“If we don’t have power, all we have is wishful thinking.”
So said Arturo Aguila in his presentation about Border Interfaith and EPISO to BSC volunteers and interested community members. Mr. Aguila is a community organizer with Border Interfaith in the El Paso area.
Mr. Aguila explained that we have two kinds of organized power: Organized money and organized people. When people organize with other individuals and with groups, it creates power they don’t have alone. It pries open the door to the policy- and decision-makers.
In these days of social, economic, and political uncertainty, Mr. Aguila’s presentation at Peace House brought a fresh breath into my spirit. I have a background in group facilitation and mediation, and learning about Border Interfaith’s community organization model – based on stories, consensus, coaching, clear objectives, and mutual accountability – spoke to my beliefs in what supports equal access to power and to self-determination.
Mr. Aguila laid out Border Interfaith’s community organization process clearly and concisely. I admired the research-based, pragmatic approach to how a group leverages its power with policy- and decision-makers in a community.