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Apr 30 2013

Blogathon For SSA Week: “I’m Not an Organizer”

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This post continues my leg of the Blogathon for SSA Week… now! From now until 9pm PDT, I will write one new blog post every hour. Plus, for every $100 raised during that time, I will post one new picture of our cats! And all donations will be matched by SSA Supporters Jeff Hawkins and Janet Strauss — so whatever you donate, it will be doubled!

As of 12:01 pm PDT: 429 Donors, $69,747.69
As of 1:01 PDT: 431 Donors, $69,948.02

“I’m not an organizer.”

I’ve been saying this for years now. When I talk or write about how activists need to do whatever form of activism they’re good at and find inspiring and fun, I usually add something like, “For instance, I’m not a community organizer, because I hate that and would suck at it.” When I talk or write about how important it is for atheists to build communities and support systems to replace the ones people lose when they leave religion, I usually add something like, “I have such enormous respect for the people who do community organizing, it’s such a hugely important job, and I’m sure as hell not going to do it — I hate it, and would suck at it.”

Except I realized something the other day.

I’m on the Advisory Board of the Secular Student Alliance. I’m on the board of directors for Skepticon (or I will be — not sure if that’s official yet). I do a huge amount of unofficial brainstorming with organizers about the organizations we’re part of. I do a metric shitload of fundraising for community organizations (this blogathon being just one example). And, maybe more to the point, I’m a co-organizer of the Godless Perverts here in San Francisco, and we’re hosting both social gatherings and performance events on a regular basis.

Shit.

I think I’m an organizer.

And I don’t hate it. And I don’t think I suck at it.

How the hell did that happen?

And to any organizers out there — can you give me any advice? What do I do now?

If you like this post — or indeed, if you don’t — please donate to the Secular Student Alliance!

3 comments

  1. 1
    Avicenna

    Pretend to know what you are doing… Appearing to know what you are doing is half the battle.

    You just get better organising by doing it. The longer you organise the better you get.

    I will have you know that I am a black belt in filing and a master of the bureaucratic arts.

  2. 2
    Stephanie Zvan

    Heh. I recently ended up in a similar position. I’ll let you know if I figure anything out.

  3. 3
    smhll

    Even if you think of yourself as the wrong person to ‘organize’ the community, maybe you are the right person to ‘arouse’ the community. Arouse their interest, pique their curiousity, etc.

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