GCO Application Narrative Questions
We encourage applicants to type their answers to the narrative questions on a separate document so that you can fill out the online application in one sitting. Google forms does not allow you to save and come back to an application. Please also remember to read the Applicant Info Page before applying! All that info is also on the online Application Form, but you may want to read through it first.
When you're ready, apply here!
1. Why do you want to take GCO?
2. Please describe your home community. Then describe an experience you’ve had living, working, or interacting in a community very different than your own, and how it felt.
3. GCO facilitators are committed to building classroom groups capable of talking, listening, and working effectively across differences of race, social class, religion, sex, gender identity, sexuality, ability, age, and other salient identities and experiences. This is not easy! We work on it because community organizers need people who know themselves, can listen deeply to others, and can centralize the voices of those directly affected by injustice. How do you think you might thrive and/or struggle in this space?
4. Please read this quote from movement scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (Facebook post, 1/27, 2017) and respond to the prompt that follows:
"So when radicals and those who have already come to some conclusions about the shortcomings of existing system mock, deride or just dismiss those who have not achieved your level of consciousness then you are helping no one. This isn't leadership, its infantile and amateurish. It's also a recipe for how to keep your movement irrelevant, marginal and tiny. If you want a movement of the politically pure and already committed then you and your twelve friends go right ahead and be the resistance[...]. Should the marches have been more multiracial and working class? Yes! But you are not a serious organizer if that's where your answer ends. The issue for the left is how do we get from where we are today to where we want to be in terms of making our marches blacker, browner and more working class. That is truly the work, but simply complaining about it changes nothing. Yesterday was the beginning, not the end. What happens in between will be decided by what we do. Movements do not come to us from heaven fully formed and organized. They are built by regular people. We must do a better job at facilitating debate, discussion and argument so that we talk about how to build the kind of movement we want, but the endless critiques with no commitment to diving into organizing to struggle for the kind of movement we want is not a serious approach. There are literally millions of people in this country who are now questioning everything. We need to open up our organizations, planning meetings,marches and other actions to them. We need to read together, learn together, be in the streets together and stand up to this assault together. let's engage people and stop writing people off before we've even gotten started.
Please write a short response to this quote, including reactions or questions it might raise for you. Some possible questions to consider: Do you feel like Taylor is speaking to you and/or your political community? In other words, are you often critical (internally or externally) of people for not being aware/woke enough? Or does this conversation feel new to you? And if so - what questions does this raise for you?
5. Please describe your learning style, specifically over zoom. How do you tend to participate in remote discussion classes and other group work settings? What helps you stay engaged?
6. What are your experiences with community service, social justice activism, or community organizing? What do you hope to learn about community organizing, and why?
7. What useful skills or fun qualities would you bring to your GCO class? (e.g. cooking/baking, care package making, contemplative training, art, poetry, somatic exercises, music, story telling, etc.)
8. Do you have any particular needs/concerns you would like to disclose? Please include any accommodations requirements you might want us to know about in advance, any anticipated situations (such as child or elder care) that might affect your learning and engagement needs this spring, etc. [optional!]
9. Where do you plan to be living during spring 2021? (geographic location, any other relevant info)
10. Is there anything else that you would like to share with us (e.g. your pronouns or other identities or things about your background that you feel it's important for us to know that haven't yet come up in this application)? Are there any questions you have for us at this time?