Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Graduate Courses

SOWK 653: Community Organizing and Policy Practice

Credit Hours



This course focuses on the practice of community and political organizing designed to bring about social, economic, and racial justice. It explores interdisciplinary theories relating to processes of social change, representation, and power. Additionally, it reviews the histories of social work and community-based organizations that influenced policies at national, state, and local levels. Students will learn how to facilitate social change processes through community organization, advocacy, and policy practice by learning skills including participatory planning, identifying social issues, influencing decision-makers, assessing power dynamics, securing resources, building collaborations, using traditional and social media, and campaigning for electoral issues and candidates.

The course will draw upon innovative forms of organizing relating to criminal justice, affordable housing, environmental justice, and the rights of BIPOC, women, immigrants, LGBTQ+, youth, and other marginalized groups.