GEA’s methods of community broad-based organizing are all about developing and building relationships among diverse everyday leaders across our member organizations, and uniting them to act powerfully together for the change we want.
We emphasize in-person face-to-face meetings, in order to build relationships that create the capacity in a community for leadership development, citizen-led action and strong relationships across the lines that often divide our communities.
We act on big problems by breaking them down into issues that are concrete and winnable. We listen to the personal stories of our members, identifying common issues to act on. We find leaders with the appetite and energy to lead effective campaigns for change.
There are lots of community groups out there. What characteristics set GEA apart?
Working with GEA, our volunteer leaders experience and gain:
- A proven, disciplined method on how to take effective action on their problems and values.
- A set of tried and tested skills and practices to be effective civic leaders (e.g. creating testimony for public hearings, conducting a power analysis, developing campaigns, etc.).
- Confidence from receiving mentorship and support when practicing these skills in public settings.
- Leading successful campaigns in solidarity with others.
The Edmonton community gains:
- Positive changes on community issues, improving quality of life for everyone.
- A variety of diverse voices lifted from our broad-based alliance coming together over issues they have in common.
- Strengthened democracy through developed everyday leaders participating in civic life.
- A stronger community fabric through re-invigorated member organizations.
Our Unique Strengths:
- The specific IAF organizing methodology developed over 75 years, providing a blueprint in how to build everyday leaders for community action.
- The ability to reliably turn out a large number of people to public events and actions due to our relational organizing model.
- A lasting coalition built on reciprocity, connecting our organizations for the long-term and spanning different issues.
- Our campaigns are led entirely by our volunteer leaders - everything from research to action planning. This allows GEA to have a small staff and a big impact.
- GEA campaigns are discerned from issues our members are experiencing in their own lives. This bottom-up approach leaves leaders energized to create changes that affect their families and communities.