A   C o m p r e h e n s i v e   M a n u a l
should be only one or two lines indicating
the position of your group.  The organi 
Developing Allies and Building Coali 
zation itself can send a more detailed let 
ter stating what it actually wants the deci 
No matter what issues, strategies, or tac 
sion maker or leader to do; and
tics you choose, it is important to build
12. Educational Teach ins with name
good relationships and cooperation with
speakers can also be a publicity event and
other groups who have related aims.
a show of strength.  Even though the pur 
Only the powers that be and the status
quo benefit from groups remaining isolat 
ed from each other and divided.  If you
Ideally, we want to bring
are succeeding in bringing about change
people along with us and
which threatens the current system, any
enlist their support.  When
divisions or lack of unity can be exploit 
cooperation fails, however, it
ed by your opposition or those who have
may be necessary to apply
an investment in maintaining the status
pressure and employ direct
quo.  Just as we need allies as lgbt people,
action, recognizing that we
are likely going to have to
most of the other people that we
continue to co exist on the
encounter also need allies.  They may
campus with those we are
need allies on the basis of their race, gen 
der, age, ability, ethnicity, class, religion,
or political affiliation.  One of the best
ways to develop allies for yourself and
pose is largely educational, try to have
the lgbt community is to be an ally to oth 
everyone leave with something they can
er people and communities. (See the sec 
do   circulate a petition, show up for a
tion on Diversity in Chapter 3, Managing
demonstration, or attend the next plan 
Your Group, p 66).
ning meeting of your organization.
Cooperation can take a variety of forms,
Organizing is really about making
from informal networking through per 
democracy work.  It is about ensuring the
sonal contact and emotional support to
values of equality and fair play.  It is
building formal coalitions.  The simplest
about gaining or returning to people the
ways to enhance intergroup cooperation
rights and respect that is justly theirs.
is to create contexts and opportunities for
Organizing is about becoming the major 
sharing and getting to know each other.
ity.  The approaches highlighted above
Intergroup cooperation is most solid and
are suggested strategies for gaining pow 
strongest when the bridges between
er to exercise the will of a demonstrable
groups are based on personal relation 
majority.  For these methods to work, the
ships (the connection of particular allies)
issues raised and demands made have to
rather than simply on an impersonal,
be ones that most people can support, if
abstract, ideological basis.  The time we
not actively work for.  
invest in getting to know each other and
understanding each others  unique per 
Remember, these tactics carry with them
spectives is time well spent in building a
the possibility of backfiring; sometimes
solid foundation for working together.
more attention is paid to the tactic chosen
than the message you're trying to convey.
M a k i n g   C h a n g e     M     1 0 9


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