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Archive: Lenneal Henderson

Community Organizing Drive: New Wave or New Fad?

Lenneal Henderson / Apr 16 2009

For Release Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lenneal HendersonProvided an historic boost by Barack Obama’s election, community organizing is enjoying a field day of new respect and popularity across America.

One signal: a big weave of new interest in the colleges. Enrollment has more than doubled in a year for his course on community organizing at Occidental college in Los Angeles, reports academician-writer Peter Dreier for Talking Points Memo CafĂ©. His students’ motivation?– “to make society more humane, fair, and environmentally sustainable.”

More and more students are moving out into real world community organizing jobs, even at miserably low pay–inspired, writes Sally Rimer in the New York Times, by the model of President Obama’s personal experience as an organizer on the streets of Chicago.

USA Today labels the new trend, “Millennials a Force for Change.” With jobs scarce and money tight, it notes, undergraduate and graduate students are volunteering as volunteers in causes ranging from HIV/AIDs prevention to recovery from Hurricane Katrina, from a variety of “green” causes to Habitat for Humanity. AmericaCorps applications increased by more than 20,000 from 2007 to 2008 and are expected to increase another 15-20,000 in 2009. Read More »