Grassroots Community Practice: Applying Alinksy's Rules in the 21st Century

  • Paul Force-Emery Mackie Minnesota State University, Mankato

Abstract

Community organizing is a core knowledge area in which social work educators often lack practical experience. This narrative traces the author's involvement in a grassroots action in his own neighborhood, where single-family homes were being excessively converted into rental units by property developers. By helping to mobilize the homeowners, the author studied how theoretical and practical knowledge from community organizing can be combined to help facilitate social change. Specifically, community organizing techniques proposed by Saul Alinsky were applied to assist the neighborhood in their campaign. As a result, the community gained a greater sense of place within the larger system, the author successfully tested theoretical concepts in a real-world setting and gained confidence as an instructor, and his students made connections between academics and practice.

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General Submissions