Skip to content »

Faith-Based Community Organizing Workshop

Group of people at smiling and talking to each other. There is text on the photo that says "Earn a Community Organizing Certificate"

Freedom's Journey: The Art of Organizing for Democratic Change and the Mission of Liberation

June 18-22, 2018 | 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
St. James Commons | 65 E Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611

Join us the week of June 18, 2018, for the faith-based community organizing workshop, Freedom's Journey: The Art of Organizing for Democratic Change and the Mission of Liberation, led by Gerald Taylor, one of the most creative experienced organizers and strategic campaign planners and trainers in the country with more than 50 years of experience!

This workshop will provide power-based, effective, and relational community organizing training grounded in helping you learn mission-based organizing and leadership skills. Designed for both clergy and lay members of congregations and nonprofit organizations, the workshop will include lectures, role plays, reading and discussion, case-studies, hands-on practice, and individual reflection. 

Registration Fee: $450* | Deposit: $200, Full Payment Due By June 1, 2018

Your registration fee includes:

  • 40 hours of training
  • All course materials
  • Morning refreshments and lunch
  • Transit (daily parking or public transit)
  • A certificate in community organizing
  • 4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
*All participants receive a $125 Garrett-Evangelical Scholarship towards the original $575 registration fee.


What You Will Learn

By the end of this workshop, you will:

  • Understand power and self-interest as the basis for building or re-building effective organizations/congregations.
  • Discover and act on the interests of your institution/congregation or networking using a proven methodology.
  • Gain experience by learning and practicing the skills necessary to build organizations/congregations that can act on their values and interests in the world.
  • Identify and develop sustainable leadership by thinking conceptually about their own leadership and mission of their institution/congregation.
  • Think and act strategically.
  • Learn skills for how to engage in real conversations about the mission and democratic action of your institution/congregation—including the ability to discuss, argue, negotiate and compromise—while forming and maintaining collaborative relationships that ultimately lead to action.

Workshop Instructor: Gerald Taylor

Gerald Taylor

Gerald TaylorGerald Taylor is one of the most creative experienced organizers and strategic campaign planners and trainers in the country. For nearly 50 years, he was a national senior organizer of the IAF and for 26 of those years the IAF’s Southeast Regional Director. He retired from the IAF in 2014.

His organizing began in the Civil Rights Movement as a youth leader, eventually being elected as New York State President of the NAACP Youth and College Division at 17 years old. He organized with the National Democratic Party of Alabama, an interracial third political party, in their historic election victories of 1970. He served on the National Trustee Board of the National Urban League during the last years of Whitney Young’s leadership and in the transition to Vernon Jordan.

He also was one of the first “civil rights” interns at the Metropolitan Applied Research Center, a Civil Rights Think Tank, founded by Dr. Kenneth Clark where he engaged with senior leaders of the civil rights movement in discussions about the future direction of the movement.

Gerald has developed organizations with leaders in numerous communities in the United States including New York City, Baltimore, Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta, and Jackson, Mississippi. Among the many victories won by these organizations include hundreds of millions of dollars in new loans to homeowners by banks, statewide anti-arson legislation in New York State, education reform in Baltimore and Memphis that led to significant increases in funding for education and providing scholarships for thousands of inner city students to go to college, the defeat of the National Rifle Association in the statewide referendum on gun control in Maryland and nursery home reforms. Immediately after Hurricane Katrina; he spent four years organizing African American communities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast to receive disaster relieve leading to the formation of a coalition that negotiated nearly one billion dollars in disaster relieve funding for these communities.

He has worked with organizations such as Bread for the World, the Sidney Alliance in Australia, President Jimmy Carter’s Commission on Neighborhoods, national unions including the National Education Association and SEIU/Workers United.

In 2004, he was honored by being named an international auditor in South Africa for the Lesson Project Roundtable on Building Citizen Capacity and Land reform. He provided consultant services to civil society organizations in Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

In 2007, Gerald went to India as part of a delegation of post Katrina community organizers to meet with Tsunami area civil society leaders to share and explore strategies from their common experiences.

He has trained thousands of clergy, lay leaders, unions’ staff and leaders, government and private sector institutional leaders over the past forty years and lectured at colleges and universities including Duke University, Vanderbilt University, UNC Chapel-Hill, Shaw Divinity School, University of Illinois, North Carolina Central University, and Trinity College on theories of social change and community organizing. His innovation and creativity in developing and delivering training, strategic advice and organizational development is well known both nationally and internationally.  He currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Parking and Public Transit Information

The cost of public transit and/or parking is included in the registration fee.

When you register, you will be able to select whether you will need parking or plan to take public transit. If you do not need either, you can select that you will arrange your own transit. In June, prior to the workshop, Erin Moore will contact all persons who selected parking and all persons who selected public transit to provide them with the arrangements for parking and public transit.

St. James Commons is located at 65 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL. To access from the CTA red line, exit at Chicago Avenue, then south two blocks to the corner of Wabash and Huron. This is also one block west from the 145, 146, 147, and 151 CTA bus lines on Michigan Avenue, exit at Superior or Erie if southbound, exit at Huron if northbound. Those traveling on other CTA L train lines, can transfer to the red line at several stops in the loop. Click here to view the CTA loop map, which shows the loop stops with transfers. 


We have arranged dormitory housing through Loyola University's Rogers Park campus. Though further away from the workshop location, rooms are significantly cheaper than most area hotels. Rooms are available for $70/night (plus the 17.4% standard hotel lodging tax) in their Mertz Hall located at 1125 W. Loyola Avenue. To view pictures of the rooms CLICK HERE. Rooms are single occupancy and include one extra-long twin bed. There are four shared restrooms, with showers, on each floor. Floors are separated by gender. There is a laundry facility on-site. Wireless internet is available at a cost of $10/device for the duration of your stay. Parking at the Hall is available for $7 a day.

To get to the workshop from Mertz Hall, you can take the CTA Red Line from the "Loyola" stop to the "Chicago" stop. If you wanted to drive from Mertz Hall to the workshop, it is an 8 mile drive heading south on Lake Shore Drive. The cost of public transit to/from the workshop and/or parking at the workshop location is included in the registration fee.

To Make Your Reservation with Loyola University

Visit the website: In the "Promotion" field enter: garrett2018. Then select your dates of stay. The room block is for June 17-23, 2018.  If you need to check in earlier than June 17th or check out later than June 23rd, then please email You will need to make payment at the time of your reservation. In order to be guaranteed a room, you must make your reservation by May 1, 2018.

Cancellation Policy

You can withdraw from the course in writing via e-mail to Refunds will be provided according to this schedule:

  • Withdrawals received by midnight on June 1, 2018, will receive 100% of the amount paid.
  • Withdrawals received anytime between June 2, 2018 to midnight on June 8, 2018, will receive 75% of the amount paid.
  • Withdrawals received anytime between June 9, 2018 to midnight on June 15, 2018, will receive 50% of the amount paid.
  • No refunds will be issued for withdrawals received after June 16, 2018.

For questions about this workshop, please contact Erin Moore, Director of Strategic Initiatives, at or 847-866-4547.