Our Mission

Movement Strategy Center provides values-aligned, holistic intermediary services enabling access to crucial infrastructure and thought partnership for BIPOC, women, and LGBTQIA+ movement leaders, activists, and communities challenging intersectional issues of systemic racism, rampant environmental destruction, and crippling economic exploitation. We are unique in that we do not operate as a singular organization but as a collective ecosystem incubating and accelerating the work of our partner projects, which speaks to our values of radical interdependence and love.

Our Vision

Is of a Just Transition from a world of domination, extraction, and violence — where the few live at the expense of the many — to a world of interdependence, liberation, and resilience — where the many govern for the benefit of all. We understand that a Just Transition is only possible when the voices of BIPOC, women, and LGBTQIA+IA+QIA++ leaders are honored, celebrated, and amplified, not merely tolerated.

Our Founding

Movement Strategy Center (MSC) was founded in Oakland, California in 2001 by Taj James of Full Spectrum Labs, Kristin Zimmerman of Root. Rise. Pollinate!, and Lisa Russ, a social justice consultant, with the understanding that grassroots transformative movements intending to change structures and systems must also change the way we think, the way we live, and even who we are. Transformative movements recognize that our issues are interconnected, so our systemic solutions must also be interconnected. For over 20 years we have supported movement makers on a local and national level as they affect change, movement by movement and person by person from the roots up.

MSC was inspired by and grounded in the 60/40 Stance, a mind-body transformative practice that fosters powerful change. Developed by MSC mentor Norma Wong, the practice explores individual and collective purpose and the unconscious habits that can limit or feed our capacity as movement builders.

Elements of Movement Building

MSC has built on significant learnings over two decades exploring how best to support a Just Transition to a world of regenerative relationships between people and the planet that prioritizes economic, racial, and gender equity. MSC’s approach is grounded in four elements that we believe are the core of transformative movement building. We lead with audacious vision and bold purpose. We deeply embody the values we fight for. We build radical and deep community. Together, we strategically navigate toward a future of interdependence, liberation, and resilience.

A core component of MSC’s work has been the Transitions Initiative, an inquiry-based approach to discovering shared purpose and vision, cultivating a 100-year vision, building beloved community, and co-generating the strategies needed to transform our world. MSC facilitated these discussions through a series of strategic Transitions Labs that aimed to nurture transformation as a spiritual commitment, build communities of practice, and strengthen leaders as they set out to do the radical work of transformative movement building in the face of systemic injustices.

Over years of applied practice and exploration, the Transitions Initiative evolved into a robust ecosystem of leaders and initiatives implementing the practices of transformative movement building with their respective communities. Continuing to grow alongside them, MSC no longer formally encompasses these works, but the purpose, vision, and ethos of the Transitions Initiative still informs and infuses every MSC partnership — helping ground leaders in their purpose, inspiring them to believe in their vision, and offering them the space and the tools to practice, experiment, and thrive.

These labs, practices, and communities of purpose continue to expand within our Movement Strategy Network (MSN) — a Transitions Community focusing on MSC’s core commitment to interconnected transformative movements in the spheres of Social Justice, Racial Equity, and Movement Building.

Anchored by Beloved Communities Network and People’s Climate Innovation Center, two foundational projects that represent the essence of this work, these guideposts inform all of our partnerships.

Leadership Demographics

Our partner organizations are led by a diverse coalition of movement makers who represent our rejection of the systemic racism and sexism inherent in philanthrophy and society as a whole.