THE ORGANIZER is a portrait of Wade Rathke, the controversial founder of ACORN, as well as an exploration of the much maligned and misunderstood occupation of community organizing.
Before it’s infamous demise following several highly publicized scandals, ACORN had been the largest community organization in the US. Rathke, a former anti-war and welfare rights organizer founded the organization in Little Rock in 1970 and over the next decades shepherded its growth into a national political powerhouse for the poor. His entrepreneurial vision helped build ACORN but internal conflict and external pressures would lead to its tragic downfall.
Undeterred, Rathke is now building new organizations around the world and trying to rebuild at home. With a wealth of archives and interviews, THE ORGANIZER is a film about people who have dedicated their lives to the often hidden, usually messy and always controversial job of building power for the powerless.