Grassroots politics calls for a radical inclusive culture that centers the voices and experiences of people who are most excluded by traditional power structures. In this paper, we present the results of action research with a grassroots social movement, the Southern Movement Assembly (SMA), focused on understanding the organization as a complex sociotechnical system. SMA is founded on a grassroots analysis of "inclusivity". Like most organizations, information and communications technologies (ICTs) are fundamental to their day-to-day activities. However, their use of ICTs present complex challenges for their culture of inclusivity. For example, people with technical skill have more influence since they control basic processes. Technical skills are most commonly associated with racial, gendered, and socioeconomic privilege. Attempts to analyze the political implications of candidate technologies typically lead to difficult trade-offs. We analyze challenges in using CSCW technologies for practicing grassroots politics and offer suggestions on how to address them.
The concept that people learn best when they are making something personally meaningful - also known as constructionism - is the lab's guiding philosophy. Computer networks have the potential to facilitate community-supported constructionist learning. The Electronic Learning Communities Lab examines ways communities of learners can motivate and support one another's learning experiences.