The purpose of the ORGANIZE! Training Center (OTC) is to strengthen democracy by supporting strong, participatory, democratic organizations whose principal constituency is people of low- and middle income. OTC is committed to social, environmental, and economic justice for all, to a democracy that is based on the active participation of all its citizens and residents, and to building strong communities based on the ideas of individual responsibility, solidarity, and our interdependence as human beings.
Since “community organizing” is widely used with many meanings, we place our work in what has come to be known as the “Alinsky tradition” and the work done in the Deep South by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (“Snick”). More broadly, we place our work in the tradition of radical democracy as expressed in American history by the industrial labor movement of the 1930s, the early period of the Populists, the Knights of Labor, the Abolitionists and those American revolutionaries for whom independence from Britain and democracy were equally at the core of their philosophy. We root our work in the social and economic justice, and moral teachings of the world's great religions, and the small “d” democratic tradition.
OTC programs elaborate the content of our understanding of “organizing." The focus is on “how to understand and think about organizing”, rather than “how to organize." OTC programs include the provision of consulting, workshop, and training assistance to community, religious, and labor organizations, broader education in the field, internships for individuals who want to deeply explore organizing and who may consider it as a life work, and the initiation of new projects to meet emerging interests and needs.
The purpose of ORGANIZE! Training Center (OTC)
is to strengthen democracy
by supporting strong, participatory, democratic organizations
whose principal constituency
is people of low- to middle-income.
ORGANIZE! Training Center is now in its 45th year of operation as one of a number of centers devoted to community organizing and its underlying democratic values. OTC has worked with local, multi-issue community organizations, a variety of single-constituency (senior, small business, labor, ethnic/racial, women's, disabled, homeowner and others) or single-issue (housing, economic development, job development and training, education, occupational health, planning, environment) organizations, national unions, religious groups, and others.
In its work with local community organizations, OTC has either initiated or provided early consulting, workshop, and training support for efforts in Portland (OR), San Francisco, San Mateo County, Marin County, Fresno, Santa Barbara County, statewide organizations (all CA), Tucson (AZ), Denver (CO), rural Nebraska and Omaha (NE). Assistance has also been provided to groups in Miami (FL), New York City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Cincinnati, and Rhode Island.
In its national work, OTC has consulted with and/or done workshops for the Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church Board for Homeland Ministries, National Conference of Catholic Charities, United Methodist Church Board for Global Ministries, World Vision International and the American Federation of Teachers. It has worked with locals of the Service Employees International Union; Food & Commercial Workers; Hotel, Entertainment & Restaurant Employees; Firefighters; Transportation Workers; American Federation of Teachers; and in California with the State Employees Association and the School Employees Association.
Mike Miller is Executive Director of the ORGANIZE! Training Center, which is nationally recognized for its work in the field, and has almost 60 years of experience in the field of community organizing as a lead organizer, consultant, workshop leader, teacher, writer, trainer, and initiator of new projects. Before founding the ORGANIZE! Training Center in 1972, he was a founding member of SLATE and an SNCC field secretary. In 1967, he directed one of Saul Alinsky's community organizing projects. Mike has published articles on or related to organizing in Christianity & Crisis, Organizing, The Organizer, Social Policy, Socialist Review, Generations, Religion & Race Reports, The Ark, New Conversations, Z Magazine, The Living Pulpit, International Journal of Urban Planning & Research, and The Poverty & Race Research and Action Report. He has also taught community organizing and urban politics at Stanford, University of California, Notre Dame, San Francisco State, Hayward State, and Lone Mountain.
For more information, please see Mike's Resume and History.
Mike Miller has become
known as one of the most experienced
in the nation.