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Organizing Ideas

At IIRON, we believe that in addition to organizing people and organizing money, we must organize our ideas.  We must have an analysis of the context and a vision of where we’re going in which we act in order to maximize the efficacy of our issue campaigns and build a better future.  And we know that we can’t separate organizing ideas from organizing people and money.  Our ideas only matter insofar as we can put them into action.  This page is meant to provide IIRON members with some resources for engaging with ideas that matter.


News that Matters

Not all news is created equal.  In fact, the majority of corporate media isn’t worth spending much time on at all.  Instead, tune in to some of these progressive media outlets.

Illinois News

Progress Illinois

National News

Common Dreams

Think Progress

In These Times

Blogs and Blog Posts

Blogs and blog posts often take you beyond the daily headlines and provide a deeper analysis of the contemporary situation — without committing to reading 200+ pages on any given topic!  For precisely this reason, they can be a great way to learn about a number of issues.

Climate Change

An Illustrated Guide to the Science of Global Warming Impacts by Joe Romm, Fellow at American Progress

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math by Bill McKibbon, founder of

The Economy

Paul Krugman – Anti-Austerity Princeton Economist

Matt Taibbi – Progressive Political Journalist for Rolling Stone

Permanent Crisis – In-Depth Analysis by University of Chicago Theorists


A few Books Worth Reading

Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals, by Saul Alinski.

A must read for community organizers.

Doing Justice: Congregations and Community Organizing, by Dennis Jacobsen.

A theological understanding of faith-based community organizing.

 The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander.

This book tells the story of how “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”

Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail, by Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward.

A historical account and in-depth analysis of four 20th century movments in America.

 The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, by Naomi Klein.

An account of the way theorists and politicians have capitalized on crises to implement neoliberal policies.