Our curriculum prioritizes teaching you how to:

  • Tell your story to persuade and motivate others
  • Recruit and retain volunteers
  • Structure your team of leaders for growth
  • Strategize and choose tactics that build power and move decision makers
  • Fundraise, go viral on social media, and more!

This model comes from Marshall Ganz, a Harvard professor who codified much of this relationship-building organizational framework after years of organizing with and researching social movements. He began organizing with the Civil Rights movement, worked with the United Farm Workers in the 1960s and 70s, and advised many unions, non-profits, and political organizations for decades. He was a key trainer and organizing strategist behind the Obama U.S. presidential campaigns of 2008 and 2012.

It was during the Obama campaigns that Ganz and literally millions of fellow organizers built on best practices and techniques of community organizing. Ganz codified these practices based on past movements, and the training programme he developed was critical to Obama’s victory in the 2008 election. Our lead trainers have taken Professor Ganz’s course and continue working with him to continually improve how we teach the curriculum.

Our 5 Key Practices 

Community organizing is all about people, power, and change – it starts with people and relationships, is focused on shifting power, and aims to create lasting change.

Organizing people to build the power to make change is based on the mastery of five key leadership practices:

The Institute for Change Leaders is brought to you by the Faculty of Community Services at Ryerson University
and the generous support of USW, UNIFOR, CUPE and Birchhill Equity.

  • Ryerson University
  • USW
  • Unifor
  • CUPE