A Bibliography for Community Organizing

Relational organizing was a big theme at the 2013 National Gathering, particularly in the reflections by Patrick Daymond, which you can view here. Jeff Krehbiel, pastor of Church of the Pilgrims in Washington DC, a member of the NEXT Church Advisory Team, and the author of Reflecting with Scripture on Community Organizing, offers this bibliography of books and resources:

Community Organizing Bibliography

Resources from the PC(USA) on community organizing, including grants for training, can be found here.

Resources for Church Leaders:

This series of pamphlets from ACTA Publications, a publisher of community organizing resources, is especially helpful for training congregational leaders:
Effective Organizing for Congregational Renewal” by Michael Gecan
Reflecting with Scripture on Community Organizing,” by Jeffrey K. Krehbiel
“The Power of Relational Action,” by Ed Chambers

Narratives on Broad-Based Organizing:

A Community Organizer’s Tale: People and Power in San Francisco, Mike Miller, Heyday books, 2009 A personal narrative by a veteran organizer.
Blessed Are the Organized: Grassroots Democracy in America,Jeffrey Stout, 2010 A compelling narrative on the impact of broad-based organizing on American democratic life, focusing on the work of the IAF in the southwestern United States.
Going Public: An Organizer’s Guide to Citizen Action, Mike Gecan, 2004 The best beginning book on the principals and practices of community organizing.  Filled with anecdotes particularly of organizing in New York City.
Stoking the Fire of Democracy: Our Generation’s Introduction to Grassroots Organizing, Stephen N. Smith, 2009 An honest memoir of a young adult’s journey into community organizing along with guidance for organizing.  

Narratives on Congregations Involved in Community Organizing:

Breathing Space: A Spiritual Journey in the South Bronx, Heidi Neumark, 2003 A stellar memoire and book on pastoral-ministry-as-organizing.  Should be required reading for American seminarians.
Upon This Rock. The Miracles of a Black Church, Samuel G. Freedman, 1994 An admiring biography of the Rev. Johnny Ray Youngblood and the St. Paul’s Community Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York.  Good introduction to a church powerfully grounded in its African heritage.  

Books on Organizing Principles, Theory and Theology:

Building a People of Power: Equipping Churches to Transform Their Communities, Robert C. Linthicum, Authentic, 2005. An exploration of organizing principles and strategies from the evangelical tradition.
Doing Justice: Congregations and Community Organizing, Dennis Jacobsen, Fortress Press, 2001 An introduction to the theology of congregation-based community organizing.
Roots for Radicals: Organizing for Power, Action, and Justice,  Ed Chambers, 2003. Summarizes the theories of community organizing in the modern IAF (Industrial Areas Foundation).
Yours The Power: Faith-Based Organizing in the USA, Katie Day, Esther McIntosh, William Storrar, ed. 2013. Critical essays on the current field of faith-based organizing from academics, theologians, and practitioners.  

Books by and about Saul Alinsky, the pioneer of modern community organizing:

Radical: A Portrait of Saul Alinsky by Nicholas Von Hoffman, Nations Books, 2010
Rules for Radicals, by Saul Alinsky, Vintage Books, 1989, 1971 First Published
Reveille for Radicals, by Saul Alinsky, Vintage Books 1989, 1946 First Published

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