Teaching Democracy Sharing Collaborative

Through the Teaching Democracy Sharing Collaborative, Boston area based community organizations are partnering with Tufts University and others to document their curriculum into sharable forms that others can use.  We encourage you to use and adapt these resources to support your social change work! The organizations include:

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Center for Economic Democracy

The Center for Economic Democracy [C.E.D.] is a US social movement building organization, growing the capacity of grassroots communities to transform American capitalism into a more just, sustainable and democratic economy. C.E.D. engages progressive donors, private sector leaders and government officials to support popular organizing, economic development and cultural activism in our most vulnerable communities.

Center to Support Immigrant Organizing

The Center to Support Immigrant Organizing (CSIO) was founded in 1999 in response to an assessment of the barriers to organizing for social and economic justice in immigrant communities in the greater Boston area. The mission of CSIO is to support and help develop the work of individuals, groups, organizations and communities dedicated to organizing immigrants around the issues that affect their lives. Their goal is to help immigrants in the forefront of community and workplace struggles to develop their power and leadership not only to succeed in their immediate context, but also to contribute to the broader effort to build a more just and democratic society.

  • Grassroots Leadership Institute

    • CSIO heard from immigrant organizers and organizations over the past decade that trainings on how to do grassroots leadership development in organizations and in organizing work are sorely lacking. In response, CSIO developed and offered Grassroots Leadership Institutes (GLI) in Spanish and English. The five workshops in GLI are:
      • Political Education:
        This is the first workshop in the GLI series, focusing on analysis of the root causes of social and economic injustice, the interconnection between immigration and the global economy, and how to educate within our communities about the broader social and political context in which the local work is based.
        Additional materials included are (in English and Spanish): City Life Education presentation, Economic Refugees, Immigration Guide 2.0, Immigration Timeline, UFE Facilitator Guide to Immigration Dialogue.
      • Facilitation:
        This is the second workshop in the GLI series, focusing on how to facilitate effective and democratic facilitate meetings that promote grassroots participation and leadership.
        Additional materials included are (in English and Spanish): Bridge Pop-ed Models, Building Group Ownership Summary, CSIO Model for Facilitation, Dinámica, Ground Rules Overview, Open-Narrow-Close explanation and Graphic, Round Robin 1, Round Robin 2, Skills Needed in Facilitation, Stone Exercise, and What is a Facilitator.
      • Organizational Planning:
        This is the third workshop in the GLI series, focusing on developing strategic (3-5 year), operational (1-year) and short-term work plans that prioritize grassroots participation, bring clarity to the work of organizers and leaders, and are democratic & effective. Additional materials included are (in English and Spanish): CSIO Drawing of Community-led Organizational Structure, EBECC Strategic Planning to Operationalize Goals example.
        Annual Planning Documents: GLI Operational Plan Example, Hows, Whys, etc. of Annual Planning, Plans  Graphic, and Summary of Annual Planning.
        Short Term Planning Documents: Example of EBECC 2-month Work Plan, Work Plan Summary What, Why, How, Etc
      • Membership Development:
        This is the fourth workshop in the GLI series, focusing on how to develop structures that build grassroots and community ownership of organizations. Additional materials included are (in English and Spanish): General Example of Answers to Internal Questions, How to Assure a Participatory Process, Pairs Exercise, Rights and Responsibilities List, Translated Document about Membership, and Types of Membership Structures.
      • Campaign Development:
        This is the fifth workshop in the GLI series, focusing on how to promote grassroots leadership in campaigns that is sustainable over time AND results in powerful campaigns. Additional materials included are (in English and Spanish): 10 Steps of a Campaign, Elements of Direct Action, Power Analysis Spider Diagram, and What Makes a Good Issue.

Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative

The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative’s (DSNI) mission is to empower Dudley residents to organize, plan for, create and control a vibrant, diverse and high-quality neighborhood in collaboration with community partners.

Somerville Community Corporation

Since 1969, Somerville Community Corporation (SCC) has served the City of Somerville and its residents. SCC focuses the majority of its resources on the central question of sustaining affordability and livability for the lower income two thirds of the population, the recent immigrants and generational descendants of the earlier immigrants.
As a membership-based organization with nearly 400 formal members and 1500 constituents, SCC is a community development corporation strongly rooted in grassroots community organizing practice, resulting in a number of successful campaigns over the years to influence affordable housing policy and neighborhood quality of life improvements. Since 2005, SCC has also built a strong practice of participatory community planning originally with our East Somerville Initiative, concentrated in that neighborhood and later the Community Corridor Planning project along the pathway of the anticipated MBTA Green Line Extension.
SCC conducts all workshops in Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian Kreyòl.

