A major in Community Organization and Advocacy will allow you to make critical social changes in communities to improve the lives of thousands of residents. Studying current trends in social change, history of labor movements, and community development, will prepare you to organize neighborhoods for social action. You will graduate with the ability to develop and implement a diverse set of strategies to challenge and change the current community social system and the lives of its residents.
Coursework focuses on the theories and the practice of providing services that champion the rights of the community. Many of the classes will focus on communication, such as: communication and social movement, political campaign communication, health campaign communication, American political culture and communication, and communication and social movements.
It has been said that community organizing is a tool used in culture to rectify the imbalances between the powerful and the powerless. A person who majors in Community Organization and Advocacy should have a strong sense of justice and parity. You should value citizen empowerment, have a passion for bringing social change to a community, and enjoy keeping up with current events.
Before you can make any changes, you must able to accurately assess the problems of the community. This requires the ability to collect and interpret data. Effective public relations and media communication skills are essential, as you will rally people to join social change endeavors. Since these changes often take time and have lots of barriers to overcome, a person who works in this field must be able to have long-term vision and think strategically to solve problems. In addition, you should a basic knowledge of the legislative process and the ability to fundraise.
Typically, an organizer job is focused around a specific problem or issue, such as education, health care, or welfare reform. Community organizing and advocacy encompasses a number of jobs, all of which revolve around solving problems for the greater good of the community. You may work as a social worker, volunteer coordinator, communications coordinator, program implementation leader, special problems director, director of events, or director of programming.
Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Community Organization & Advocacy might open up.