Presenter Information

Charles Plock C.M.


In this annual Saint Vincent de Paul lecture at DePaul University, Charles Plock explores the similarities between Vincent and Saul Alinsky as community organizers. Alinksy founded the Industrial Areas Foundation and organized different types of laborers in different parts of the United States so that they gained better working conditions. According to Plock, Vincent and Alinsky were practical people who were able to meet short-term needs while addressing the larger injustices that caused those needs. Plock writes, “Organizing people and empowering men and women is a truly Vincentian way of evangelizing” especially if it is done in partnership with the poor. He goes on to discuss coalition building, how it can be done, and what it can accomplish, citing specific successes and failures of community organizing.