SONG Core Values For Our Work Together, developed in relationship with Kindred: Southern Healing Justice Collective, these are the practices we use to live our beliefs.
Hospitality and Warmth
The people we work with often work hard and lonely days, months, and years. Many SONG members say that SONG is the only place they feel whole. We honor them by bringing our best to them and our work when we host them: when they appear at our door—we greet them with genuine warmth, we listen to them, we respect them, and we support them. We are careful to not make assumptions about what they know or don’t know; what language they speak; if they can read or write, etc. If we are having a bad day, we take care of ourselves too, but we put them first when we are with them.
We give great thanks for being put on this earth, and for the opportunity to do the work of building toward Justice and Liberation. We commit to an organizational culture of giving thanks: we thank each other, the earth, and our members whenever relevant. We notice when someone works hard, makes sacrifices, or struggles with the work. We thank them.
We value different approaches, skills, leadership styles and value our different needs. We push away from social, political, or religious fundamentalism
We find clarity through questions / dynamics / pushback…which we communicate openly
Working broad-based with a strong power analysis
We do broad-based work with a strong power analysis of oppression—we do cross-race, cross-class, cross-gender, cross-ability, cross-immigration status work…with people most affected at the center of the work. We believe in community organizing as a way to build power for oppressed people and develop broad leadership
Hold Accountability and Support
We provide caring feedback that supports mutual accountability and responsibility to hold a space that furthers the collective vision and allows us to bring our best selves
Transparency and Reflection
We are honest with each other and we continually develop tools and skills that inspire transparency and reflection (Example: Always having de-briefs and evaluations)
We do what we said we were going to do. If we cannot do what we said we were going to do, we take responsibility to tell the others while there is still time to pick up the slack.
We create an environment where we can ask clarifying questions openly, and adapt the situation to what needs to change
Exercising Our Hope Muscle…
instead of working out of fear in our work. We trust each other and the people we work with.
Mindful of Language and Pace
We are mindful of language we use—not using hyperbole, because we take each other’s words at face value. We put the pace of groups that we work with at the center of our planning, and respect that pace.
Working without Trademarking Ideas
This is a movement, not a business. We don’t need to trademark or own ideas. We do, however, give credit and voice to work that we ourselves have benefited from and built off of. We think of this as a protocol of giving voice to the legacy of organizations, individuals, and movements
Committed to timely conflict resolution
We commit to immediate and direct communication and to not undermining each other’s leadership. We agree to use the conflict resolution policy to work on what comes up. We are open to our own disagreements, and our own differences in style and approach
We are open to pushing ourselves, each other, and who we work with—valuing stretch; growth; and expansive ways to dream, vision, and practice.
We value the self-determination of the people we work with. We understand that there are serious consequences for outing people we work with in any way. We commit to complete confidentiality when we are asked for it.
Solidarity and Sustainability
We value people over profit, which means that WE are our greatest resource. We commit to supporting each other’s sustainability in the work; and we develop each other’s leadership constantly through political education, evaluations, reflections, resource sharing, and democratic decision-making.