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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.

2015 Community Organizing Institute

angela 2015On Friday, October 2nd, 2015, we welcomed Angela Cobián from Together Colorado as the keynote speaker for the annual Community Organizing Institute. Attendees included students from DU and CU Boulder plus teachers from George Washington High School and other community members.

Angela shared her personal experience as a first-generation Mexican-American and first-generation college student as she walked the participants through training and activities on privilege, oppression and identity; collective self-interest; and power-mapping, among other community organizing tools and concepts. 

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