we begin by listening

this weekend i am representing ruckus at an allied media projects earned income strategy session, sharing and learning about how to generate resources for and with a network.

we started the weekend last night by reviewing AMP’s principles, which the board and staff co-created. i’ve been on the board for years, and the naming of these principles was a codifying of my politic which was/is so satisfying and exciting that i wanted to share the principles with y’all! enjoy:

PRINCIPLES

Since its inception in 2002 and going back to the initial conference in 1999, Allied Media Projects has been learning from its network of participants. Through the AMC vision statement, case statement, and conference program, we attempt to articulate what we learn back to the network each year, continuing the process of listening and learning and speaking. We adapt our way of organizing based on what we hear and learn from the network. 

Year to year, many things have changed and continue to change, giving our shared work and the conference vitality. Especially in the past few years, though, we have drawn certain lessons repeatedly, from a variety of sources. Together, we have tested, adapted, applied, and honed these lessons. At this point, some of the concepts are so consistent and widely practiced throughout the network, that they amount to a set of shared principles. We articulate these shared principles here, to the best of our ability, so that we can all more clearly understand the work we are doing together… 
 
– We are making an honest attempt to solve the most significant problems of our day.

– We are building a network of people and organizations that are developing long-term solutions based on the immediate confrontation of our most pressing problems. 

– Wherever there is a problem, there are already people acting on the problem in some fashion. Understanding those actions is the starting point for developing effective strategies to resolve the problem, so we focus on the solutions, not the problems. 

– We emphasize our own power and legitimacy. 

– We presume our power, not our powerlessness. 

– We are agents, not victims. 

– We spend more time building than attacking. 

– We focus on strategies rather than issues. 

– The strongest solutions happen through the process, not in a moment at the end of the process. 

– The most effective strategies for us are the ones that work in situations of scarce resources and intersecting systems of oppression because those solutions tend to be the most holistic and sustainable. 

– Place is important. For the AMC, Detroit is important as a source of innovative, collaborative, low-resource solutions. Detroit gives the conference a sense of place, just as each of the conference participants bring their own sense of place with them to the conference. 

– We encourage people to engage with their whole selves, not just with one part of their identity. 

– We begin by listening.

aren’t those beautiful? this is how those principles look to me:

this weekend we at Ruckus are here with Detroit Summer, People’s Production House, Institute of Popular Education of Southern California (IDEPSCA), Climbing PoeTree, Palestine Education Project, Young Women’s Empowerment Project, Prometheus and Emergence to think through how what we know about earned income can grow these principles into a sustainable strategy.

these principles are deeply aligned with ruckus’s work, and with how I am inspired by and approaching the US Social Forum.

Simultaneously I am reviewing a Gloria Anzaldúa reader and seeing how similar principles emerged from her life’s work.

It’s a beautiful synergistic moment.

:)

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