Our Organizing Principles and Strategies

The following principles came out of the The Jemez meeting, which was hosted by the Southwest Network for
Environmental and Economic Justice with the intention of hammering out common understandings between participants from different cultures, politics and organizations.

1. Be Inclusive
If we hope to achieve just societies that include all
people in decision-making and assure that all
people have an equitable share of the wealth and
the work of this world, then we must work to
build that kind of inclusiveness into our own
movement in order to develop alternative policies
and institutions to the treaties policies under neoliberalism.
This requires more than tokenism, it cannot be
achieved without diversity at the planning table, in
staffing, and in coordination. It may delay
achievement of other important goals, it will
require discussion, hard work, patience, and
advance planning. It may involve conflict, but
through this conflict, we can learn better ways of
working together. It’s about building alternative
institutions, movement building, and not
compromising out in order to be accepted into the
anti-globalization club.

2. Emphasis on Bottom-Up Organizing
To succeed, it is important to reach out into new
constituencies, and to reach within all levels of
leadership and membership base of the
organizations that are already involved in our
networks. We must be continually building and
strengthening a base which provides our
credibility, our strategies, mobilizations, leadership
development, and the energy for the work we

3. Let People Speak for Themselves
We must be sure that relevant voices of people
directly affected are heard. Ways must be provided
for spokespersons to represent and be responsible to
the affected constituencies. It is important for
organizations to clarify their roles, and who they
represent, and to assure accountability within our
structures.

4. Work Together In Solidarity and Mutuality
Groups working on similar issues with compatible
visions should consciously act in solidarity, mutuality
and support each other’s work. In the long run, a
more significant step is to incorporate the goals and
values of other groups with your own work, in order
to build strong relationships. For instance, in the long
run, it is more important that labor unions and
community economic development projects include
the issue of environmental sustainability in their own
strategies, rather than just lending support to the
environmental organizations. So communications,
strategies and resource sharing is critical, to help us
see our connections and build on these.

5. Build Just Relationships Among Ourselves
We need to treat each other with justice and respect,
both on an individual and an organizational level, in
this country and across borders. Defining and
developing “just relationships” will be a process that
won’t happen overnight. It must include clarity about
decision-making, sharing strategies, and resource
distribution. There are clearly many skills necessary to
succeed, and we need to determine the ways for those
with different skills to coordinate and be accountable
to one another.

6. Commitment to Self-Transformation
As we change societies, we must change from
operating on the mode of individualism to
community-centeredness. We must “walk our talk.”
We must be the values that we say we’re struggling
for and we must be justice, be peace, be community.

 

 

Fighting for change does not come from a singular strategy, or tactic.  In order to make real change means that a collective of individuals need to build at the community level, empower those also want to see change, inspire other in the community to join forces, so that a culture of resistance will go up against an oppressive system. Our coalition will utilize the following organizing models, when addressing the root problems in our community. We also partner with other organizations to provide the necessary training sessions for coalition members and the public.

 

 

 

Community Assemblies
This is the coalition’s to go activity. Where community residents gather and listen to concerns, analyze the information, then make decisions for collective action and power. The assembly collectively answers: What are the problems we face? What are the solutions? And what are we going to do about it.

Story-based Strategy, Center of Story-based Strategies
This participatory approach that links community building with an analysis of narrative power and places storytelling at the center of change

Broad-based Organizing
Organizing across socio-economic areas in our communities, plus outreach that is multi-ethnic, multi-racial, grounded by intersectional feminism.  As a way increase integration in our organizing work.

Power Mapping, LittleSis
This visual tool aids figuring out who has influence, how they influence others, and who else is being influenced.

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