From the Motor City to the UP, We the People in Michigan value hard work, respect and community. Our hands have built things that changed the world, reached out to our neighbors in need and formed an iron fist to fight for what was right--even when it was not easy. Michigan built the American middle class where people earned enough to buy what we made.
Today, many working families across our state are struggling. We lack access to jobs with decent wages and benefits. We worry about having an adequate education and healthcare system for our families. And some of us can’t even get safe, clean, affordable drinking water.
We all deserve a decent life, and that means that We the People must come together so our families and communities can thrive. But for too long powerful elites have pit us against each other while they hijack our government, our economy, and access to the water, land and air on which we all depend. They push us to point the finger at one another because of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other differences, and laugh all the way to the bank. But we know that our fate is linked.
We the People embrace our shared belonging and demand that our government ensure prosperity for everyone, not just the wealthy few. Together, we stand for a society with equality, justice, and dignity for all.
What we do:
We The People is a project working to bring together a diverse set of communities from across Michigan to build a proactive vision of what we want our state to look like for our families and communities.
We are working with organizations and community leaders across the state to lead community organizing workshops, hold listening sessions, townhall meetings and political education workshops, and bring a diverse set of communities together to design a people’s agenda that recognizes our shared fate and unites our communities in common cause.
Hear Our Voice
Community Organizing Workshops:
We believe that organizing is a craft. In order to build sufficient power to create change in our communities, we must approach the work of creating change with both a learning mentality and a disciplined approach. We The People will lead a series of community organizing workshops based on an approach utilizing five basic organizing leadership practices that draw upon a rich history of community organizing, social movements, and campaigns. This framework is taught at the Harvard Kennedy School by Dr. Marshall Ganz, a celebrated civil rights organizer, and has been adapted in cultures and contexts launching grassroots efforts around the world.
Participants will be intentionally recruited in small groups of 5-7 people where they will learn together over 2.5-days and explore possible campaigns within their own organization, community or cause. Each participant will learn the following five practices with the goal of returning home to apply their learnings:
How to articulate a story of why you were called to lead, a story of those whom you hope to mobilize, and a story of action:
self, us, and now.
How to build intentional relationships as the foundation of purposeful collective actions.
How to structure a team with shared purpose, ground rules and roles for effective leadership.
How to strategize turning resources into the power to achieve clear goals.
How to translate strategy into measurable, motivational, and effective action.
Organizing workshops across the state are happening in the following communities:
- Marquette - December 2017
- Detroit - December 2017
- Gaylord - April 2018
- Kalamazoo - June 2018
- Southeast Michigan - June 2018
Participants in the community organizing workshops will be asked to participate in a broader process, collaborating with other communities, organizations, and causes to host We The People townhall meetings across the state to listen to our communities, engage in political education, and begin bringing people together across divides to build a unified agenda.
Art by Ernesto Yerena