At this critical moment in the history of struggles for social justice, we are eager to host dialog and debate about strategic directions for our movements. We offer our summary of ‘elements of strategic practice’ as Exhibit A. Please share your feedback as well as your suggestions. What are you seeing as promising examples? Are things missing from our summary of strategic practice? Do you know of other case studies that we could share here for discussion and debate?

Please add your comments here.



On 24 November 2012:

At a conference co-sponsored by the Haas Center for a Fair and Inclusive Society, Richard Healey presented this essay as part of a forum on developing a progressive, racial justice narrative.


Comment posted on 14 October 2011:

GPP Board member and MRAP co-founder Charlotte Ryan describes ‘strategic practice’ as a paradigm in a forthcoming chapter in a book called Media Interventions. Her chapter, co-written with Karen Jeffreys, Taylor Ellowitz and Jim Ryczek, and titled “I Mattered and It Mattered: The Theory and Practice of Media Interventions,” analyzes a campaign to preserve an affordable housing program in Rhode Island, initiated by the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless. In this chapter, Ryan describes GPP’s paradigm as follows:

"To systematize study of effective interventions, scholar-activists urge that movements codify and refine effective organizing strategies. Calling this effort  “strategic practice” (as a conceptual paradigm) and strategic practices (the plural referring to specific organizational routines), the Grassroots Policy Project identifies several core practices of effective social movements. These can be summarized as: collective articulation of shared worldview; clear decision-making routines; systematic mapping of existing power relations; planning courses of action to maximize movement resources given existing power arrangements (strategy); and collaborative learning to reflect on and refine all of the above (praxis).

Generic strategic practices have parallels in each institutional arena.  GPP argues that that strategic practice both as a paradigm and as a set of organizational routines illuminate how and when movement interventions succeed. Yet research focused on how movement actors plan and execute interventions is infrequent."