Build the Base

Equity campaigns are characterized by four major stages. The four stages of equity advocacy each focus on different developments in a campaign, and each produces different kinds of equity results. Campaigns may involve one or several stages, and advocates might move between them in different sequences. 
Changing the challenging conditions that affect low-income people and communities of color requires a “grassroots to treetops” approach that connects the experiences of people on the ground with the decisions about policies that shape communities. Any campaign for equity – whether proactive efforts to change organizational rules, defensive efforts to block inequitable legislation, or strategic efforts to place community leaders in positions of power – must stem from the experience and engagement of those directly affected. Effective organizing and a strong base of popular support lie at the heart of every successful equity campaign, and are critical as both steps and outcomes for advocacy. 
Equity advocacy efforts to BUILD THE BASE include four key components: issue identification, community visioning and organizing, initial power analyses, and planning the advocacy strategy. Benchmarks for each of these areas, and guiding questions to navigate them, are available for download.