Friday, July 15, 2011

The Second Session of Democracy Summer

By Bryan Troupe, Catalyst Miami Communications Intern

The second session of Democracy Summer was a success! Participants discussed a variety of different topics ranging from a neo-liberalism (headed by Jake Coker-Dukowitz) to the dos and don'ts of lobbying (presented by our CEO Daniella Levine). Democracy Summer’s goal is for nonprofit organizers to be able to advocate more efficiently after completing the 8-week program.
There were several group activities that kept the members of the group interested in the opportunity to learn a lot more about each other. One of the activities, aptly named "Six Degrees of Separation", consisted of each individual making a list of things that they liked, and then finding others in the group that liked at least five of those same things.
LaRhonda Odom headed another great activity. This one aimed to show how the wealthiest 10% compared to the bottom 90% of income owners. Ten participants were seated in a line of ten chairs, when suddenly six of those seated were made to stand as their chairs were given to one person - who represented the top 10% of the wealthiest members of society. An observation that many of the group made was that those removed from their seats appeared to have a difficult time organizing themselves in order to get those chairs back that were owned by one person. This seemed to identify with the top 10% of today's most wealthy individuals being given preference in the tax system, while the rest of society are not able to properly organize themselves in order to create a level playing field.
This informative group session ended Week 2 on an incredible and positive note. The following session is titled "Organizing Concepts." Week 3 here we come!

Democracy Summer is a program of Catalyst Miami being offered by our Civic Life Academy through the sponsorship of the Allegany Franciscan Ministries.  

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