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Beyond Sweat Equity- April 16th

posted 11 Apr 2013, 13:15 by Tom Hughes
Beyond sweat equity: Community organising against the “Third Way”

a talk by Heather Watkins

Tuesday April 16th, 6.30pm at TRACs neighbourhood centre, 60 Sneinton Hollows NG2 4AA- on Hermitage Square 

Free entry, but please email tom@sneinton-alchemy.com to ensure you get in, as space is limited.

Heather writes:

"Between 2009 and 2012, I undertook a PhD at the University of Nottingham which attempted to examine what it meant for community organizers and activists to operate in a political environment which ranged from the end of Labour’s New Deal for Communities, through a revival of localism and social entrepreneurialism, and into an era of financial contraction, public spending cutbacks, and “Big Society.”  

Three community action groups in the East Midlands allowed me to work with them to examine what this meant for people working at the “grassroots”: one of these was Sneinton Alchemy.  

Along the way, they helped me to identify some of the key questions and challenges for community organizers: 
•What is a community?  What gives them their special motivation to work together?
•What does it mean to participate?  Does it put you under pressure to change who you are, and what you are trying to do?  
•Is there a difference between building solidarity, and networking?
•Can you harmonise building enduring shared interests with competitive behavior?
•Can you find a way to work with the local state and market, and still keep what makes you “different”?•What is “good sense” and is any of this “political”? "

In this short presentation, I will outline some possible answers to these questions, identify the key pressures which present challenges to community organizers working with the local state, and draw some conclusions about the qualities which give local community action its power and potential."
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