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OFA summer fellows take the reins

As community organizers, we know that real change starts at the local level. It starts small, with one concerned neighbor, and—if done right, with care, passion, and inclusion—grows slowly into a movement, one person and one conversation, at time.

But building a movement isn't easy—it takes dedication, resources, and the right set of skills. That's why I'm so excited to announce that last Friday, a whole new set of organizers from around the country graduated from OFA's Summer Fellowship Program, which focuses on community engagement.

Over the course of six weeks, enthusiastic new fellows learned the ins and outs of becoming effective community organizers. Starting with basics like sharing personal stories and advancing to more complex projects like hosting effective local advocacy events, these new change-makers took a big next step in addressing some of the real issues affecting their communities.

To help guide the fellows, veteran OFA chapter leaders trained to become their volunteer managers. Equipped with the right tools, resources, and experience, these fellows managers passed on their knowledge to the next generation of community leaders and became responsible for building, training, and mentoring these new teams of organizers in their region.

Each week, fellows learned some of the fundamental skills necessary to organize one of three types of community engagement events in their hometowns: film screenings, speakers series, and community service projects. These events provided fellows with an opportunity to engage and bring together new people in their area who share a similar concern about an issue, but may not not know what to do or how to take action.

For both the event organizers and their newly engaged neighbors, these are big steps toward raising awareness, building coalitions, and addressing important community issues.

Check out highlights from some of the amazing events hosted by the graduating fellows across the country. And be sure look out for more fellows events by following along with #OFAFellows on Twitter or by joining Connect!

These amazing fellows are the future of the progressive movement and the incredible work they're doing is sowing the seeds of change for future generations. Invest in this movement and community organizing—chip in today.

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