It’s important that we understand the difference between the limits of advocacy and the limits of mobilizing.

In the advocacy approach, there’s really no pretense that people need to be involved at all. Members can write a check to an organization, which hires staff and take care of business. That’s not going to work if we want to change society in fundamental ways.

How about the mobilizing approach? Some movement people invite folks to open meetings or direct actions and call that organizing. But it’s not. It’s self-selecting work, because it involves mobilizing people who already agree with us. […]

The difference between mobilizing and organizing becomes clear during workplace organizing—say, planning a strike—because we’re trying to build to 100% participation, which means total unity. To achieve 95–100% participation requires us to talk to every single person. We spend most of our time talking with workers who absolutely do not want to talk with us—that’s the hard and important work of organizing, engaging people who don’t want to be engaged.

Jane McAlevey, in Puya Gerami, “No Shortcuts to Organizing”