This episode discusses why and how listening is the beginning point of democratic organizing and the role of the one-to-one or relational meeting in that work. The first part is a discussion with Lina Jamoul about what is a one to one, what it involves, and how it differs from other ways of engaging with people in democratic politics. In the second part I talk to Arnie Graf to reflect further on some of the tensions and issues that arise in doing one-to-one’s.
Lina Jamoul is Executive Director of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees. Arnie Graf began organizing work as part of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and then went on to work with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) for over forty years. More recently he worked with the British Labour Party to develop the insights of organizing for local party politics in the UK. Arnie recently published a book narrating all this work entitled: "Lessons Learned: Stories from a Lifetime of Organizing" (ACTA, 2020).
Resources for Going Deeper:
Edward Chambers with Michael Cowan, "The Relational Meeting," Roots for Radicals: Organizing for Power, Action, and Justice (New York: Continuum, 2004), Chapter 2;
Jeffrey Stout, “Face-to-Face Meetings,” Blessed are the Organized: Grassroots Democracy in America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010), Chapter 12.