Home > About > Action Circles Organizing Model

Amy Shollenberger has developed the Action Circles Model of Organizing over many years. Amy was originally trained at the Midwest Academy and has continued to use many of the fundamentals she learned there. Fifteen years of experience working with many groups and individuals engaged in organizing has strengthened and broadened her knowledge and skills. In the Action Circles Model of Organizing, Amy has captured the principles and methods that Action Circles uses in a systematic way so that others can learn this model and apply it to their own organizing. The model can be applied in many different ways, and has been tested in advocacy and political campaigns, fundraising efforts, and marketing plans.

Goals of the Action Circles Model of Organizing:

    Action Circles

  1. Build a strong movement with broad and deep leadership
  2. Build solidarity among people who are oppressed or are suffering an injustice
  3. Help people identify and use their personal power
  4. Provide safety and opportunity for everyone in the group to develop skills and experience
  5. Recognize all contributions both privately and publicly
  6. Accept everyone’s truth as equally valid
  7. Offer many opportunities for meaningful participation
  8. Use resources for maximum effectiveness
  9. Build accountability structures that are non-hierarchical and effective
  10. Develop a commitment to democratic principles that is expressed throughout your organization

Principles of Action Circles Organizing

  1. Respect (v. tolerance)
  2. Truth (v. fact)
  3. Transparency (v. hierarchy)
  4. Support (v. education)
  5. Accountability (v. blame)
  6. Democratic Decision Making (v. exclusion)
  7. Movement Building (v. mobilizing)
  8. Sharing Power (v. empowering)
  9. Solidarity (v. control)
  10. Acting from Hope (v. acting from fear)