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MSC is dedicated to transformative movement building. MSC seeks to create a movement ecosystem of deeply connected groups that share values and rely on each other to respond to the needs of impacted communities, advance policy solutions, and transform the lives of people on the frontlines of change.
Founded in 2001 by veteran organizer Taj James, MSC is a national intermediary that works with over 300 partner grassroots organizations, alliances, and networks that operate at local, regional, and national levels. MSC works across sectors, supporting local alliances that bring people in one place together across issues and constituencies, and supporting national alliances that unite groups working on common issues. MSC works within sectors, helping individuals, organizations, and alliances build their capacity to be strategic, collaborative, and sustainable.
MSC centralizes the inclusion and leadership of traditionally marginalized communities in progressive movement building. MSC places the experience and leadership of those most impacted at the center of transformative movement building. Our partners are rural and urban; non-profit 501(c)(3) and (c)(4) organizations; and more. The vast majority of our partners are comprised of and led by low-income people, people of color, immigrants, and youth
MSC approaches much of our work in "clusters" - groups of projects that span organizations, sectors, and geography, and share a similar perspective and set of goals. The cluster approach allows MSC to bring specialized content and expertise to projects while building on our movement building frameworks and tools. They also allow us to leverage resources and innovative strategies across a sector while linking them to work happening across the social justice movement. Clusters serve as a place for sharing best practices and networks, and as a launching pad for solutions to critical issues faced across our movements.
MSC’s primary clusters are:
• Climate & Food Justice
• Gender Justice
• Youth & Intergenerational Organizing and Engagement
MSC also takes on a range of other projects including:
Alliance Building & Network Development
My Healthy Alliance
MSC is partnering with RoadMAP to revise their very successful "My Healthy Organization" online organizational assessment tool for use with alliances. (MSC Staff: Mimi Ho, Senior Fellow)
Network Organizing Project
MSC coordinates efforts to engage the cross sector organizing within economic justice that rose under the banner of the 99% and was strongly inspired and expanded with the amazing organizing that was catalyzed with the birth of Occupy Wall Street. As part of that work, MSC served as the home to one of the 99% Spring nationwide organizing training efforts. (MSC Staff: Liz Butler, Senior Fellow)
Communications and Media Justice
"MSC provided outstanding support on the ECHO project, finding and writing powerful stories of grassroots communications strategies and practices and helping to weave together research and ideas into a compelling report. Senior Fellow Julie Quiroz brought excellent writing, editing, creativity, and conscientiousness to every aspect of the project."
-Karlos Gauna Schmieder, Center for Media Justice, Director of Research and Training
MSC provided research, writing, and editing in the Echoing Justice action research project of the Echo Justice Communications Collaborative--a three-year initiative to incubate, innovate, and implement movement building communications strategies that strengthen racial justice alliances and their impact. The 2013 report Echoing Justice: Communications Strategies for Community Organizing in the 21st Century was a collaboration between Center for Media Justice (CMJ), the Praxis Project, smartMeme, MSC, Community Media Workshop, and UNITY Alliance. (MSC Staff: Julie Quiroz, Senior Fellow)
California School-Age Consortium
MSC is supporting the California School-Age Consortium to develop a Theory of Change. CalSac works to advance the out-of-school time field by providing training, professional development, and advocacy. (MSC Staff: Sheryl Petty, Associate)
Transforming Educational Systems Alliance
TESA promotes a broadened and integrated vision of the purposes of education, including what’s necessary and what’s possible for the future of public education. TESA brings together equity- and excellence-driven education leaders and systems thinkers who are often segregated into silos. (MSC Staff: Sheryl Petty, Associate)
Transformative Leadership & Movement Building
Collective Transformative Practice
Building on the broad and warm reception MSC received forOut of the Spiritual Closet Volume I, MSC is carrying out the second phase of the national field scan and research, engaging field partners in examining how organizational transformation is occurring through the introduction of collective transformative practice. (MSC Staff: Kristen Zimmerman, Senior Fellow & Julie Quiroz, Senior Fellow)
"UNITY has received invaluable support from Kimi Lee, a Senior Fellow at MSC. Kimi provided us with excellent guidance and wisdom as we developed the processes and structures for our alliance. And she has been a mainstay in building up and developing the United Workers Congress."
-Randy Jackson, UNITY (formerly the Inter-Alliance Dialogue), National Coordinator
United Workers Congress (UWC) Coordination
MSC is providing alliance building support and advice in the development of UWC. Senior Fellow Kimi Lee serves as the National Coordinator of the UWC and is also helping to develop MSC’s alliance building toolkit. (MSC Staff: Mimi Ho, Senior Fellow & Kimi Lee, Senior Fellow)