None of us are born with the skills and information that are needed to transform a city like Syracuse. But ACTS offers training and education, to prepare people like you to play a significant social justice leadership role in changing our community.
ACTS is an affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation, a grassroots network of faith-based organizations that works to empower ordinary people to participate effectively in the political, environmental, social and economic decisions affecting the lives of all of us. ACTS' affiliation with Gamaliel provides resources for training events here locally, as well as opportunities for local leaders to attend training events with other social justice leaders from across the nation. These are usually evening or weekend events. Some introduce new leaders to the basic concepts of organizing. Others develop the skills of established leaders to work effectively to promote social justice in our community, skills like outreach, voter registration, power analysis, and recruitment.
In addition to skills, change leaders need information about the existing systems and institutions in our society, in order to understand what changes are needed and what challenges to transformation must be overcome. Here are some of the ways ACTS provides information to its members and the public:
A series of Social Justice Training events have been offered by ACTS leaders, conducted in one member's building for their own and nearby members' people. These events provide both information and skill building to develop grassroots participation and leadership.
Gamaliel trainers visit central New York occasionally, offering training events on organizational skills and techniques. In addition, trained local leaders put on training events in skills that are particularly useful in member congregations and organizations, forming “core groups” and conducting “listening campaigns.” Watch on the ACTS calendar page for announcements about these training events.
As part of the Gamaliel network, ACTS leaders are invited to attend national and regional training events at a reduced cost.
The ACTS Task Forces are are continually researching their areas of concern, collecting general information about the issue, exploring the local situation, and building links with individuals and other groups that might be allies in addressing the problems. At Task Force meetings, you will hear reports on this research and will be invited to delve further to build a fuller base of information on which you and the group can work.
From time to time, leaders of Task Forces may be invited to give presentations to ACTS member congregations and groups about the area of their concern. In this way, the information gathered by the Task Forces is shared more broadly throughout ACTS.
Through press releases, public forums, and its Public Action Assembly, ACTS shares information about Syracuse and its problems with the general public. Both educational and promotional, these events promote change by raising awareness of the issues before us and the causes behind them.
Gamaliel teaches techniques and methodologies that have worked in rural, urban, suburban, white, Black, Hispanic and working-class communities. Leaders in our network work from a plan that consistently brings results and allows them to move quickly from a loose coalition of neighborhood institutions to a powerful force capable of organizing thousands of people to coalesce and prevail on major issues.