NOTE: Originally published Thursday, April 3
Sen. Barack Obama just sent supporters this note:
I want to tell you about one of the most exciting projects of this campaign. It's called the Obama Organizing Fellowship.
When I was a young man, I was inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the idea of people working at a grassroots level to bring about change.
I got my chance on the South Side of Chicago, as a community organizer, and it was the transformative experience of my career.
It allowed me to put my values to work and to see that real change comes not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up, when ordinary people come together around a common purpose.
The experience changed the course of my life -- and I want to share that kind of opportunity with you.
That's why we're introducing a program that's going to train a new generation of leaders -- not only to help us win this election, but to help strengthen our democracy in communities across the country.
If you apply and are selected, you'll be trained in the basic organizing principles that this campaign and our movement for change are built on. You will be assigned to a community where you'll organize supporters. Assignments will begin in June, and you'll be required to work a minimum of six weeks over the summer.
This program is designed to give you real world organizing experience that will have a concrete impact on this election.
Apply to be an Obama Organizing Fellow and put progressive values to work in the real world:
If you can't take the time away from work or your family that's required for the fellowship program, you can still get involved.
*Reach out to someone you know who may be interested in this program, and let them know we could use their help: http://my.barackobama.com/fellowsinvite
*House an Organizing Fellow -- If you have a spare room, you can help by offering housing to an Organizing Fellow near their training or near their eventual assignment. We haven't set locations for all of the trainings and assignments, but if you sign up, our staff will be in touch as the campaign grows: http://my.barackobama.com/fellowshousing
*Support this program by making a donation to this campaign: https://donate.barackobama.com/fellowsdonate
Being a community organizer wasn't easy, but it was the most valuable education I ever received. It taught me that together, ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
Organizing changed my life, and I hope it changes yours.
— Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter, The Washington Times
Follow Christina Bellantoni on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cbellantoni