Gamaliel Foundation

203 N. Wabash Ave.
Suite 808
Chicago IL 60601

phone: 312-357-2639
fax: 312-357-6735

Contact:  Paul Marincel  --  612-333-1260  --



Web site:



The Gamaliel Foundation intends to be a powerful network of grassroots, interfaith, interracial, multi-issue organizations working together to create a more just and more democratic society. The organizations of the Gamaliel Network are vehicles that allow ordinary people to effectively participate in the political, environmental, social and economic decisions affecting their lives. The network helps create and sustain such organizations and is the vehicle for these organizations to act on a national and international level.

The foundation was originally established in 1968 to support the Contract Buyers League, an African American organization fighting to protect homeowners on Chicago's Westside who had been discriminated against by banks and savings and loan institutions.


Description (from the website):

"The philosophy of the Gamaliel Foundation is rooted in the best traditions of faith and democracy. All human beings are created equal. All should be given the greatest opportunity for achieving their fullest potential. All should participate in shaping the community in which they live. The ideal is far from realized. Alexis De Tocqueville, in his work, Democracy in America, made the obvious but brilliant observation that the secret to democracy in America was the ability of its citizens to form "associations" to address issues. The Founding Fathers of the United States guaranteed this right in the First Amendment to the Constitution by declaring that "the government shall make no law that prohibits the right of the people to organize themselves to redress their grievances against the government." Their greatest fear was that some would be excluded from the process. The greatest advances in this country came when we broadened the diversity of those who sit at the decision making tables. "


Programs and Resources to Share (from the website):

"For our affiliates we offer:

"A Well-Developed Methodology: We teach techniques and methodologies that have worked in rural, urban, suburban, Black, Hispanic and working-class communities. Leaders in our network work from a plan that consistently brings results. Leaders that contract with the Gamaliel Foundation are able to move quickly from a loose coalition of neighborhood institutions to a powerful force capable of organizing thousands of people to coalesce and prevail on major issues.

"Ongoing Consultation: The Gamaliel Foundation provides ongoing consultations with monthly visits, weekly phone meetings and hands-on participation in the strategic planning process of each member organization. We provide talented and diverse consultants with many years of experience in their fields.

"Organizer recruitment Program: The key to success of most organizing project is a committed and talented organizing director. Gamaliel has an ongoing program to recruit diverse and professional people to staff its affiliates. The Foundation prides itself on its record and its capacity to attract women and minorities to this profession.

"For the leaders of our affiliates we offer:

"National Leadership Training: This is a seven (7) day residential training event that presents the basic concepts and tools needed to be an effective leader. It affords a person the opportunity to reflect on his/her present and future potential roles in the public arena. The method is Socratic. The style is agitational. This training is offered four times each year in the Untied States and three times each year in South Africa.

"Clergy Training: We conduct a three (3) day program once annually for clergy whose congregations are members of an affiliate organization. This training is conducted by and for clergy. These men and women are faced with balancing the demands of maintaining their own institutions while at the same time addressing issues of justice and community concerns. This training includes tools, concepts and methodologies for becoming effective in both realms, while providing a supportive network of clergy experiencing similar dilemmas.

"Advanced Training: A three (3) day program offered once annually to 75 top leaders. This program is designed to challenge and equip leaders to assume major responsibilities with their organizations. Advanced training participants leave equipped to return to their communities and to do power analysis, cut issues, conduct major actions, create a core team or run a major fundraising event.

"Ntosake: The word comes from South Africa and means "She who walks with lions and carries her own things." This is a womenís leadership training program conducted by and for women. It is designed to present ideas and concepts for becoming effective and powerful leaders. It also provides a support network for women. The program is designed to help women overcome the internal and external obstacles faced on the journey to becoming powerful and effective leaders.

"Local Training: These are training programs conducted twice a year in the local setting of each of Gamalielís affiliates. These trainings are usually day-long or weekend sessions. Each of the 80 sessions attracts 50 to 200 leaders. The trainings either introduce new leaders to the basic concepts of organizing or develop, for established leaders, specific skills around outreach, voter registration, power analysis and recruitment.

"For the professional staff of our affiliates

"Organizers Retreat: This is an annual event for all the professional organizers of the network. Senior organizers lay out the concepts and tools utilized by organizers in this field. Experts from related field also address the gathering. Most importantly the retreat affords the organizers the opportunity to learn from one another.

"Staff Development Sessions: Two times each year all organizers gather to discuss certain key aspects of this work. Topics include cutting metropolitan wide issues, raising and managing funds, recruiting members, developing leaders, etc.

"Training of Trainers: This is a two (2) day program offered annually to organizers. It enables the Foundation to develop a skilled and diverse team of trainers.

"For clergy, other key leaders, and professional staff of the network

"National Leadership Assembly: In December of each year, five hundred of the leaders and staff of the network gather to learn from each other, participate in workshops conducted by top academic, religious, political and labor experts, and map out a strategy for the coming year. At the assembly decisions are made around addressing major issues and expanding the network to new areas. The various components of the network, the National Clergy Caucus, Ntosake, Gamalielís board of directors, and the staff meet together to make commitments for achieving goals for the coming year. Our major allies such as politicians, bishops, authors, and key staff from foundations are also in attendance."