Power Mapping 101

Power mapping is simply a way to identify who has power in the community, and to figure out what will move those individuals or institutions to do whatever it is you want them to do. Creating a power map will help you answer these important questions:

  • Who are some key potential allies in your community—individuals and organizations who are likely to be on your side and who have the ability to influence others?
  • Who might oppose your plan, and who is in the middle who could be brought over to your side?
  • What are effective ways to communicate with your community?

 10 Steps to Community Power Mapping

  1. Be clear about the goals of your campaign.
  2. Figure out who is the key decision-maker or person/institution you want to influence to achieve that goal (there can be more than one).
  3. Research your target’s personal and professional connections.
  4. Brainstorm with your Community Connections Committee to determine which individuals or groups in your community are affected by the issue and could influence your target. Think broadly of all possible links to the target. These can include work, political, family, religious, and neighborhood ties. Anyone who can exert influence on this individual should be mapped.
  5. Start thinking about who these individuals or groups are connected to.
  6. Draw a grid on chart paper, with a horizontal line bisected by a vertical line. Write With Us on the left of the horizontal line, and Against Us on the right. Write Decision-Maker/Target at the top of the vertical line, and No Influence at the bottom. Depending on where the target lands in terms of being “with us” or “against us,” write his or her name somewhere along the top—toward the left if he or she is “with us” and toward the right if he or she is “against us.” If you really aren’t sure, put the name in the middle.
  7. Assess the influence each individual or organization on your brainstorm list has on the target, and place them on the appropriate place on the grid. Ask: Are they with us or against us? Do they have a lot of influence (upper half) or less influence (lower half)?
  8. Some of these individuals and institutions connect not only to your target but to each other. Draw lines to indicate who has something in common.
  9. Prioritize your list. Draw circles around the individuals or groups you most want to direct your efforts towards—probably the names on the upper left quadrant (the ones who are most With Us and who have the Most Influence)
  10. Now that you’ve made your Community Power Map, determine the next steps based on the specific campaign you are working on. This could include building support from influential allies or neutralizing groups who oppose you.

Source: MoveOn.org

COVID-19 & Our Communities

  • Build power in your community — join the NEA EdJustice League!
  • The systemic inequities that are laid bare by COVID-19 increase the stressors on our students, our families and the most vulnerable in our communities. As we organize together for a better tomorrow, we are sharing ways that educators and allies are addressing the challenges and keeping us connected and caring for each other.

Racial Justice is Education Justice

Our education system is intended to uphold equal opportunity, but too often it also entrenches racial disparities by its design. We are engaging educators, students and allies to foster real dialogue around issues of racial justice in education and to mobilize and take action for education justice.

Support Ethnic Studies Programs

From campaigns to require schools to offer ethnic studies courses, to efforts to change the names of schools honoring Confederate leaders, students and educators are mobilizing to include voices of the diverse ethnicities that have contributed to the history and culture of the United States.

Black Lives Matter @ School

The goal of Black Lives Matter @ School is to spark an ongoing movement of critical reflection and honest conversation in school communities for people of all ages to engage with issues of racial justice.

Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline

  • Sign the pledge to shut down the school-to-prison pipeline.
    Zero tolerance and other exclusionary school discipline policies are pushing kids out of the classroom and into the criminal justice system at unprecedented rates. Learn how educators, students and families are building relationships and community to address and prevent conflict.

Families Belong Together

  • Stand with educators and support DACA
    Immigration issues are complicated. But some things are simple. We should not punish children for decisions they didn’t make. We should not separate families. And we should provide a trusted path to citizenship for immigrant Dreamers. Read how educators are taking action on these issues.

Dreamers

  • Stand with educators and support DACA
    Dreamers are young, aspiring Americans – part of our communities. They are students who deserve every opportunity to learn, educators who inspire children each day, members of the military, our neighbors and friends. These are their stories. This is their voice.

School Safe Zones

  • View an interactive Google map to see where school districts have passed or are considering Safe Zones policies to protect our immigrant students.

All students should have the opportunity to learn without the fear and distress that results from harsh immigration enforcement. Many school districts are making their campuses “safe zones” for immigrant students and communities. You can be part of this movement.

Protecting Our Students' Civil Rights

In the face of federal civil rights rollbacks and threats, educators, parents and students are organizing to adopt school board policies that strengthen student protections. Find model policies and strategies that will empower you to ensure all students’ right to a safe and affirming school.

Supporting LGBTQ Youth

LGTBQ students face unique challenges in our schools. They are more likely to face bullying and harassment leading to poor grades, higher dropout rates and homelessness. Safe and affirming schools are a core element of student success.

Educational Equity for Women and Girls

All students deserve equal access to educational opportunities. However, girls and women often face structural barriers that threaten their success in school and beyond. Girls of color are more likely than white girls to face unfair discipline. And sexual harassment and violence in school are problems that confront most all girls. Learn how educators, students and allies are mobilizing to support the needs of all students — regardless of gender.

Facing Hate and Bias at School

All students have a right to a public education in a safe learning environment. But right now, many of our students are scared, anxious, and feeling threatened. Students and educators around the country are reporting hostile and hateful environments in their schools and communities. When students feel that they are not welcome, their ability to learn and thrive is diminished.