In far too many organizational meetings, equal speaking opportunity seldom results in equal say. Factors such as race, class, and personal history too often inhibit open dialogue within and among groups, which can lead to a sense of disenfranchisement within the organization, and subsequently, disillusionment with the movement.
Collective Visioning is the first visioning method to address these hurdles in the organizing process and to fully enable members to share their opinions without hesitation. Linda Stout uses her background and her own personal experience of marginalization within the organizing community to show how trainers can be more mindful of the diversity of their members as they strive toward a common goal.
The book features a clear, actionable, step-by-step process to set up and create a welcoming space for activist leaders to collaborate for positive change. Stout details ways in which trainers should reach out to different groups, listen to and understand needs and concerns of the group, create a welcoming space for all voices, foster agreements, ensure the visibility of all members.
Linda Stout grew up in North Carolina, daughter of a "mill-town girl" and a tenant farmer, later a mill worker. She was a 13th generation Quaker who grew up inspired by the Quakers' tradition of speaking up for their beliefs. She started the Piedmont Peace Project (PPP) in North Carolina in 1984. Winner of the National Grassroots Peace Award, she helped build the PPP into one of the strongest multi-racial, multi-issue low-income organizations in the state. After 10 years at PPP, she moved on in search of how to build power and do movement building at the national level. She moved to Massachusetts and directed a foundation, the Peace Development Fund, before starting a new organization, Spirit in Action, where she is now the director.