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Course Description

Explore what turns a group of individuals into an organization or social movement. Consider what structural, social, or psychological barriers inhibit or prevent individuals and groups from getting involved and working together for change. Examine the definition of community mobilization as both an initial and ongoing process central to any community and social change effort that seeks to build support and participation of individuals, groups, and institutions to work towards a common goal or vision. Learn from the theories and methods of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, whose work has guided some of the most successful development and education programs around the globe, including the Orangi Pilot Project in Pakistan, The NAAM movement in Burkina Faso, and the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka, among others.

Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Identify the role of community mobilization in the context of human rights-based approaches to community development.
  • Better outline the causes and psychological affects of poverty oppression.
  • Better communicate with individuals and communities to enhance trust and solidarity.
  • Assist communities to mobilize for collective action and cooperation.

Testimonials from Past Course Participants for Community Mobilization:

“This course has changed my general mentality, how I see life and relate with people around me.”

“Before taking this course, community mobilization sounded at first as mechanical, stopgap and short term. It is perhaps due to the connotation of the word mobilization being utilized every so often for time-bound purposes like mobilizing soldiers and supplies for war, organizing the youth for HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns or any other types of organizing something for a purpose. This course made me realize the combined deeper meaning and the challenges of putting it into practice. Challenges because it involves people’s values, culture, religion and individual feelings. It also requires a long term commitment since transformation of a person (or a group) under the yoke of poverty and oppression takes a long process.”

“I have really enjoyed this class. It has pulled together pedagogy and practice. I have been personally working on ways to bring skills I’ve taught and learned in the classroom into a more mobile setting that can be adapted to diverse and underserved populations and I’m beginning to discover some ways to approach these ideas through what I’ve learned in these classes.

“This course has provided me with significant insights in some of the key aspects of community work. “

“The central theme in this course has been that of personal empowerment and freedom from all forms of oppression. We cannot mobilize a community from an external point of view, or implement sustainable projects without first addressing this key component.”

“I also appreciated the in depth group discussions, and David’s positive encouragement to each of us in the weekly feedback.”

“Wow! Starting with the video. As with last week’s material, my heart is broken. I feel like I live in a bubble without knowledge or understanding of what really exists outside my own world. “

“This Sustainable Community Development program has challenged me to search within myself to answer questions which cause me to reflect upon my role and drive to want to work in the communities.”

“The more I read in this course, the more I am happy to be here and to learn this kind of stuff. There is a whole world out there, I never thought about so deeply.”

“This material is so rich and so dead-on with the work I’m attempting,  I’m just beginning to unpack it.”

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Learn more about the VE/CSU Online Certificate Program