Author: Lisa Goldman

Meet the Mobiliser: Nisreen Haj Ahmad

Meet the Mobiliser

“Originally,” Nisreen Haj Ahmad told MobLab, “I studied to be a lawyer. I thought that was the way to protect human rights. But after working with the Palestinian negotiating team with the Israelis and seeing Israeli settlements expanding while we negotiated, I decided that the law was not the way to pursue human rights.” At Harvard’s Kennedy School, she took Marshall Ganz’s classes, Public Narrative and Community Organizing. “Ganz taught us how to use our personal stories to motivate ourselves and others,” Nisreen explained to MobLab during a Skype conversation. “That’s where I first acquired my perspective on narrative and...

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Meet the Mobiliser: Ekaterina Porras Sivolobova from Project 189

Meet the Mobiliser

Ninety percent of all Kuwaiti households employ a domestic worker, accounting for over 22% of the country’s total employment. Fifty percent of all suicides in Kuwait are committed by domestic workers. It’s a staggering statistic with an enormous human toll. Ekaterina Porras Sivolobova, the founder of Project 189, recently explained to MobLab that about 90 percent of domestic workers in Kuwait are forbidden to leave their employers’ home. The system is failing to enforce the law that mandates a day off per week for foreign workers. Those who leave their employers’ home without permission are legally defined as “runaways”...

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Bringing grassroots community organising to Japan: Meet Kanoko Kamata

Meet the Mobiliser

Japanese lawmakers voted this year to amend the nation’s sex crime law, which had remained unchanged since 1907. For this “Meet the Mobiliser” I spoke with Kanoko Kamata, a leader of the campaign and co-founder of Community Organising Japan. The sex crime law amendment expands the definition of rape, mandates longer minimum sentences for convicted rapists, and removes the requirement that only the victim may press charges. A grassroots campaign inspired by similar efforts around the globe but customised for Japanese cultural sensibilities prompted lawmakers to act. Scale up mobilisation with small workshops. Grassroots community building happens in person–not over email. Marshall Ganz’s five practices...

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Making your own movement: Meet Amber Goodwin

Meet the Mobiliser

When Amber Goodwin realised there were no people of colour in the leadership of the movement to prevent gun violence in the United States, she founded a movement for black people—led by black people. Black people are disproportionately affected by gun violence. I felt I needed to change this, and to change the conversation about gun violence prevention. – Amber Goodwin When organising a community, it is crucial to let the people of that community lead. Look for allies who might not be affected directly by the issue, but who care about it for pragmatic or idealistic reasons. Humility,...

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Coalitions that win & coalitions that fail: What’s the secret?

Insights

Campaigns love coalitions. Why do some coalitions work fabulously and others fail miserably? In Episode 2 of ChangeMakers, host Amanda Tattersall digs into the coalitions behind two campaigns: the Remain campaign that lost the 2016 UK Brexit referendum; and Lock the Gate, a grassroots Australian campaign that battled the fossil fuel industry to stop it from drilling for coal in a small New South Wales town – and won A broad-based coalition seems ideal, but often can weaken the campaign. Finding common ground within the movement is critical for a successful campaign. Britain voted in a June 2016 referendum to...

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