  • Affordable Housing Toolkit

    • This toolkit was adapted from the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) Affordable Housing Toolkit specifically for Somerville and Boston. Additional materials include a handout defining median family income (MFI) and different affordable housing programs; this is translated into Spanish and Portuguese.
  • Anti-Displacement Workshop

    • This workshop was developed and led by SCC staff as a part two of a three-part series with MAPCA (Metropolitan Area Planning Council) and the City of Somerville on displacement pressures in Somerville.
      Additional materials include two interactive activities and a handout defining gentrification; all materials are translated into Spanish, Portuguese and French.
  • Building a Campaign

    • This an overview of the four sessions of a training led by SCC on the step-by-step processes of building a successful campaign.
      Additional materials included are: Campaign Nuts and Bolts; Issues vs Problems; Criteria Table; What Makes a Good Campaign; 15 Campaign Steps; Power Tools, and Messaging Handout.
  •  East Somerville Community Map

    • During the summer of 2005, Somerville Community Corporation worked with a team of interns and community members to collect data and information about East Somerville. This information was then incorporated into a large, 5’x6′ map, which has now been turned into this on-line map, in order to tell a story about East Somerville. The goal is to encourage others to interact with the map and each other as they identify what’s important, what action steps can we take, as a community, to preserve the good, and change the bad?
  • I-LEAD Workshop

    • I-LEAD, the Institute on Leadership in Equity and Development, was developed with funding from the Metro Boston Consortium for Sustainable Communities and the Herman and Frieda L. Miller Foundation. I-LEAD was developed in partnership by SCC, United for Fair Economy, Massachusetts Area Planning Council (MAPC), Action of Regional Equity, the Mel King Institute (MKI), and Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE). I-LEAD was piloted in Somerville, Lynn, Roxbury, Quincy, and Chelsea in Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island. Audience intended are community residents and leaders of host organizations.
      Additional materials include: Case Studies Activity Template; Equity Time Line Activity Template; Equity Narrative; The InEquity Story; Tools and Techniques ILEAD Chelsea; Tools for Equitable Development (most examples were taken from the Policy Link Equitable Development Tool Kit accessed online).
  • Leadership Development Institute

    • The Leadership Development Institute (LDI) is an intensive 4 half-day training program for emerging community leaders run for 20-25 new leaders annually since 2008. The trainings help veteran leaders sharpen their skills and introduce new concepts to those just getting involved in community organizing. SCC believes that there are many styles of leadership, and that leadership is something that can be developed in everyone. SCC also sponsors 4-5 one-time leadership development workshops per year on topics ranging from public speaking to understanding economic injustice. Each year SCC has at least 8 nationalities represented in their cohort, and conducts sessions in 3-4 languages simultaneously, where everyone in the room wears a headset, and can speak in their first language. All LDI training materials are translated in Creole, Spanish and Portuguese.
      The four trainings covered:
  • Leadership and Relationship Building:Additional materials include: Effective Leaders-Leadership Styles; Intro to Organizing and Leadership; Norms for Collaboration; One Pager on Leadership
  • Relationship Building:
    Additional materials include: 1 on 1 Meetings; One on Ones; Telling Your Story; The Whys of Relationship Building; What is an Active Listener?
  • Power:
    Additional materials include: Power Analysis with Diagram; Power; What is Power?
  • The Local Context:
    Additional materials include: Local Questions, and Questions about Somerville. Other handouts used for this workshop included sheets with pictures, names and contact information of Somerville’s elected officials, and the most recent official election totals for the city and the state of Massachusetts.
  • Multi-Lingual Participation

    • This is an interactive workshop developed by staff from SCC and MassTranslations. Participants are encouraged to share ideas and ask questions at any time.
      Additional materials include: Planning a Multilingual Event Checklist, and Top Five Reasons for Multilingual Work in the Movement.
  • Public Narratives

    • This workshop was modified by SCC from 350.org’s workshop ‘Telling Your Story’ which can be accessed online at http://archive.workshops.350.org/toolkit/story/ and includes additional materials (Story of Self; Story of Us; Story of Now; Worksheet for small groups) which were also modified from 350.org’s workshop.

Tufts University

  • Cultivate Your Food Economy

    • The Practical Visionaries Field Project team – 5 graduate students from Tufts University’s Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) program – worked toward Steering Committee goals for community engagement in food economy conversations. Through their Field Project (completed during the spring of 2013), they are creating popular education tools, gathering information on the food economies in Somerville, Roxbury, and Dorchester, and developing this website to support the long-term goal for more local, community-based food economies.
  • Community Land Trust Curriculum Tool-kit:

    • As part of their Community Practicum, 2015 Tufts UEP students Tech Leng and Dimple Rana created this toolkit for organizations looking to train their members about different models and tools for community control of land.
  • Building Your Capacity: Advancing Research Through Community Engagement

    • Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute developed the BYC program  in response to concerns voiced by our community partners; these individuals desired the knowledge, skills, and networks necessary to become equal partners with academic researchers. To build the capacity of community organizations to participate in CENR efforts, we developed the BYC program with funding from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

MIT CoLab: Community Innovators Lab

The Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) is a center for planning and development within the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP). CoLab supports the development and use of knowledge from excluded communities to deepen civic engagement, improve community practice, inform policy, mobilize community assets, and generate shared wealth. We believe that community knowledge can drive powerful innovation and can help make markets an arena for supporting social justice. CoLab facilitates the interchange of knowledge and resources between MIT and community organizations. We engage students to be practitioners of this approach to community change and sustainability. 

  • Economic Democracy Training Series: MIT Co-Lab and the Bronx Cooperative Development Institute

    • Since 2011, CoLab has supported the establishment and operations of the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative (BCDI)—a network of grassroots leaders, labor leaders, and anchor institutions whose mission is to end generational poverty in the Bronx through shared wealth and democratic ownership. Using a framework of economic democracy, BCDI partners are collaboratively building institutions and programs that leverage the Bronx’s existing assets to address the borough’s economic, social, and environmental challenges and support collective ownership models to distribute wealth and decision-making equitably.