Community Organizing (formerly COP&D)

The Community Organizing (CO) prepares students committed to collective responses to social and political problems. Whether mobilizing your community around an immediate problem or strategically planning a longer-term campaign related to housing shortages or prison reform, we provide the strategies, tactics, skills, and theories to sustain you and the people with whom you work in these important efforts. In concrete terms that means students gain strategies for collective action, popular education, political advocacy, community outreach, coalition-building and lobbying while developing skills such as power analysis and proposal writing. Field practicum opportunities take place in a wide variety of settings including, grass roots organizations, public agencies, legislative offices, settlement houses, labor unions and an array of grassroots organizations. Students study and work on multiple social issues such as local economic development, prison reform, food justice, tenant advocacy, LGBTQ equality and women’s rights, among others. CO students interested in deepening their expertise in social policy may participate in a Policy Track in their second year by electing additional social policy courses along with a policy-oriented field practicum.



  • Community Organizing 1 (SSW 741): History; theory and frameworks; strategies; roles; case studies; organizing campaigns
  • Community Organizing 2 (SSW 742): Theory and models of planning; use of data and research; client/constituency participation; coalition-building
  • Community Organizing 3 (SSW 743): Social movements; popular education; Freirian practices
  • Electives
    • Political Advocacy
    • Grantwriting



Students complete their field instruction in approved field settings where they specialize in working at the neighborhood, community, policy and system levels (see PDF list below). All field placements are located in the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area and its environs. Field instruction encompasses both the specific placement site and the broader professional landscape that they will enter as organizers, making it direct preparation for successful practice. CO students complete their field instruction at leading agencies and organizations around the city, many of which have ongoing relationships with the school and its CO faculty.




Adjunct Faculty

  • Desuze, Kalima | MSW
  • Moore, Paula | MSW | PhD
  • Yazgi, Stephanie | MSW




Links and Documents (PDF)

CO syllabi

Sample List of CO Field Placements and Job Settings

“How I Became a Community Organizer as a Casework Social Work Student: The Interrelationship between Case and Cause Advocacy” by Dr. Mizrahi.

CO Alumni Data 1995-2006
President Obama – A Career as a Community Organizer
ACOSA and Journal of Community Practice
Community Organizing Principles
Macro Social Work Student Network
The Education Center for Community Organizing (ECCO) Archive
How to Create and Maintain Interorganizational Collaborations and Coalitions

Videos and Multimedia

Listen to a 31 minute radio broadcast from “” from about the Macro Social Work Student Network (

Community Organizing MSW Students in Action!!

Macro Practice Alumni of Silberman School of Social Work 

Community Organizers Share Experiences – Part 1

Community Organizers Share Experiences – Part 2

Community Organizing & Development Workshops are 7 related workshops (total viewing time is about an hour and 15 minutes) produced by Silberman School of Social Work-Workforce Development Initiative of CUNY. Attached is the written 35 page self-contained Trainer/Faculty Workbook that can be used separately or in conjunction with the videos.

Scan QR code to go to
Community Organizing (formerly COP&D) Webpage