What is community mobilization?
People working together for the wellbeing of all.
We use the term community mobilization to mean people working together for the wellbeing of all. This can include mutual aid work, where people work to ensure that everyone’s basic needs are met and that resources are justly shared among members of a community. It can include organizing to make demands and insist on change. It can include building spaces and practices of sharing, collaborating, and healing. When people come together to work on problems that directly affect them, to work in allyship with others, or to build a future that benefits all, that is community mobilizing.
We are inspired by many different histories of community care, collaboration, and change-making in traditions from around the world. You can see many stories of community mobilizers in our learning materials. Some organizations, thinkers, and collectives that inspire us are:
- Dean Spade’s work on mutual aid
- Beautiful Rising’s documentation of movements, tactics, and strategies for change
- FRIDA’s community-based approach to providing financial support for feminist movements
- The First Nations concept of talking circles as a means of equitable and open sharing and learning
- Paulo Freire’s approach to learning for social change. You can read an English translation of his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed here
- The work of all our partners and friends whose tireless mobilizations have uplifted us over the past years
What Does CMIC Do?
CMIC works at the intersection of three challenges:
- How can postsecondary education support social transformation and become radically accessible to learners surviving crises such as ongoing colonial, structural, gender-based, racial, and/or other injustice, involuntary dislocation, and violence?
- How can the development and aid sectors be replaced by decolonial, democratic, non-hierarchical, transnational movements of solidarity in the face of structural injustice?
- How can learning and communications technologies be democratized to bridge distances between learners, support mental wellness, and facilitate social change?
In order to address these challenges, we:
Co-create open educational resources
grounded in relationships with mobilizers worldwide, which can be used by anyone to learn and grow. Our resources are multilingual, diverse, accessible, and available to all. They are licensed with a CC-BY-NC-SA license, which means that they can be republished, used, and transformed by others, as long as they are cited as originating from CMIC, the use is not for profit, and any future publication of them is also freely available for sharing.
Organize educational programs
supporting mobilizers developing their own skills, talents, and mobilizations. CMIC partners have offered one-day trainings, six-to-eight week pilot programs, and semester-long academic classes using the open educational resources and the CMIC approach, involving open pedagogies and collaborative inquiry-based learning. We are working towards facilitating a credit-bearing, university-level certificate program that will offer an accredited credential to Syrian, Palestinian, Lebanese and other learners in Lebanon.
Design a digital open learning platform
that will allow users to search among all open educational resources, select the ones they wish to combine, and make and share custom-made educational programs in community mobilization. This platform is inspired by popular, radical, community, and transformational learning. The circular and non-hierarchical structure is purposeful. Our aim is to make the digital platform fully accessible, multilingual, and usable online or offline. Once it is launched, it will host CMIC resources, but can also be used by others to hold their own open educational resources.
CMIC’s work directly addresses key parts of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, Quality Education, especially:
- 4.3 – By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university
- 4.4 – By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
- 4.5 – By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations
- 4.7 – By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
In addition, mobilizers using the skills learned through the CMIC process have the ability to make meaningful change in the service of many of the SDGs, especially SDGs 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), 5 (Gender Equality), 10 (Reduced Inequalities), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 13 (Climate Action), and 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions).