The following is a living document the Art for Social Change committee reads at the beginning of each of our weekly meetings as well as any other special meetings.
Welcome to this open meeting of Art for Social Change. We are glad you are all here, especially newcomers. Due to the sensitive subjects discussed in our meetings we begin with prepared material to remain rooted in our common goal: to use art as a way to acknowledge, heal, and liberate ourselves and others. Please take this opportunity to introduce yourself, state your pronouns, your role on campus, and choose someone who has not introduced themselves yet.
Points of Unity
- The oppression of one is the oppression of all: in order to achieve collective liberation we must cultivate a nuanced understanding of each issue we choose to address.
- Oppression works on an interpersonal, somatic, intersectional, and institutional level.
- Our work moves at the “speed of trust” relying on an active practice of humility, critical thinking, continuous self-reflection, education, and honest, direct dialogue.
- Through this focus on the larger topic of oppression we choose to uplift each other, respecting our various identities while making room for more insight and healing.
- We work with, not for, oppressed communities.
- Through this combination of reflection and action, called praxis, we work together to achieve liberation.
In honoring this land we honor her original/current stewards the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tumwater, and Watalala bands of the Chinook; the Tualatin Kalapuya; and many other indigenous nations of the N’chi-Wana (Columbia) River (also known as Portland, OR).
We seek to join in this stewardship, acknowledging that these words do little to undo centuries of violent oppression and genocide, and with the knowledge that our actions speak louder than words. We encourage you to learn/do more using these resources, and read our full Land Acknowledgement here.
- We center the voices, experiences, opinions, and ideas of oppressed peoples. Listen to marginalized individuals, discomfort may be a sign to reflect or change course.
- Being courageous is not easy, but it is necessary. Mistakes will be made, own them, apologize by framing the harm caused (not your feelings), and commit to doing better.
- Call in, don’t call out. Point out mistakes without tearing people down.
- W.A.I.T. (Why Am I Talking?) Before speaking we must ask ourselves if we have allowed room and consideration for marginalized voices, ideas, and opinions.
- Intent does not equal impact. Impact is more important when considering harm.
- Equitable praxis. We exist in various social intersections, some of which grant us more privilege and power than others. We will strive to recognize this privilege in our interactions with each other.
Dialogue and art-making are an act of love, respect, humility and faith. As members of this committee we strive to honor these principles, honor each other, and join together in the fight for our collective liberation.
Thank you to everyone for being here and taking the time to be part of this meeting. Let’s close our time together today by saying an appreciation for an Art for Social Change team member or what you appreciated about the meeting today. After you’ve finished please choose another member of the group.