Common Good Missoula unites Missoulians across race, class, sexual orientation, political ideology and religion.
Wellbeing throughout our community requires everyday citizens, particularly the most impacted (black, indigenous, other people of color (BIPOC), our LGBTQ+ community, low-income individuals), meaningfully involved in creating the solutions shaping our community.
Our ideological and social silos are breeding divisiveness and polarization. At the same time, everyday people are disillusioned by participating as local citizens. These two trends, in the context of ongoing structural racism, create health and economic (wellbeing) disparities. Common Good addresses inequity by creating a large and racially/socially diverse network of everyday leaders working to address local challenges such as structural racism, lack of affordable housing, access to healthcare, and income inequality.
Common Good Missoula is an affiliate of IAF (Industrial Areas Foundation) Northwest and has 35 member organizations based in Missoula - All Nations Health Center, labor unions, faith communities, neighborhoods, and other non-profits. In our tradition, organizing is led by the people most directly affected by the issues the organization is working on. We continually build leadership from within our community, working to understand and address the root causes of the issues, not just the symptoms. We bring people together to build power they wouldn’t have individually and use that power to create systemic change, which includes altering unjust power relations. We see ourselves as part of a larger movement for social change, and work towards strengthening that movement.
Families for a Liveable Climate
Christ the King
First United Methodist Church
Housing Advocate Network
Emmaus Campus Ministry
Western Montana LGBTQ Center
Franklin to the Fort Neighbors in Action
Missoula Food Bank and Community Center
Missoula Central Labor Council
St. Francis Xavier Parish
Western Montana DSA
Carpenters Local 82
Missoulians for Common Good
Mountain Home Montana
East Missoula United
Our Saviors Lutheran
MT Youth Action
Montana Chapter of the Sierra Club
Quakers Friends Meeting House
Partnership Health Center
Holy Spirit Episcopal
North Missoula Community Development Corporation
Western Montana Building Trades Council
Missoula City-County Health Department
Who leads the work?
Everyday citizens, w/ particular focus on cultivating BIPOC, LGBT+ and low income leaders. The goal is not to create followers. Rather, it is to train and empower everyday citizens as leaders in our community.
Is this brand new?
No. This project has been building momentum for the last 4 years and is now expanding significantly.
What has Common Good Accomplished?
In the past two years, a diverse collection of 22 partner organizations has trained over 200 leaders, engaged with over 3000 community members, and supported everyday people in creating:
- Commitment among state legislators to ensure the renewal of Medicaid Expansion in Montana
- Advocated for an annual allocation of $50,000 from Missoula County for staff member that works with local landlords to rent to low income individuals and families
- A staffing business that supports people with barriers to employment. In 2019, this effort resulted in 110 individuals gaining employment with existing local businesses.
Is this work happening in other communities?
Yes. This organization is an affiliate of the national community organizing network called the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF). IAF has 70 years of experience training and supporting organizations like ours. Examples include health clinic based organizing in Portland, Seattle, and Spokane, along with international cities like Sydney, Australia and London, United Kingdom.
How can I learn more?
Please call or email the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative at 406-207-8228 or [email protected]