Request A Facilitator
Request YWCA to facilitate an open organizing meeting in your area by contacting Rebecca Cotto at firstname.lastname@example.org.
YWCA Delaware has established hope to create additional networks that are supportive and defensive of all neighbors regardless of race, religion, sexuality, gender, country of origin, or immigration status. There are two groups currently operating: in New Castle County, DE (ALERT: Allied Local Emergency Response Team) and Montgomery County, PA (LEARN: Local Emergency Action & Response Network). We are looking to hold additional organizing meetings in Kent and Sussex Counties, DE and Chester County, PA soon.
Additionally, we hope to provide virtual consultation to communities throughout the country that need access to our Director of Racial and Social Justice, Rebecca Cotto, an experienced organizer with a replicable guidebook and best practices of how to organize and sustain these networks – regardless of their proximity to our physical locations.
YWCA envisions Local Emergency Response Teams starting, as our first two have, by announcing an open, democratic meeting to discuss the possibility of forming such a network. A skilled facilitator would lead group discussions around the following first questions:
(1) Why are you here? What do you hope to get out of this meeting?
(2) How would you like to see your community build power and come together to support those fearful right now?
(3) What types of actions could an emergency action network do? What type of skills do you or your organization have to contribute to this effort?
(4) When / where should we meet next?
Out of these simple questions, discussions can lead to an empowered room full of neighbors deciding for themselves how to fight for a better world starting in their immediate neighborhoods.
These groups are structured to have autonomy to narrow their focus to the types of hateful acts and the types of targets they feel need to be prioritized, based on the hateful actions they are witnessing or are being reported in their communities. In the beginning, an experienced organizer’s guidance and facilitation is essential to their effectiveness, so that the group stays focused and productive. As meetings continue, the role of the facilitator becomes less and less a leader holding it together as members of the group volunteer and take on responsibilities—deciding what actions to take, a name for the network, a communications strategy, branding, and outreach.
This model is based on the idea of a democratic, united front against hate.