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Organising Together across Difference

Organising Together across Difference

This 25 hour learning module has been created as part of the Citizens UK Organising Together across Difference project that has been running since early 2023. 

In the UK, and indeed more broadly across the world, there is a rise in the politics of polarisation and division. We see it in tension around race, polarisation around ideology, and division across geographic and class lines. We now have a mainstream political culture that is promoting the idea that the stranger is a source of fear.

These tensions around difference will be heightened this year as we approach a national election. Difference around race, culture, and race have been exploited by politicians over the past decade to win elections, and our communities and the relationships we rely on every day have been sacrificed in the name of this opportunity and fear..

This rise of ‘big difference’ politics is antithetical to the mission of broad-based community organising, which seeks to build relationships across difference so we can build change for the common good. But the rise of a politics based on difference has challenged community organising, and invited Citizens UK - the home of community organising in the UK - to explore how we can strengthen our practice.

To do this, Citizens UK has been supported by Lotteries UK to enlist Associate Professor Amanda Tattersall to help lead the Organising Together across Difference project. Amanda is a researcher on community organising but she is also an organiser herself, having established the Sydney Alliance and community organising in Australia. 

Amanda has helped a growing number of Citizens UK organisers and chapters to try new strategies and work with new ideas in order to strengthen how we can build connection and power across our differences. You will hear about some of these ideas here - in particular the concept of ‘Sameness and Difference’ as a way of seeing how our own leadership journey and our ability to build powerful connection with others can be understood as a dynamic between experiencing a sense of sameness with others while respecting the differences that sit between us.