Community Organizing 101

LEARNING AREA: Community Organizing and Planning
MKI Training


6 hours




Community Organizing 101: People, Power and Change is a hands-on workshop on the art of mobilizing people to build their power, achieve shared goals and take greater control of their lives. In this training, we will cover the foundational approaches of building relationships; identifying problems and stakeholders; analyzing root causes including racial, class and other systemic injustice; and nurturing community leadership and solidarity. We will explore these methods through small and large group discussion, interactive exercises, and case studies. This training is intended for staff members and community leaders who have little to no experience in community engagement and organizing.

About the instructors: A Boston native, Sarah Horsley has supported community efforts for social and economic justice locally and nationally for over two decades.  Sarah has mobilized community leaders to organize campaigns on reproductive justice, affordable housing, tenants' rights and COVID safety in schools.  She offers training, coaching and consulting to organizers and nonprofits.  

Sarah stands in solidarity with low-income residents and residents of color who are fighting to remain housed and healthy in Boston.  She was an Advisory Group member for the City of Boston’s Plan JP Rox process and serves on the board of the Boston Tenant Coalition and on the JP Neighborhood Council’s Housing & Development Committee.  In 2021, she co-founded BPS Families for COVID Safety, mobilizing with other families for equitable COVID protections in the Boston Public Schools.

Sarah also teaches in the sociology department at UMass Boston and is the proud parent of a BPS elementary student.  She received a master's in public policy from Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor’s degree in Feminist Studies from Stanford University.

Melinda Vega is a 33-year-old Latina and a lifelong resident of Chelsea MA. Melinda is a mother of two, Chelsea City Councilor for District 2, and an independent consultant, offering training, coaching and consulting to community based nonprofits in the Greater Boston area.
Melinda has worked in multiple organizations where she has followed her passion for social and environmental justice, youth empowerment, and undoing racism. As the Community Engagement Coordinator at the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, she coordinated the Youth Organizers program, supporting young people to be change-makers in their community. She worked to empower East Boston community members by developing leadership skills and ensuring they are part of the decision-making process on issues affecting them, ultimately creating a better quality of life for themselves, their families, and the East Boston community as a whole. Melinda has also served as an elected School Committee Member for the City of Chelsea.

Any questions, please contact the MKI Program Coordinator at

Registration deadline

Registration fee

Regular $120, MACDC Member $85, Student/AmeriCorps/Intern $50