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May 212015
“Inspiring, Exciting, Motivating”: We the People’s First Community Visioning

Last month, on April 22nd, We the People held our first community visioning!  With over 40 people in attendance, our potluck-style gathering was a huge success.  The positive energy in the room was tangible and every single attendee had something affirmative to say in our closing.  “Inspiring,” “exciting,” and “motivating,” were just a few of the words floating around the room. Spirit in Action’s We the People organizing initiative is located in the unincorporated community of Swannanoa, North Carolina.  We have been conducting a listening project in collaboration with Warren Wilson students for over a year now, and has interviewed well over 200 community members in Swannanoa.  Through this listening project, we’ve identified the top [Read More]

Apr 142015
We the People Interns Working Together With Community Members at the Welcome Table

By Amanda Citro and Caroline Duble We the People: Working Together is Spirit in Action’s newest research and organizing initiative.  Our goal is to engage low-income and working-class people in grassroots organizing and to empower communities to take charge of the issues that affect them!  We’ve been conducting a listening project in Swannanoa, North Carolina over the past year and have interviewed over 100 people about their love of this community and about their shared concerns.  Written from the point of view of two Spirit in Action interns, Caroline and Amanda, this blog post highlights of the amazing work of an important group in the Swannanoa community, The Welcome Table.  Read more about the vision [Read More]

Mar 172015
Creating Change 2015 - Caroline Duble

Hello, all!  Some of you know me as the Social Justice Resident at Spirit in Action, but for many of you, this is your first time hearing from me.  My name is Caroline Duble; I am from Houston, Texas, and I have lived in Swannanoa, North Carolina for the past 5 years.  I graduated from Warren Wilson College in May 2014, and have been working for Spirit in Action since August 2014! There are so many things that I want to share with you all, about We the People, about the class that Linda is teaching at Warren Wilson, about our vision for a better Swannanoa… but I’ve recently  returned from a spectacular professional development [Read More]

Feb 232015
Becoming an Elder:  Bravely Going Where Young People Have Gone Before - by Linda Stout

The best part of getting older (I just celebrated my 61st birthday!) is that I get to see young leaders that have come through one of our trainings or networks, now taking the reins of both new and old national organizations, as well as regional and local.  It is a thrilling moment to see these young leaders now being the leaders and keynote speakers at major national conferences and something I hope to keep contributing to from the place of an “elder” activist (I don’t feel old enough to deserve that term, but young people now talk about their elderly parents or grandparents that are younger than me!).  We have too much work to do [Read More]

Dec 182014
We The People-Working Together shares its story!

We the People: Working Together is an exciting new research and organizing project that endeavors to make the crucial and vital shift from division to unity in order to create and sustain equality and justice for all. Please see above video of how our organizing is helping communitiy members and students engage with each other for greater change.

Nov 102014
Spirit in Action's Fall Newsletter

If you are like me, there are a few dozen things (or more!) that feel like they need our urgent attention. I could work full-time on the many different issues that pull at me. All seem equally necessary and critical. I know that if I could put all my time and resources into it, it might make a difference. But how do I decide? (continue reading by downloading our fall newsletter)

Aug 072014
Catching Fire, Breaking Silence:  Addressing Sexual and Gender Violence in our Social Movements - by Taij Kumarie Moteelall and Diana Marie Lee

Standing in Our Power (SiOP), a network of women of color social justice leaders, is calling for greater integrity, accountability, interdependence and compassion among individuals and organizations working for transformative social change. Many of us who serve as the core leaders and coaches of SiOP came to this network through our personal journeys to reclaim a sense of purpose, wholeness and well-being in our social justice work.  We have been inspired and influenced by the vision of the transformative social change movement over the last two decades to combine personal transformation with organizational efforts to catalyze socio-cultural, socio-economic, political and environmental revolution and social justice. We are living through tough social and economic times that forces [Read More]

Aug 062014
Navigating Our Lives with a Personal Mission Statement - by Patricia St. Onge

Most organizations have a mission statement. I’ve been thinking about having a mission statement for my life. I remember sitting in a meeting with Puanani Burgess and Juanita Brown, women for whom I have great respect. We had decided to meet together to share some of the tools we use in facilitating transformative change processes. When it was Puanani’s turn, she held up a big poster with a wide, blue ocean on it. In the middle of the ocean was a tiny boat. Just sitting there. Alone on the vast sea. My thought was “the people on that boat are lost.” Puanani suggested instead that they were just getting their bearings. If they didn’t know [Read More]

Jul 302014
Zenyu:  “Complete Healing” - by Christine Cruz Guiao

To stand in my power, I remember who I am. I mean, who I really am as a spiritual and soulful being, beyond my political identities: which include all of the complicated entanglements of oppressions and privileges I bear as a 2nd-generation Filipin@-American, gender-nonconforming queer woman. To work with others to re-discover their spiritual selves, I co-founded Zenyu Healing (Zenyu means “complete healing” in Japanese, a nod to my partner’s ethnic heritage), a grassroots nonprofit organization that serves the holistic health and leadership development of LGBTQI People of Color in Seattle. While we acknowledge that our political, ethnic/cultural, and gender identities are all profoundly important in understanding our status (or lack thereof) in this country, [Read More]

Jul 022014
Announcing the Education Justice Communication Summit 2014

We will be gathering 32 educators, organizers and influencers in the education justice movement from across the country at an Education Justice Communications Summit on July 17 – July 20 in order to strategize how effective communications and messaging can inform their local and movement building work. As part of the Summit we will: • Explore effective frames for messaging in order to combat corporate attacks, preserve and promote public education. • Discuss and analyze findings from the Education Justice Listening Project. • Help education justice activists utilize the most effective modalities and messages for their own organization communication strategy. Participating Organizations in the Summit Include: Press Pass TV, Mass Alliance, Chicago Teachers Union, National Dignity in Schools Campaign, Alliance to [Read More]