Rustling among the grassroots? The need to listen
‘I’m not a racist, but…’ – how often is this heard in local communities on both sides of the Atlantic? And it’s true, people are not necessarily racist when they express anxieties and uncertainties about the pace of change and how it is seen to be impacting on their local area. This is the reality that community organisers are facing whether in Oregon (USA) or in Hull (UK). It is the challenge that encouraged Unbound Philanthropy, The Atlantic Philanthropies and The Social Change Initiative to support a Migration Learning Exchange (MLE) in July 2017.
Hope not Hate hosted the trans-Atlantic exchange in London. The topic was set as ‘Engaging with Marginalised Communities: Challenging Comfort Zones”. Hope not Hate CEO, Nick Lowes describes the organisation as established to offer a positive antidote to the politics of hate. Its objective is to identify a ‘more positive and engaged way of doing anti-Facism’. In this context community organising is a natural fit, ably supported by first class research and intelligence.
The Social Change Initiative aims to improve the effectiveness of activism to progress social change, particularly In divided societies and to influence the way this work is funded and supported. The following report has been produced by SCI as a means of disseminating the learning from the MLE, which can be shared amongst a wider audience.