cynical cover for devastating public spending cuts -
>> A major initiative within this agenda is a forthcoming
>> Government-funded programme to train and support a cadre of 5,000
>> Community Organisers, explicitly based on theprinciples of Saul
>> Alinsky and Paulo Friere - see
>> I beleive that Friere was an influence on the early development
>> of EI/ICA's methods and approach, and I understand that Alinsky
>> was developing Community Organising in Chicago around the same
>> time as EI/ICA was in Fifth City.
>> What I would really like to learn more about is *to what extent
>> and how did Friere and/or Alinsky influence the develpment of
>> EI/ICA and our methods and approach; and to what extent and how
>> might our methods and approach have influenced the development of
>> Community Organising?
>> My partner Derek put this same question, more or less, to George
>> Packard several years ago when he was here in the UK just after
>> Derek had taken a course in Faith-based Community Organising
>> through his local Unitarian church - but I don't much remember
>> what he said, and I'd love to have any more specific
>> recollections and (better still) any documents that might be
>> I am hoping this might inform how we seek to position ICA:UK in
>> relation to this emerging new agenda, and that I might draft an
>> article (for ICA:UK Network News if not also elsewhere) based on
>> what I receive.
>> many thanks for any recollections or insights you can offer, best
>> *Martin Gilbraith*<martin at ica-uk.org.uk
>> connectwith me at _http://uk.linkedin.com/in/martingilbraith _
>> *Chief Executive, ICA:UK*
>> registered charity #1090745 & company limited by guarantee #3970365
>> registered in England & Wales, at 41 Old Birley Street,
>> Manchester M15 5RF
>> tel/fax: 0845 450 0305 or 0161 232 8444 - _www.ica-uk.org.uk
>> The Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) - a global network of
>> autonomous not-for-profit organisations in 30 countries
>> /"concerned with the human factor in world development"/
>> *IAF Certified Professional Facilitator*& Chair
>> The International Association of Facilitators --
>> _www.iaf-world.org <http://www.iaf-world.org/>_
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*Martin Gilbraith*<martin at ica-uk.org.uk <mailto:martin at ica-uk.org.uk>>
connectwith me at _http://uk.linkedin.com/in/martingilbraith _
*Chief Executive, ICA:UK*
registered charity #1090745 & company limited by guarantee #3970365
registered in England & Wales, at 41 Old Birley Street, Manchester M15 5RF
tel/fax: 0845 450 0305 or 0161 232 8444 - _www.ica-uk.org.uk
The Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) - a global network of autonomous
not-for-profit organisations in 30 countries
/"concerned with the human factor in world development"/
*IAF Certified Professional Facilitator*& Chair
The International Association of Facilitators -- _www.iaf-world.org_
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