It became clear that there was a need to continue organizing and building Black power across the country. People were hungry to galvanize their communities to end state-sanctioned violence against Black people, the way Ferguson organizers and allies were doing. Soon after, Opal, Alicia, Darnell and I helped create the BLM network infrastructure. It is adaptive and decentralized with a set of guiding principles. Our goal is to support the development of new Black leaders as well as create a network where Black people feel empowered to determine our destinies in our communities. — Patrisse Cullors-Brignac, We Didn’t Start A Movement, We Started A Network
This guide is for individuals who seek to deepen and strengthen the networks they depend upon to create social change.
If making your networks more powerful and effective is a challenge you identify with, this guide may be instructive for you.
You are, by our definition, a network manager, or a person with intent focused on organizing and supporting a network (we later break down the key responsibilities into 5 specific roles here).
Network Managers are the people who are charged with organizing and supporting a network. Network Managers may play all the network leadership roles outlined within this guide (See Network Roles). Usually, Network Managers spend more time being operators, principals, and weavers. In other words, network managers help provide the scaffolding and support for a network to reach its intended purpose. This scaffolding can include:
This field guide seeks to help network managers and other funders take the first step toward establishing baseline settings, common definitions, and clarity around roles and responsibilities for network management and implementation.