For over a dozen years the Organizers’ Forum has convened a variety of dialogues both domestically and internationally about subjects and places that engage organizers and their organizations. In its early years the domestic dialogues held in the United States looked at subjects as diverse as tactical developments, the art and science of electoral campaigns, development of communications strategies, and corporate campaigns. The first international dialogue for the Organizers’ Forum was in Brazil in 2002 and every year subsequently the forum has visited additional countries with delegations ranging from 10 to 25 organizers. In addition to Brazil, the Forum has now visited India, South Africa, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, Bolivia, Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam, and Australia with a trip scheduled in 2013 for Myanmar.
Social Policy is a quarterly for a diverse audience of audience of academics, activists, scholars, and organizers around the world. For over 43 years, Social Policy has been published continuously. Wade Rathke has been publisher and editor-in-chief for more than a decade, taking over from Mike Miller of the Organize Training Center in San Francisco with the LNRTC housing the magazine since 2008. The primary support of the magazine comes from the over 500 libraries in cities, countries, universities, and colleges around the world in addition to thousands of individual subscribers via the mail and on-line.
To increase education and scholarship in this area, we developed the Social Policy Press as an offshoot of the magazine. We first published Tales from the Field: Case Studies of Rural Organizing by Joe and Kristin Szakos in 2010. Subsequently, we have published Global Grassroots: Perspectives on International Organizing in the spring 2011, edited by Wade Rathke, and The Battle for the Ninth Ward: ACORN, Rebuilding New Orleans, and the Lessons of Disaster by Wade Rathke on the 6th anniversary of the hurricane in August 2011. We expect to publish Nuts and Bolts: The ACORN Way of Organizing by Wade Rathke in January 2014.
H.L. Mitchell Scholarship and Internship Program
H. L. Mitchell was one of the founders and the chief organizer of the historic Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union beginning in Tyronza, Arknasas in July 1934 as a union of sharecroppers and tenant farmers. After several strikes for higher wages in Arkansas and Missouri the organization was a precursor of modern agricultural unionization in the 20th century. After Mitchell died in 1989 at 83, some of his friends, family, and associates created a scholarship fund in his name for activists and organizers in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Arkansas where he had worked with the STFU. The fund transferred from the Arkansas State University to LNRTC in 2009 and subsequently working with Samuel Mitchell, H.L.’s son, has developed a summer internship program in his name. In 2012 a Memphis University graduate student worked on a program to save Foote Homes and develop organization along the Vance Avenue corridor in Memphis. In 2013, the intern started working with KABF/FM noncommercial radio is preparing a radio documentary on the history of the STFU.
Media and Assistance to NonCommercial Radio through Partnership with AM/FM
By action of the LNRTC board in 2013 entered a partnership with another 501c3 organization, the Affiliated Media Foundation Movement (AM/FM) to assist in the development of full and support of full, low power, and internet radio as voices for low-and-moderate income families and their communities both in North America and internationally. In our initial joint project we have been supporting the reorganization and sustainability of the Arkansas Broadcasting Foundation as the licensee for KABF/FM 88.3 on the dial with 100,000 watts of power primarily throughout central Arkansas. We have facilitated a line-of-credit and the hiring of an assistant station manager in the reorganization of the station. We are also working with AM/FM to develop an application for a low power station in New Orleans, Louisiana through an application to the FCC in October 2013, and an internet radio station that could broadcast worldwide while using content produced with AM/FM in Little Rock and New Orleans.
Assistance to Requests for Advice and Support of Labor Neighbor Initiatives
By the nature of our mission LNRTC also facilitates requests for assistance in building and developing organization around the world. In 2013, for example, support was provided to EPTAG, the Edinburgh Private Tenant Action Group in Scotland, and the AKORN Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Mental Health Consumer Action Network or MCAN was founded by Gregory Fitch In 2016 in order to improve the lives of the mentally ill through his own personal issues with mental health.
MCAN is grassroots