Our Approach: Theory of Transformation
We build a broad and interconnected social force committed to collectively transforming the world by working with communities to Reimagine culture, Resist domination, Reform institutions and Recreate society.
REIMAGINE: Conceptualizing New Systems – We are in a critical period of social evolution that requires new ways of being. In order to generate a just world, we must be able to imagine what a society based on partnership, inclusion, and interdependence looks like. This strategy area engages how we think about ourselves in relation to each other and the whole and taps our individual and collective ability to engender new cultural norms. Approaches can include the arts, the creative process, media and cultural and spiritual traditions.
REFORM: Working Within the Current System – The current structures in society have real impact on our daily lives and our ability to self-determine. While we work on building new structures, we must simultaneously change the structures of society that are in place now. We understand that the very immediate and real needs of people who lack food, housing, well-paid work, safety and opportunity need to be addressed, especially if we seek to build a base from the ground up that is led by those most impacted by injustice. This strategy tackles immediate needs and requires our current social and political institutions to provide remedies to pervasive social problems. Approaches can include human services and policy development.
RESIST: Working On the Current System – Throughout history, we have seen that “power concedes nothing without demand.” Resistance struggles have given rise to our greatest wins. To address the root causes of injustice, we are often called to stand against the destruction of what we hold dear. This strategy analyzes and challenges our current political and social institutions by contesting their legitimacy and by directly confronting how they perpetuate inequity. Approaches can include direct action, community organizing and electoral work.
RECREATE: Generating New Systems – The future we envision calls for the creation of new institutions and practices to take the place of the broken ones that have not been serving us. As we resist and succeed at dismantling current unjust systems, we will need to erect new institutions and paradigms. This strategy enables us to experiment with new ways of constituting our society by building entirely new models, forms of governance and leadership structures. Approaches can include democratic schools, restorative justice processes, local economies, and open source technologies.
The mix of methods, speaking to our whole selves—and all in a reasonable amount of time—very rich!—Karimah Stauch, Regional Coordinator, United Religions Initiative, Bonn, Germany