The Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO) was founded by welfare rights community organizers, Gary Delgado and Hulbert James in 1980. Compelled by both the social, political, and economic conditions confronting communities of color in the 70s and the lack of a racial analysis in the emerging community organizing networks, the founders envisioned an institution focused on racial justice, led by and for people of color that would combine analysis and action to achieve significant social change for communities of color.
The use of the term “Third World” in CTWO’s name asserts that all Third World people share experiences that connect to one another, and that liberation can only emerge from working together.
CTWO in the 80’s
1980. CTWO founded by Gary Delgado and Hulbert James
1981. Hosts week long “Organizing People of Color” Training Session in cities all across the country.
1984. Starts Minority Organizing Training (MOT) a year long training and on-site consultation program for organizers of color, with 15 organizations.
1985. Pilots Minority Activist Apprenticeship Program (MAAP) with 3 interns at FLOC in Toledo, Ohio.
1989. Holds its first Weaving the Cloth of Resistance Gathering for women organizers and leaders.
1989. Starts a new model of multiracial organizing and issue development in the Campaign for Accessible Health Care, winning 30,000 measles vaccinations in Alameda County. Launches new multiracial organization, PUEBLO, which operates as a CTWO project from 1990 – 1997. As an organizing project, it won in 1992 the first program for screening, treatment, and prevention of lead poisoning west of the Mississippi — the Alameda Lead Prevention Program. In 1993-4, it began the Oakland police accountability campaign. Launches first Youth campaign in 1995 and was a major player in Kids First Coalition, which passed a city-wide voter initiative that created a new $90 million dollar fund for youth services in 1996; PUEBLO became an independent organization in 1997/98.
CTWO in the 90’s
1990. Establishes a national training and retreat center in Oakland, called ‘the Mansion,’ a 1890 Victorian home, with a full kitchen, 37 beds, spacious meeting rooms, and a third floor office space.
1992. Initiates the Campaign for Community Safety and Police Accountability (CCSPA), advancing a sharp racial justice angle to influence social policy on crime, partnering with 15 organizations across the country. Includes “Lead MAAP” program for members/leaders of organizing groups.
1993. Pilots A New Collaborative for Hands on Relationships (ANCHOR) in the Bay Area and Providence, RI to test out new methods for building relationships between immigrants and long-time resident communities, working with emerging leaders in civil rights and immigrant rights organizations.
1995. Launches Community Action Trainings (CAT), 3-day long trainings for community activists, in different cities around the country. To date, over 4,000 individuals have gone through CATs.
CTWO in the 2000’s
2000. Launches the Grassroots Organizing for Welfare Leadership (GROWL), in collaboration with the Applied Research Center, a networked organizing action project to elevate the voice of women of color in welfare policy debates. GROWL had a nationwide membership of 30 grassroots welfare rights groups.
2004. Over 150 supporters and MAAP alumni celebrated the 20th anniversary of the program in a graduation-anniversary banquet in Oakland.
2005. In partnership with the UC Berkeley Labor Center, launched the California Lead Organizing Institute (CLOI), a shared learning program for lead and director level organizers from community and labor organizations. CLOI developed organizers and staff in their skills on how to build and promote relationships across sectors. The program has trained over 100 emerging movement leaders.
CTWO from 2010 – present
2009. In September, launches the Black Organizing Project (BOP) in Oakland, CA to begin identifying leaders and issue areas. BOP founding members set up a membership and dues structure in May 2010. After organizing over 3,000 members, BOP becomes an independent organization in mid-2012.
2011. In partnership with Social Justice Leadership (SJL), CTWO creates Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD) as a national strategy to strengthen the social justice movement infrastructure with Black organizers and Directors, including the Amandla! program.
2013. Initiates Reel Justice: Our Stories, Our Way, a 6-week pilot fellowship program that empowers young organizers of color to win media battles. In five short weeks of hands-on training, fellows work directly with community organizations to make short political videos, using a variety of techniques from attack, reframing, personal-to-political, promotion, and rapid response videos.