Thursday, October 05, 2006


Strategically Speaking

Strategy is a word that we hear a lot about in social justice movements. In TCASK we have developed a strategic plan to reach our goal of a moratorium on executions by 2008. But what is strategy really and what does it all mean?

When we talk about strategy, I think we can get very confused, because it's a word that we hear so frequently in so many different contexts. In the world of social justice activism, strategy means the method of achieving a public policy goal - a distinct change to the status quo that would not occur without your efforts. When we form a strategy, we have people that are against us and we have targets that can give us what we want. We deliver messages to our targets through the use of various tactics (a sit-in, petition drive, media campaign, etc.)

But that's not what I came to write about.

I came to write about gaining the skills to do good strategic planning. See tonight, I'm going to be doing a workshop on strategic planning for the Leadership Institute over at the Nashville Peace and Justice Center. Two days ago, the Nashville TCASK Chapter did an internal assessment of the chapter to move toward an official TCASK Strategic Planning Training Session for the November meeting. At that meeting, we will not only go through the process of forming a strategic plan, but we will actually develop a strategy for the chapter over the next 6-12 months. Our activists get a chance to not only build their skill sets but also to move our chapter forward in an effective and strategic manner.

Now on Tuesday, 10 stalwart TCASK activists came together to do a true assessment of the resources and gaps of the Nashville Chapter - you can't know where you are going until you know where you're starting from - and now they'll be ready, next month, to make a plan building on those resources and filling in those gaps.

Eventually, we hope to do this training in all of our chapters, building a better understanding of the strategic planning process and getting a better sense of how each chapter's work plugs into the statewide strategic plan. And we're happy to do this, or any other TCASK training, with any of our chapters or proto-chapters around the state, just like I'm thrilled to get to do an altered version with the Leadership Institute tonight. What we don't lack, in social justice movements, is passion. But passion is only one of the ingredients necessary for a successful campaign. We still need to find the best and most effective way to channel that passion to achieve success. We need some strategy!
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