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Congregation-Based Community Organizing

Congregation-Based Community Organizing (CBCO, also called Faith-Based, Broad-Based, or sometimes Institution-Based) is a movement that seeks to establish inter-faith, cross-class, multi-ethnic and multi-racial grassroots organizations for purposes of increasing social integration and power in civil society and for making civic, regional and state-wide changes for social improvement.

New Resources!

Intervalley Project Organizers Workshop at GA 2014 on Dr. Marshall Ganz's: Story of Self, Story of Us, Story of Now--Creating Public Narratives for as an Organizing Tool
Presenters: Sarah Jane Knoy-Granite State (NH) Organizing Project & Ray Gagne-Rhode Island Organizing Project

See and hear Dr. Richard Wood’s presentation at GA 2013: Building Bridges & Power: Advances in Congregation-Based Organizing

Best Practice

People’s Church of Kalamazoo MI—Winner of 2012 Bennett Award for Congregational Social Justice! Ten years ago, after a Sunday Service, a newcomer asked about the People’s Church social action program and a long-time member answered, “Oh, we don’t do that.” Today, the congregation supports a vibrant social justice ministry, from community organizing and community service, to advocacy at the local, state and national level, and an international partnership. A Standing on the Side of Love banner hangs in the sanctuary and the congregation received a Leadership Award from their interfaith community organization (ISAAC) for their role in securing funding from the city and state for early childhood education, as well as bringing a multi-million dollar grant for the Nurse Family Partnership to Kalamazoo. They also lifted up People’s for bringing an anti-racism focus to ISAAC’s ministry and applauded their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy in the community. Fifty people–adults, youth, and children—regularly help prepare and serve meals at an interfaith weekly program for homeless people. What has changed to make the congregation this year’s recipient of the Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA’s) social justice award? Read the full story including the action steps and resources the congregation used to strengthen their justice ministries.

Read more CBCO congregational stories.

Get Started!

  1. Learn more about CBCO.
  2. Find a CBCO affiliate (PDF) near you.
  3. Apply for matching grants for membership dues and training.
  4. Connect with other UU congregations in CBCO.

For more information contact socialjustice @

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, November 5, 2014.

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Audio Recording of GA 2013 Workshop Building Bridges & Power: Advances in Congregation-Based Organizing

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CBCO Ministers Council GA 2013 Plenary Presentation Building Power & Beloved Community by Revs. Neal Anderson and Linda Olson Peebles  

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Rev. Jill McAllister of People's Church in Kalamazoo, MI, 2012 UUA Justice Award winner, at a 2011 ISAAC event
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