On December 16, 2023, the Day 4 workshops at Square Hall in Waterloo, London, aimed to empower participants in community organising and democratic engagement. The first session, led by Katia Widlak, focused on community organising, where participants learned strategies to initiate and sustain a movement. The session included insights from community organisers actively engaged in the field, with specific case studies such as the ‘Letting Fee Ban Campaign’ and ‘The Bristol Bus Boycott.’ The interaction between Katia and the fellows created a dynamic learning environment, with participants drawing inspiration from historical campaigns and gaining practical tools to engage with others and build a network of supporters.
After a short break, the second workshop of the day, conducted by MRN’s Policy and Strategic Communications Manager, Julia Tinsley-Kent, focused on ‘Democracy and Lobbying (Civil Society).’ This session guided participants on actively participating in the democratic process in the UK, particularly from the perspective of community and voluntary sector organisations. The workshop provided insights into different tactics of campaigning within civil society. The interaction between Julia and the fellows facilitated a rich exchange of ideas, empowering participants with knowledge on leveraging civil society initiatives for effective democratic engagement.
The day’s workshops equipped participants with the skills and understanding needed to organise and engage with the community effectively, along with insights into democratic processes. The study of historical campaigns like the ‘Letting Fee Ban Campaign’ and ‘The Bristol Bus Boycott’ served as valuable examples, illustrating the impact of community organising and advocacy in bringing about significant social change.
Katia Widlak – “Community Organising”
Julia Tinsley-Kent – “Democracy and Lobbying – Civil Society”