How might we analyze and leverage power?

Analyzing and leveraging power is a fundamental practice for shifting power to Black and indigenous communities.

“Organizing focuses on power: who has it, who doesn’t, and how to build enough of it to shift the power relationship and bring about change.”

Organizing: People, Power, Change

Hafizah Omar and Nadia Owusu

Operationalizing Racial Equity and Inclusion: Shifting Systems of Power

Organizing: People, Power, Change

Sample Agenda for Analyzing and Leveraging Power

As you gather with your team or group, the agenda below can serve as a template that you are encouraged to refine and adapt to your needs.

1. Check-in:

- Review the Sources of Power document. - Write a short poem (haiku is one option - 5/7/5 syllables) about the power you hold - Share poems & reflections in small groups

2. Storytelling: Ask 2-3 people to share a story about how they have leveraged their power to create change.

3. Power mapping: Within teams or small groups of people who work together, use this power map template to map the power in your system and analyze how you might shift it toward the changes you're hoping to enact.

4. Share-out: Groups share with each other about what the power-mapping experience was like

If you have time, it can be valuable to organize folks around racial affinity spaces at this point to reflect on what role their identities play in their organizing efforts, and what they need from, or might offer to, other racial groups.


More resources for gatekeeping and networking

Cross-Sector Alliance is a strategy for networking.


Persons who work in institutions often function as gatekeepers to ensure that the institution perpetuates itself. The gatekeeper becomes an agent of institutional transformation by operating with anti-racist values and networking with those who share those values and maintain accountability in the community. (PISAB)

Developing Leadership

Anti-racist leadership needs to be developed intentionally and systematically within local communities and organizations. (PISAB)