Blueprints for Change: New focus in 22
When we launched Blueprints For Change in 2018, we built a network for knowledge-sharing in support of justice-oriented struggles around the world, driven by the energy and dedication of our volunteer helpers, all campaigners and organizers themselves.
Motivated by the goal of advancing progressive campaigns and movements everywhere, our helper crew searched far and wide to find great case studies and then pooled their insights and field experiences together to create detailed how-to guides and eventually, a complete campaigning+organizing manual. All of this required countless hours of focus and coordination to generate the detailed materials you can now access freely on the site.
But sadly, as with many volunteer organizing networks, these last two years under COVID have knocked us flat and we have to admit that it’s been pretty quiet on our internal slack for some time 🦗🦗🦗.
It hasn’t all been gloomy for us though! A bunch of BFC helpers have gone on to work on cool new projects that support grassroots organizers. When we compared notes together, we realized that many of our grassroots groups are facing similar challenges, wherever they are across the world.
This has led some of us to want to revive the BFC network and give it a particular focus on serving the needs of grassroots organizing groups by pooling our knowledge and the solutions we have come up with to support them, each in our own neck of the woods.
You’ll find a full writeup of the thinking behind this new direction below. If you are interested in joining this inner network of folks swapping tips on how to best support grassroots groups at BFC, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us in a few words about the grassroots groups you are organizing with (or supporting) currently.
For those who have enjoyed our ‘how-to’ guides and our Manual, they are not going to disappear! We’ll keep them up free for sharing and may even produce new ones if we get enough volunteer energy together.
Context for new BFC focus:
Over the last couple of years, a few of us helpers have started working on projects where we are in touch with lots of grassroots groups organizing around social and climate justice. Our direct contact with these groups regularly surfaces challenges that are specific to the dynamics of grassroots organizing. Answers to local group questions are sometimes hard to answer locally.
Some of us have also talked about establishing a knowledge-sharing channel between global groups who are supporting grassroots organizers. This idea is exciting to a good number of global support projects already, including the Climate Justice Organizing HUB, the Sunrise Project’s Global Hubs program, Tipping Point Australia and Climate2025 but surely there are others!
- We will adapt the BFC network and existing infrastructure to create a ‘community of practice’ that links key ppl in projects supporting grassroots groups around the world, be they in the global north, south, west or east
- We plan to open our BFC Slack, or at least one channel within it, to representatives of global grassroots support networks that want to exchange on these challenges
- We will use this community to share frequently-arising questions and challenges that grassroots groups in each of our geographical areas, are facing
- We will publish these challenges publicly (without naming group names) and share them with the larger BFC campaigner-organizer community. For ex., when possible, we frame the challenges we hear as ‘questions’ and publish them on the BFC Q+A channel
- That members of the network are encouraged to share resource and training materials that address stated challenges with each other and the larger BFC community
- And none of the above stands in the way of future guides being created in the way that we always did, provided there is energy to do so
Thanks for coming along with us so far and we hope you’ll stick around to see what we come up with soon!
Tom, on behalf of the Blueprints for Change Helper team.