[Editor’s note: Washtenaw County is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 344,791. The county seat is Ann Arbor. The county was founded in 1822 and organized as a county in 1826.]
“A lot of folks who participated in my May Day session on organizing a racial justice campaign asked great, big, questions. Sustainable community organizing came up as I responded to a question about diversifying organizations (which is incredibly tough). I brought up the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Communist Party as a couple of models of developing grassroots leadership. Came upon this passae in Laura Visser-Maessen’s new book on Bob Moses. Not new, obviously, but a decent distillation of the type of resources needed to embed oneself in community organizing. I’m trying to find my copy of Ranby’s book on Ella Baker because she has a lot of organizing lessons embedded in it.
I do think a couple local example are staring us in the face: I think WICIR and D’Real Graham have done a good job with this in Ypsi/Washtenaw Co. Sometimes indigenous organizers and building young, independent, organizations/leaders can/will go a long way and serves as a foundation for other state-based, regional, and national leftist groups to build upon with needed material resources.” –Austin McCoy