CPC’s History

Paul and ThomasThe Center for Participatory Change was founded in 2000 by Paul Castelloe and Thomas Watson.  Their vision was to create an organization that would support and strengthen the grassroots infrastructure in western North Carolina.  They called this model of organizing Grassroots Support Organizing, distinct from other models of Community Organizing.

CPC’s organizational structure began with the founders acting as Co-Directors.  As other staff were hired, they were hired as Program Staff, reporting to the Co-Directors.  In 2005, CPC decided to move to a flat organizational model, with all staff sharing in collective decision making.  Read more about our ever-evolving structure here.

From 2000—2010, CPC supported over 150 grassroots groups in the region through capacity building, community organizing, network building, worker-ownership organizing, and by providing micro-grants for start-up and fundraising support.  The focus of the work was with groups and networks led primarily by low-income people of color.

In 2012, CPC engaged in a new Strategic Planning process and realized that our region had evolved and it was time for our organization to as well!  Our partners helped us develop new Strategic Objectives that build on our strong foundation of Grassroots Support Organizing.

Please click here to learn more about our new Strategic Objectives.