Why Community Organizing?

Our vision

Flock of birds
Image: Roger Peet, Justseeds

Bread & Roses Community Fund envisions a Philadelphia region where economic justice, equity, and opportunity are available to all people. Laws and public policy reflect a commitment to economic and racial justice and an end to discrimination on the basis of race, income, class, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

We know that grassroots community organizing is critical to achieving that vision. Community organizing is essential to addressing the root causes of injustice. It is the best strategy for permanently changing the relationship between impacted communities and the governments, corporations, and institutions who traditionally hold power.

Supporting grassroots community organizing allows Bread & Roses to play an important and unique role in movements for change. There aren’t many other funders that fund this kind of work directly. What’s more, all of the decisions about where the money goes are made by members of the communities that are most impacted by oppression and inequity.

We define community organizing as community-led collective action aimed at shifting the balance of power between community members and policy makers and making changes in policies or practices at the institutional or systems level.

In the words of Fredrick Douglass, “Power concedes nothing without a demand.”

Learn more about direct action community organizing or explore examples of community organizing.

Community organizing is effective

In the Philadelphia area and beyond, community organizing has proved itself as a powerful strategy for building power and making change. Explore a selection of community organizing victories (pdf) that Bread & Roses grants have helped make possible since 1970.

Why is Bread & Roses important to Philadelphia?

Watch this video to find out: