During times of economic, ecological and social upheaval, we are faced with a fundamental choice: to contract or connect. In these times, we can see both vast challenges that threaten to overwhelm progressive organizations, as well as powerful opportunities for transformation. At Spirit in Action, we believe that we can help shape our country’s future now by effectively bringing grassroots groups from the margins to the center of the political process. Now is a pivotal time to work cooperatively by joining forces to create cohesive strategies for broad-scale, sustained social change. Small and large organizations, committed to social transformation, need to share resources rather than compete for the crumbs.
Through Power Up Networks we provide grassroots organizations with new learning, innovative practices and a creative model to strengthen existing networks as well as build new ones. We offer innovative ways of connecting across intersecting strategies—giving way to a holistic effort that is greater than the sum of our parts. We support groups to come together to collectively move more hearts and minds, as well as shift culture and policy on a larger scale. We provide the tools networks need to successfully leverage the strength of their diversity. In addition to convening national networks, we train leaders to create and facilitate both national and local/regional networks.
Listen to members of PCN, our first network, as they tell us about the benefits of building networks.
Here are our networks:
- Progressive Communicators Network – Since early 2000, Spirit in Action has convened and facilitated this growing network of media and public relations practitioners who are committed to increasing the power and reach of grassroots voices in the media and in the formation of public policy and opinion.
- Education Circle of Change – this network is laying the groundwork for a broad-based national movement dedicated to revolutionizing how educators, families, and communities work together to transform the educational landscape.
- Standing in Our Power – an intergenerational network that connects Women of Color leaders working across the nation and across social justice issues to create new leadership models and nurture a profound paradigm shift toward broad social change.
Our network-building convenings create an atmosphere of openness which allows for respectful dialogue about controversial issues. We support each other as human beings even when we do not share each others’ analysis and approach. This is because we seek to heal divisions across divides of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, language, issues and perspectives. At the core of our work is a deep respect for our communities, as well as spiritual and cultural practices that different groups bring with them to their work. Members of our networks attest to our successful methodology, which fosters deep collaboration and builds a strong community.
We have seen that networks are a powerful means to increase the capacity and impact of social change organizations. The networks we build ground people in a larger vision and create channels that enable that vision to spread. Thoughtfully built, our networks harness and expand the energy of groups working towards a collective vision.