I am so incredibly excited to FINALLY introduce you to the Coalition for Good (CFG) and the Othering-Free Zone (OFZ)! I provide the background story below, as well as insight as to why you are being personally invited to read this post. If you prefer to explore now here are the links:
As a lifelong activist|social entrepreneur, always passionate about a wide range of issues, organizations, enterprises and movements, I’m rarely able to narrow it down to one or two. Thanks to the Internet and social media, I can’t even keep up with the plethora of wonderful players involved in transformative movements around the world. It’s overwhelming, but in a good way. 🙂
Given my inability to choose one silo or project, in recent years my focus has been on creating connections and offering tools supportive of this admirable work. Unfortunately, I continue to see unnecessary fragmentation and competition within and between the various silos and movements, and believe that cultivating meaningful, diverse relationships in order to have genuine collaboration and partnership is necessary in moving forward and to sustain any progress achieved. That is another reason I’m focused on offering tools and platforms for more meaningful connection.
I’m far from alone in this feeling of being overwhelmed (even if it is in a good way!), and longing to be engaged in various projects and support various organizations. We need an umbrella of sorts, having peace of mind knowing that all who stand with us under this huge umbrella are essentially of like mind and like heart and share a similar vision of transformation toward more caring, just, equitable and sustainable communities and societies.
The Coalition for Good is one such umbrella.
Prior to February 2016, I was on a clear course, slowly but surely laying the foundation of a vision I’d been building over the last two years, projects now under the Our Good Media umbrella — yes, I’m a fan of metaphorical umbrellas! — sparked by the success of and continued need for Wishadoo!
In early February an interaction with a potential colleague about racism, bigotry and diversity took me aback, leading me to re-evaluate everything (on Medium: My Internal Tug of War). What happened over the next two months as a result of this slight detour involved a lot of research and is a long story, but the detour ended with my realization that, while the word “diversity” is used frequently, it rarely manifests. I believe segregation is actually getting much worse.
My detour came to an end when I saw video of the violence at a Trump rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina on March 9th, coming on the heels of daily escalating violence and rage. Suffice it to say all of this led to a sharper focus and even more determination to move forward.
The Othering-Free Zone was born amidst the rising tide of inhumanity apparent to anyone paying attention. The discriminatory legislation being passed by legislatures in states like North Carolina — where I currently reside — is an attempt, conscious or not, to legalize this inhumanity, reversing any progress made over the last century.
Time is of the essence.
I proceeded to immerse myself in honing the vision and mission of the Coalition for Good, a network intended to “connect and empower diverse, multi-sector communities in the transformative work of building caring, just, equitable and sustainable societies,” with this network “envisioned as a galvanizing hub for the growing movements for transformative sustainable change; it is also the conscience or touchstone for our stated shared values.”
The website (this website, you are already here) is ready to be shown to those individuals and organizations being invited as founding members. The plan is to launch the Othering-Free Zone as the first project of The Coalition. (I would love to explore adapting the OFZ idea for children as well!)
In order to narrow the focus to some degree so that you may more easily and clearly see your place in The Coalition, the following systems and institutions represent The Coalition’s initial areas of focus, with founding organizational members representing these silos:
Commerce|Economy • Culture • Democracy • Ecosystems • Education • Health|Wellness
We are initially seeking founding organizational members whose work is centered on the specific groups vulnerable to discrimination, oppression, abuse and all forms of “Othering”:
Children, women, elderly, the differently abled; groups of people being abused and Othered based on sexual orientation, religious identification, ethnicity, nationality, economic class, etc.
Let us not lose sight of the abuse heaped upon animals and the Earth herself. We humans even Other non-human life, allowing all manner of destruction to ensue.
The Othering-Free Zone is intended to raise awareness and create dialogue around the ways we humans create The Other each and every day.
The Coalition for Good is aligned in our work to shift away from Othering, toward healing, transformation and commitment to our Community Good. This is our mantra of sorts:
This transformation begins with AWARENESS — including self-awareness;
With awareness we can expand and deepen our capacity to care;
With care comes connection and relationship;
With relationship comes the opportunity to see truth and build trust;
With trust comes heartfelt compassion and empathy;
With compassion and empathy come justice and healing;
With justice and healing comes peace;
With PEACE we can create meaningful, sustainable lives, communities and societies.
BUT, FIRST, WE MUST CARE.