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VOL’s Community Self-Reliance School is a ten week intensive, online program that supports people who are interested in creating their own community self-reliance projects as well as those who are already involved in community self-reliance and want to deepen their practices. Those who are curious about CSR will use the components of Visionary Organizing to develop a roadmap and organizing plan for a community self-reliance project in their community. Others who are already active in CSR projects will use Visionary Organizing to develop a plan to deepen their work and make connections with other local community self-reliance projects.  

Key Takeaways

  • A roadmap for the creation of a community self-reliance project or a roadmap to deepen and accelerate already existing CSR projects including a vision, strategy, asset map, and next steps

  • A network of CSR practitioners to be in community with and learn from

  • An ability to tell your personal story in ways that support a strategy for your community self-reliance project

  • An understanding of Visionary Organizing and its six components as an approach to community transformation that equally emphasizes material and non-material needs and utilizes community self-reliance as a tactic

  • Skills to affirm the dignity of others and practice dignity affirmation as an organizing strategy

  • A systemic understanding of how and why community self-reliance can facilitate the emergence of a new economy and culture


Program experience

  • Interact with faculty who are experts in community self-reliance practices and systems thinking

  • Case studies in community self-reliance and Visionary Organizing 

  • Office hours with faculty

  • Learning experiences with CSR practitioners 

  • Engaging assignments in between meetings

  • Peer interaction and relationship building


Module 1 - Locating Ourselves and Communities in History

Module 2 - Connecting to and Trusting Our Inner Wisdom 

Module 3 - Recognizing and Nurturing Interdependence 

Module 4 - Your System's Autobiography 

Module 5 - Imagining New Possibilities: Case Study #1, Highland Park, Michigan

Module 6 - Affirming Dignity: Case Study #2, Birwood House, Detroit, MI

Module 7 - Experimenting with Transformation: Case Study #3, Freedom Freedom Growers, Detroit, MI

Module 8 (Weeks 8-10) - Community Self-Reliance and Visionary Organizing


At Visionary Organizing Lab we believe the value of our programs exceed measurement by cost, therefore our prices are not directly correlated with our programs. Instead, our prices are calculated in relation to what VOL needs to reinvest in itself, be sustained, and be as affordable as possible to groups and individuals with vastly different access to financial resources. Our CSR school has following cost guidelines:

Yearly Income | Price

  • $0-$35,000 | Donation

  • $36,000 - $50,000 | $450

  • $50,000 - $65,000 | $600

  • $65,000 - $85,00 | $800

  • $85,000+ | $1,000

Payment plans are available for those who are interested. Please contact for more information. 

For bookings and inquiries about programs for your community self-reliance group or organization, send us a message and we’ll get back to you promptly
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