Strategic Practice for Social Movements
At the Grassroots Policy Project (GPP), we have spent over 18 years developing and refining concepts and tools for strategy development. More recently, our focus has been on how groups operate within a long-term social change strategy. Strategic practice is about how long-term goals show up in an organization’s day-to-day work, or how long-term strategy actually impacts what an organization does, so that they are orienting short-term efforts with longer-term transformational goals.
In Focus: Crafting a Long-term Agenda
GPP has been partnering with National People's Action on their strategic inquiry process, which includes a focus on developing a long-term agenda. The long-term agenda helps provide a compass for orienting their immediate and mid-range work around a strategy to shift power in our society. It becomes a vehicle for tying various campaigns together – campaigns are no longer ends to themselves but together they are a strategy for advancing a long-term agenda and any one campaign can advance multiple pathways. The long-term agenda helps us shape decisions about the campaigns we run in the short term and also develop medium-term (eg 5 year) campaigns that move us in the direction we have charted.
We have just completed a case history of the strategic inquiry process.
Cell Blocks and Border Stops. We are partnering with the Center on Race, Religion and Economic Democracy at the Union Theological Seminary on a series of inquiries around the roots of the twin crises of mass incarceration and mass deportations. As part of this ongoing inquiry, the Center and the Institute for Pragmatic Practice, at the Alliance for a Just Society are co-hosting a conference: Cell Blocks and Border Stops, being held at Union on October 17-19.
On the Commons. Dave Mann is featured in the Commons Magazine. In an interview with Jessica Conrad, Dave talks about the power of the Commons as a framework for rethinking our relationships to each other and to the world around us, with the potential to transform our political economy.
Our writings on strategic practice: