Strengthening our Institutions: CTC welcomes the world to London

Community Organising, Events l and tagged , , l



photo(10)The Centre for Theology & Community and Citizens UK were delighted to host an international symposium bringing together community organisers and leaders from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Germany and across the UK. Selina Stone blogs about a wonderful time of learning and action!…

The symposium ‘Strengthening our Institutions: through action for the Common Good’ took place in London from Tuesday 26th – Friday 29th April 2016. Following an initial conference hosted two years ago by the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) in Chicago, leaders and community organisers gathered in London, the city which gave birth to Citizens UK. The purpose of the event was to both deepen relationships across national borders, and to engage with the theory and practice of developing institutions through public action. Attendees also witnessed the largest-ever Citizens UK action, when 6,000 Londoners gathered at the Copper Box on the Olympic Park for the 2016 Mayoral Assembly.


The programme included keynote addresses by Canon Dr Angus Ritchie, Director of CTC and Rev David Brawley, senior pastor of St Paul Community Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York. These presentations considered how churches can build their power and strengthen their congregations both in the UK and USA. Dr Anna Rowlands from Durham University led us in considering the implications of Catholic Social Teaching for political engagement in her paper ‘Building a Church of the Poor: Pope Francis and Community Organising’. Dr Muhammed Abdul Bari from East London Mosque spoke on ‘Faith, Diversity and the Struggle for Justice’.

The Mayoral Assembly was a highlight for many of the leaders who attended the symposium. After an initial briefing by Neil Jameson CBE, Director of Citizens UK, the conference relocated to the Copper Box. The leaders and organiser present for the symposium joined 6,000 Londoners engaging with the two frontrunners in the London Mayoral election. The following day, Amy Vruno, community organiser from the IAF, led an in-depth and insightful evaluation with the symposium as well as Citizens UK staff and organisers.

The partnership between alliances doing community organising around the world is crucial to the development of relationships and for the sharing of best practice. Those who attended the symposium were enriched by opportunities to achieve both of these aims, and are keen to meet again in future. Special thanks goes to Sarah Hutt at CTC whose diligence in logistical arrangements allowed the conference to be a great success for all. For more information about future events please sign up to our mailing list

Leave a Comment


Email* (never published)


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: