Highlander Director Pam McMichael was a guest blogger on USA Service, the official website of the national organizing call to ongoing service issued by President Barack Obama on Martin Luther King Day on the eve of his inauguration.
Pam’s post, “Community Organizing: Balm for Tired Souls,” says in part:
Being a community organizer means being able to hold conflicting sentiments at the same time: grief for the many lives our society has thrown away in the gap between the promise of America and the reality of America; hope for the vision of what our society could be if based on values of fairness, justice and inclusivity; and courage to make that vision real.
For us to transform our communities to ones of equity, opportunity and sustainability, our service to relieve suffering must be connected to organizing to change the systemic conditions that created the suffering.
You can read the rest of Pam’s post here.
6/22/09 – Fixed the link to Pam McMichael’s article.
The new USAService.org website is a fine idea, but it’s missing
solving the real problem. There are already a ton of websites with volunteer opportunities (look at http://www.usaservice.org/page/content/opportunities/ to get a sample of the number of them) – the real problem is that if you wanted to volunteer, you might have to spend a bunch of time searching all those websites, and you’d give up after awhile. That’s the problem that needs to be solved.
If all those websites would share their information with each other, then a search on any one of them would let you find the relevant results from all of them.
This is not far-fetched, this can easily be done using existing standards (similar to RSS). What needs to happen is for a large number of these websites to adopt this model, and cooperate. This idea is *my* answer to the call to service: I’m promoting this idea that we don’t need more websites; we need the websites to share information about service opportunities.