Powerful Citizenry

Democracy must be continuously nurtured and protected. It thrives when people mobilize, organize, advocate, and use their collective power to make a change and ensure equity and social justice are essential for a healthy and thriving democracy.

Our Approach

We focus on developing the capacity of communities to mobilize, organize, and advocate to ensure that all their members have fair and just access to the opportunities and resources that will help them reach their full potential. We believe that community organizing is the most direct and effective strategy to build communities’ capacity to build and shift power, as history has shown. It should be built into any initiative intended to bring about equity and social justice for people who have been historically marginalized and disadvantaged. Also, when people with perceived differences—within and across different communities—mobilize and organize around their shared concerns, they have the chance to get to know one another and build relationships. We have seen this in the past and today in situations such as when young people across the country from rural, suburban, and urban communities, representing different racial groups with different sexual orientations and gender identities mobilized to demand gun control after the Parkland shooting; and when Black and Asian American leaders and community members united to fight racism, especially after the wave of hate crimes that shook the Asian American community due to the association between the COVID-19 virus and Chinese people.

How We Can Help

  • Help funders, public agencies, and nonprofit organizations, through advisement, training, and technical assistance, integrate community organizing, into a larger support system to develop and sustain equitable and just communities.
  • Determine ways in which funders, public agencies, and nonprofits can apply principles for strengthening intergroup relationships among different communities.
  • Work with a community-based organization or local government to assess the sense of community within a community and between communities and use the results to inform the design and implementation of strategies to mobilize and organize people to take collective action and also, become more civically engaged.
  • Design and implement community engagement strategies, infrastructures, and processes that are culturally- and contextually responsive to the community members’ needs and aspirations, and at the same time, help to build their power to drive the change they want to see.
  • Evaluate community power and civic engagement initiatives.
Have questions? We have answers.
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Related Projects

Achieving Equity through an Intergenerational Leadership Model Project
Achieving Equity through an Intergenerational Leadership Model Project
Community Science is working in partnership with the Urban Institute to evaluate and support leadership institutes for youth and adult community members in Duck Hill, MS. The leadership institutes are intended to support residents by building individual and community resilience ...
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Strengthening Residents to Advocate for High-Quality Traditional and Alternative Schools
Strengthening Residents to Advocate for High-Quality Traditional and Alternative Schools
The Walton Family Foundation’s community organizing campaign is designed to mobilize residents in 13 cities to become civically engaged and to advocate for high-quality traditional and alternative schools. Community Science was contracted to complete the developmental evaluation by examining grantees’ ...
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Evaluating Programs Designed to Improve Racial Equity in Voting Today and in The Future
Evaluating Programs Designed to Improve Racial Equity in Voting Today and in The Future
The Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative is composed of nine national racial justice organizations: Advancement Project, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Congress of American Indians, National ...
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