Guiding Principles

Equal Action uses the following principles to guide us in our work with communities and in our internal development as a collective:

Shared Liberation: We honor the importance of being able to bring all of ourselves to a space – all our identities and lived experiences and the complicated ways in which they intersect. We build solidarity with movements working to end systemic forms of oppression related to gender and sexuality, age, race, immigration, class, and ability. We challenge ourselves and others to recognize the intersections between these systems and the larger white, sexist, capitalist, ableist, adultist hegemony that dominates our society.

Youth-Adult Partnership: We believe in the importance of intergenerational relationships. Rather than adults running programs for youth, youth and adults work together and are present with one another. We aim to create intentional structures that support both youth and adults in learning from one another and growing together.

Critically Loving: We recognize that our work is ultimately motivated by a deep love for one another and our communities. This can involve being empathetic, listening, and holding contradictions, as well as being critical and sharing when we are frustrated, hurt, or angry with one another.  We also recognize that we need to critically love ourselves and be accountable to our own bullshit. Only in these manners can we help each other evolve into selves and communities that are truly transformative and anti-oppressive.

Healing Justice: We challenge activist community norms of martyrdom by creating spaces that are as healing for ourselves as they are for our communities. We are part of the communities we want to heal and lift up. We realize that this work can only happen if we model within Equal Action what we hope for our communities. As people who have been oppressed to feel invisible, objectified, and self-loathing, the most radical thing we can do is to love ourselves.

Collectivism: We make decisions as a collective and critically analyze hierarchical structures and US individualism. We recognize that collective governance means investing the actual time it requires to make decisions that everyone will contribute to and own together and equally. We emphasize collectivism across generations and identities.

Sustainability as a Political Practice: We aim to challenge capitalist notions of consumption and expansion as measures of progress. We hope to honor our bodies, time, and lives by allowing ourselves respite and rejuvenation and not taking on more than we can or consuming more than we need to.

Movement Building: The work is not to simply fulfill program goals, but instead builds upon itself and is done with the ultimate purpose of collectively changing and creating transformative systems and communities. We aim to  work within a larger, sustainable, and long-term context. We are driven by community and not by funding.

Dynamic & Evolving: We aim to be dynamic and evolving in our structure, purpose, and projects as people, communities, and the world are constantly growing and changing.

 

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