How We Organize

Cycle of Organizing

Issues, actions, and leaders in West and Southwest IAF affiliates emerge out of a cycle of organizing. This process begins at the local institutional level, as a "core team" of leaders conducts relational meetings and house meetings.

Relational meetings, or one-on-one conversations, provide an opportunity for two people to share their stories and interests as a way to build a public relationship. House meetings provide a similar opportunity for small groups.

Through these conversations, leaders begin to understand, value, and effectively tell their own stories and learn to elicit stories from others.

As these conversations reveal the issues that people care about most, organizers train leaders in how to conduct research actions - meetings to research potential issues and find out who can effectively address those issues. In public actions leaders raise issues with those public officials accountable for actions that will address those issues.

Reflection and evaluation are primary tools throughout the organizing process. After every relational meeting, house meeting, research action, and public action, leaders reflect on what they learned and evaluate their work thus far.

Throughout all of this, there is ongoing training in the local organization, in 3- or 5-day in-state and regional training sessions and seminars and in IAF National Training.