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Civic Development

Community Organizing Institute

What is the Community Organizing Institute?

Community Organizing Institute 1

CCESL offers an annual community organizing institute to equip participants with tools to effectively bring about social change. Community organizing topics covered include: privilege and oppression, identities, self-interest, collective self-interest, power, one-to-one interviews, and planning and implementing a public action plan.

The institute features innovative, small-group activities as well as large-group discussion and a working lunch, during which participants can practice one-to-one skills.

The event is open to the greater Denver community and kicks off with a keynote address from a leading community organizer.

All students in CCESL programs should plan to attend this institute. Students who have previously completed this institute are eligible to serve as student leaders/facilitators at the institute.

For more information, please contact Cara DiEnno at, or at 303-871-2158.

2014 Community Organizing Institute

This year, CCESL welcomed DU alum Blanca E. Trejo as this year's keynote speaker and facilitator.  Trejo serves as Outreach and Access Coordinator – Statewide Parent Engagement and ASSET Education for College In Colorado. Blanca has been an advocate for Colorado ASSET and Immigrant Rights since she was 15. She brings over 11 years of Community and Youth Organizing training experience with Together Colorado, United We DREAM, and the PICO National Network. She is also the co-founder of ISPIRE, and organization which aims to ignite, train, and invest in our Youth to become Social Change Agents. 

The Community Organizing Institute was held on Friday, October 3rd, 9am-3pm in the Craig Hall Community Room at the University of Denver.

CCESL welcomed over 70 participants during this year's COI.

Community Organizing Handbook

Community Organizing Institute

The CCESL staff has written a Community Organizing Handbook (PDF) that we use in the institute, civic engagement programs and courses.

This handbook can be used to develop public skills and organize people for change. We provide this online tool as a public resource.

If you have questions, or would like to print or distribute this handbook, please contact us at 303-871-3706, or at