EJS Workshop: Community Organizing & Public Relations

Last night Energy Justice Summer hosted a great workshop at Snow Hollow Farm, teaching participants the basics of Community Organizing & Public Relations. EJS Fellow Alex Lotorto led most of the interactive training session, while EJS Fellow Collin Rees pitched in a bit on social media and using digital tools to compliment offline organizing tactics.

Attendees included a local activist working to protect her community from the impacts of natural gas extraction, two young nursing students from a nearby county working to build community awareness of a proposed public park site contaminated by battery waste, and the rest of the EJS Fellows team.

Alex presented on the basics of building power in a community campaign, and everyone discussed how to talk with their neighbors to help them realize why the community should care about the issue at hand. In northeast Pennsylvania people care about their beautiful land, their forests and water, and the people in their community. Finding ways to resonate with those concerns is critical to good organizing work.

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Just as important is actually spreading your message, which is what Alex talked about next. The whole group discussed the basics of attracting media attention to your campaign, and using that media attention strategically to target decision makers and create the change needed to win.

Finally, Collin discussed how Facebook and Twitter can be used to engage community members in your campaign, share info among group members, and pressure elected officials. All in all it was a great night, and a great way to kick off our EJS Workshop series. We’re looking forward to more great workshops, and to seeing what last night’s attendees do with these great new skills!