Beliefs

SONG is about transformation: transforming our communities, the world, and ourselves.  The vision for this transformation, and its resulting programmatic work, are shaped by SONG’s core values.  SONG views the following shared values as crucial to doing its work.

Relationship Values:  Personal relationships based on trust are fundamental in creating change and building movement in hostile environments.  Creating, re-building and sustaining a deep level of trust requires a commitment to honesty, integrity, transparency, and accountability.  We also strive to take care of each other by demonstrating kindness, compassion, joy, and resiliency.

Work Values:  SONG understands the intersections of oppression and works for collective liberation of all oppressed peoples.  SONG centers people with lived experience and commits to helping them work toward justice and dignity.  In doing this work, SONG also commits to anti-oppression work, collective direction, self-care, discipline and respect.  SONG lifts up the South as a vibrant political base and prioritizes those communities that have historically been both marginalized and been the backbone of resistance and liberation work in the South, including people of color and rural communities.

Spiritual Values:  SONG believes in people’s right to bring their whole selves into any given space and work towards healing the brokenness resulting from living compartmentalized lives.  SONG holds up joy, creativity, compassion, connectedness to earth, and a commitment to something greater than our individual selves as integral to spiritual survival.

Beliefs our work is based on:

  • Every person is worthy of dignity and respect.
  • We are all part of one another.
  • People are experts on their own lives, and have the right to self-determination.
  • Community Organizing is the best way we know to Build Power for oppressed people. SONG supports organizing that builds collective power and leadership among all involved and that begins with people who are most targeted by injustice.
  • Race, Class, Culture, Gender and Sexuality are intrinsically connected. Oppression is systemic and intersected, as are its methods and the people targeted by it. Alignment and solidarity among those who experience injustice provide the possibility of broad-based social change.
  • Unjust power divides and harms us. Shared power and resources are the foundation of liberation built on justice. As Gandhi said: “Every step towards liberation must have liberation in it.”
  • There is no liberation, not even survival, in isolation. Our liberation depends on us coming together across lines of difference. Our hope for change is bringing people together in multi-issue, multi-cultural community organizing.
  • People who are multiple identities are often asked to fragment themselves. We believe everyone should be able to bring their full selves to this work.
  • In Les/Gay/Bi/Trans Organizing; people of color, women, trans people, rural people, immigrants and low-income people are often marginalized. We believe WE must be central.
  • Attacks on Les/Gay/Bi/Trans people threaten the entire social change agenda, and we work to put LGBT issues into a rightful place. Likewise, classism and racism and ableism threaten the LGBT movement, we work to put all issues of justice in their rightful place.
  • Rural areas and small towns are integral to building a strong movement and we work to bring appropriate resources and strategies to rural areas, as they are traditionally under-resourced
  • SONG develops spaces—of mind, body, and spirit—and practices that welcome each person’s whole self and identities, create a culture of hope, encourage the development of one’s best self, and inspire vision for the combined individual and collective good.
  • Our work is about transformation to a just, fair and liberated society that meets the needs of its people. SONG chooses to organize around longing, desire, and hope before anger and fear. Sometimes we are angry and heart broken, but our work comes forth from a place of celebration and love for our communities.
  • Every person is worthy of dignity and respect.