Tell Us!! Does Your Organization Do Transformative Practice?

Written by Julie Quiroz

August 11, 2014

This fall MSC will release a new report on organizations and alliances bringing transformative practices into their work.

We want to hear from you!

Please take 2 minutes for our 3-question survey on collective transformative practice!

Our report (working title “Love with Power”) explores how organizations, networks and alliances are purposefully integrating methods of collective transformation – somatics, Forward Stance, story circles, and others — into their organizing, social change and movement building work.

Some history: Four years ago MSC published Out of the Spiritual Closet: Organizers Transforming the Practice of Social Justice describing how many organizers and activists turn to individual transformative practices, such as meditation, martial arts, gardening, and spiritual practice, in order to heal from burnout, connect to vision and purpose, expand awareness and sense of possibility, and lead from core power.

When we published Out of the Spiritual Closet, focusing on individual transformation felt like a big leap. Talking about “sustainability” in organizing was still new and edgy and words like “love” and “interdependence” rarely showed up in social justice conversations. At the same time, the focus on individual transformation helped surface crucially important and legitimate questions like: How we can do individual practice without reinforcing the ideology of individualism on which our worst systems thrive? How can we explore and learn from practices without, in the words of Jarune Uwujaren, appropriating in  “a centuries’ old pattern of taking, stealing, exploiting, and misunderstanding the history and symbols that are meaningful to people of marginalized cultures”?

Today the conversation has grown deeper and more complex as more and more people have stepped forward with their own transformative practices and sparked interest and exploration of individual transformation as a recognized and essential part of social change. Many of you have taken time to reflect, question, and grow, and most importantly, to create and rediscover ways to embed transformative practice in the collective endeavor that is social justice.

Today, the learning edge of social justice has brought the transformative focus to another set of questions: How do groups and organizations practice transformation? What does collective transformative practice look like – and how do we do it as part of creating a culture where oppression and exploitation cannot take root?

Is your organization in the deep dive – or ready to dip your toes in? Take this 3-question survey and help us all get a better picture of:

  • How many organizations are doing, experimenting with, or curious about collective transformative practice?
  • What collective transformative practices are organizations using?
  • What are the barriers, challenges, and opportunities in bringing collective transformative practice into movement building?

We promise to share what we learn here on Let’s Talk, in our upcoming report, and in any useful way we can!

Photo: Willie Davis

Julie Quiroz

Julie Quiroz lives in Michigan and leads New Moon Collaborations, a fiscally sponsored project of Movement Strategy Center. www.newmooncollab.org

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