In this part of our Organizing 101 series, we’ll examine power. What do we mean when we talk about power? What forms can power take? We’ll get to these questions and more in a series of interviews with leaders and organizers from around the Network.
When you think of power, you probably think of political power, or power over other people — or even the villains from movies and TV who just want power for power’s sake.
So what does it mean when we say we “build power”? When we talk about power, we are not talking about the ability to control other people. In community organizing, power is the ability to act in order to achieve purpose. Power allows us to impact the political, environmental, social and economic decisions that affect our lives. Power is the ability to claim what is rightfully ours — our ability to speak and act publicly in our own communities.