Relational meetings are a staple of community organising, where the focus is on building the capacity of leaders and connections between people to build strongly networked groups of diverse people.
Nothing beats undertaking a training in relational meetings to understand how they work. We have a video of a relational meeting training delivered for the ‘Organising in a Pandemic’ Series that can be viewed here (after 27 April). The slides can be viewed here.
Meanwhile, there are some useful readings.
Ed Chambers, former Director of the Industrial Areas Foundation in the US helped develop this form of community organising and has written a chapter about relational meetings in his book ‘Roots for Radicals’ that can be viewed here. He also wrote a small pamphlet called ‘The Power of Relational Action’ that can be viewed here.
Books such as Michael Gecan’s ‘Going Public’ and Austin Ivereigh’s ‘Faithful Citizens’ outline the technique amidst organising stories from the US and UK.
Amanda Tattersall wrote an article adapting community organising to Australia in the establishment of the Sydney Alliance, and it can be read here.