Coalitions are a powerful force for change, bringing together diverse people to create strength and make the desired changes. In New York City, coalitions are using a variety of strategies to mobilize people for action. From petitions and virtual demonstrations to immersive workshops and round tables, these strategies are helping to create a more equitable and just society. The New York City Literary Action Coalition is a great example of how coalitions can work together to create positive change.
This coalition, in partnership with Ars Poetica and PEN America, is hosting a citywide Earth Day literary celebration and is addressing the issue of funding humanitarian aid for COVID-19 by highlighting how the pandemic has affected the city's literary community. The coalition is also offering a Writing as Activism grant, which provides tools and support to produce literary works that focus on community and social justice issues. This grant reimagines the role of writers in New York City and offers a six-month immersive workshop for six writer-activists living in the city. In addition, the coalition is organizing public forums and round tables to address issues of racial justice in the literary community.
Mayoral candidates have also proclaimed their commitment to financially support writers and the literary arts if elected. To maximize their impact, coalitions should combine resources, including volunteers, supplies, and expertise. They should also involve leaders (“the grassroots”), citizens (the “grassroots”), and young people in community mobilization, stakeholder education, implementing evidence-based interventions, and increasing access to youth-friendly reproductive and contraceptive health care. For example, a coalition working to increase awareness of AIDS in the community could bring together health department officials, representatives of the religious community, young people, business leaders, and members of the GLBT community (gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals).
Even though these groups may disagree on certain issues, they can still work together to achieve their common goal. Organizations such as Morningside Writers Group, Muslim Writers Collective, National Writers Union — NY Chapter, The New York Writers Club, New York Writers Coalition, New York Poets CafeCafe Open Children and Young Adults Committee Peen Translation Committee Poets Network & Exchange, Inc., Community capacity development in the partnership programs of the CDC Community Coalition for the Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy are all working together to mobilize people for action in New York City.