617 Forum: Online & Offline Community Organizing
My Role: Co-founder
On November 9, 2016, my former roommate Julia Robinson and I sat at our favorite neighborhood cafe in disbelief and talked about wanting to do something after the shocking election events of the night before. Both with a background in activism and community engagement, we were eager to create a space where our friends and community could come together to encourage each other in actively supporting various issues and protecting our rights and the planet. That's how 617 Forum got started, an online community hosted on Facebook groups, and an offline meet up held at our home.
On our first gathering, we welcomed friends who wanted to get more educated and involved following the election. We discussed how we can all — individually and collectively — contribute our time, expertise, and money to move this country forward for the benefit of all. Because we believe that sustained action is necessary for positive change, we've held gatherings about once a month since then.
The Facebook group is meant to help us share actions, articles, and ideas, and to continue to hold each other accountable for engagement and active participation in our communities and political processes. During our in-person meetings, we make commitments to drive progress on our goals and share updates and resources via the Facebook group:
- Civic engagement: Building and participating in a community of engaged citizens that seek to be allies for marginalized people and the planet.
- Policy engagement: Protesting and stopping legislation and other policies over next 4 years that harm people and the planet or threaten democracy and our constitution.
- Political engagement: Taking back the House, Senate, and presidency in 2 and 4 years, and deepening our engagement in local and state politics.
- Popular engagement: Bridging the gap among family, friends, and others with opposite views to build greater understanding and empathy.
Read my first piece on the 617 Forum, highlighting learnings & commitments:
Read my second piece highlighting a few of our learnings about successful community organizing, including: accountability, consistency, and leadership: