Building Power

Go back to our work.

Building Power

We envision a country in which all people and communities thrive as low-income people of color, immigrants, and women wield power to reshape our democracy and our economy to be just, equitable, and inclusive. Our role in the larger fight for freedom and justice involves fusing different forms of power through organizing, politics, and a new consensus of what is possible.

To achieve our vision of transformational change, we must dramatically rebalance power in the United States. 

Power comes through bold and enduring movements led by directly affected people. Their leadership—both within their communities and in alliances that cross constituencies—is essential if we hope to realize the disruptive and transformational potential of a multi-racial movement. Community Change and our partners are focused on four dimensions of building power:

  • People power through organizing at scale or in innovative ways, including base building and leadership development.
  • Alliance and relationship power, particularly among Black, brown, and Immigrant organizations.
  • Narrative power to shape public narrative and discourse.
  • Governance power to shape institutional decision-making as a legitimate and credible “force to be reckoned with.”

Community Change builds these forms of power through strategies to develop the leadership of people directly affected by injustice, unite grassroots groups in coalitions for collective strategizing, revolutionize the narratives we’re using to talk about our vision for justice, and pioneer new approaches to community organizing.

“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”
Audre Lorde

Our issue campaigns and work with partner groups are opportunities to build grassroots organizational capacity and power. Winning a policy fight, for example, can be one indicator of a partner’s power. We also take an intentional approach to assessing and seeking to replicate power-building strategies, working with our partners to determine and test what it will take to advance a governing agenda with bold, progressive ideas for structural change.

Multi-racial movements are essential to our strategy. Yet these alliances have faced challenges in the past because of racialized attacks from without and the legacy of racialized disinvestment in organizing infrastructure from within. We must counter that paradox by strengthening organizing infrastructure and building long-term power in Black communities, brown communities, and immigrant communities. Of course, neither people nor communities fit neatly within any one demographic box. We recognize people’s lives and communities cut across these lines in many beautiful ways and include lived experience at the intersections.

Black-Led Organizing

Community Change is fighting to repair the damage of centuries of economic assaults on Black communities and to open opportunities for a self-determined quality of life.


Leadership Development

Leadership development is an integral part of community organizing, and Community Change builds the power of movement leaders.


Narrative Change

Community Change seeks to build support for our policy priorities and our communities by shifting deeply ingrained paradigms.


Relational Organizing

Community Change and our partners are bringing the basics of community organizing into civic engagement strategies that are proven to increase participation in our democracy.