Our steering committee formed in the fall of 2009, so that active ENGAGE members can shape network-wide strategy together and support each others work. The SC is made up of representatives from working groups and bases within our network. Collectively they are working on organizing internships, exchanges, and trainings.
ENGAGE working groups are issue-based and decentralized. They facilitate ongoing research and information-sharing on specific topics, organize network-wide projects and campaigns (informed by the work of local bases), and coordinate efforts to plan trainings for the network. (i.e., organizing an anti-oppression training, or planning a workshop on using the human rights framework, etc)
ENGAGE bases are hubs of place-based and community-based education for action. ENGAGE organizers involved in base-building work are creating models of experiential learning and critical pedagogy where they live. ENGAGE bases support local community organizing by working to bridge social divides and build new relationships, generate shared analysis, and link the local to the global, the little picture to the big.
Bases are inherently multi-issue and committed to a collective learning process involving diverse community members. At their root, ENGAGE bases are working to build meaningful relationships with people directly affected by issues they are organizing around. Bases might be involved with a variety of specific projects and campaigns, but are not defined by those.
Groups that make the decision to affiliate with ENGAGE as a base do so for the sake of strategy. ENGAGE, as a national and international network, provides a mechanism to collaborate with other bases and integrate into larger movements. Though bases are geographically rooted in a place, participation on the ENGAGE Steering Committee facilitates linking the local to the national and international. When used with deliberate intentions, this mechanism can help create sustainable and innovative ally and solidarity work.