People who live in highly self-sufficient local communities are less likely to get involved in large-scale violence than people whose existence depends on world-wide systems of trade. —E.F. Schumacher, author of Small is Beautiful
The next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community; a community practising understanding and loving kindness, a community practising mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the Earth. - Thich Nhat Hanh
We know that going against the dominant culture isn’t easy. Inertia is strong, and we can’t change it all alone. Change is only possible in a community.
One of the most devastating effects of the war economy has been severing community bonds and alienating us from each other. Where we used to live in villages where everyone knew and took care of each other, now we live in big boxes with doors and gates. Where we used to grow and cook food together, now we pay cashiers and servers for groceries and restaurant meals.
Growing the love between us and learning to depend on each other again is perhaps the most significant thing we can do to transform the war economy, and it’s also what nourishes our humanity and creates the conditions conducive to life.
Do you have a community to explore growing a local peace economy with? How can you find your people? And what can you do together?
We’re here to support you! Here are some ideas to start you off:
For individual support with growing your community, send an email to Kelly, our Local Peace Economy organizer, at [email protected]and we will set up a time to talk!
And check out Social Justice Learning Institute in Los Angeles, CA
"If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." - Lilla Watson
In a time when immigrants, refugees, Black, brown, queer and trans, cash poor and houseless folks are under attack, we ask ourselves: how do we support people across a vast spectrum of identities and experiences? We know that this work isn't about "helping" people, but we build bridges because our collective liberation depends on it. We all suffer in this war economy, and we know that we are not free until everyone is free.
This process starts with unlearning - those of us who have more "privilege" in the system (in race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, education, and citizenship) have to do the most work to do to understand both the experiences of others and how we've been socialized to normalize and enact the dominant culture. It's a never-ending journey of reflection and practice, but it's a beautiful one that heals our souls with every step we take away from colonial culture and separation towards interdependence.
Here are a few resources to begin:
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) - find your local chapter here! SURJ is a national network that organizes white people to show up for racial justice through community organizing, mobilizing and education.
- Understanding Racism and White Supremacy - this is a collection of articles, books and videos that unpacks whiteness, colonialism, identity, cultural appropriation and much more.
- Tools for White Guys Working for Social Change - here's a great list of practical strategies to disrupt everyday patterns of domination that show up in our lives (not just for white guys!)
- Decolonization - the Just Transition Begins with Unlearning - a post from our own Paula Kahn about the “Decolonizing Organizing” session at CODEPINK’s Sonoma Peace Camp 2017, along with more resources!
We know this stuff is hard - prepare to challenge your worldview, feel a bit uncomfortable, and mess up a bunch. We're here to support you - reach out to [email protected] with any questions or comments about this process!