Community mobilization starts with communities. Some communities you are a member of yourself, and others you work in solidarity with, to support their interests and desires. All of us are a part of many different communities, and have relationships to other communities because of who we are, what we do, and our choices and practices.

You can think of communities as formed by something shared. Some communities have a shared space, such as a neighbourhood, a town, a city, or even a country. Other communities have a shared experience, which often means a shared identity, such as race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or parenthood. And still other communities have a shared interest, either in the sense of all benefitting from the same thing, or all being interested in the same thing. A community that is organized around any of these shared things can come together to work together to accomplish something, whether or not it is related to the thing they share.

In this video, Oliva Tran, who helped organize a group called Roofs for Refugees in Ottawa, talks about the different communities and identities she has, and how they have changed and developed over her life.


In your e-Portfolio, answer the following questions:

  • What are some of the communities you are a part of? What do those communities share that helps to define them?
  • What communities are you ‘on the border of,’ as Olivia talks about? Are there communities that you think of yourself as a ally of?
  • Which communities might you want to work with to do a mobilization? Why that community