I have a number of recent conversations to thank for inspiring this post. Why and how I have built morena strategies to work within the larger community economic development and social, economic, and racial justice space comes from such a deeply ingrained place that I often forget to name it, contextualize it, and share it.
The Beginning: Systems of Power
First and foremost, morena strategies is concerned with who holds power and how societal, cultural, and institutional values influence our perceptions of and concessions to power. History - and my own personal and professional experiences - have shown that the current systems of power favor some over others. It is no mystery, then, that inequities follow. If we are to truly rectify these inequities, we must be concerned with the dynamics and allocation of power, and work intentionally to restructure power around and with those historically left out.
It Takes a Village
Ubuntu (Nguni Bantu): I am because we are.
Because my ability to breathe is directly connected to my ability to see/
that it's not about me, never was, never will be/
it's about WE/
it's time to move ya'll/
it's movement time ~ Las Cafeteras "It's Movement Time"
But none of us can create meaningful, long-lasting, multi-generational change to these power structures alone. This is exactly why morena strategies is dedicated to a collaborative model that recognizes the critical contributions of an entire community ecosystem and that centers around the people who are most directly impacted by injustice; they are the experts and leaders, we are the supporters and assisters. When we can come together as an organized, coordinated and respectful team, anything is possible.
Iteration and Re-Iteration
Even when we successfully advance more equitable development or policies, the complete dismantling of structures of racism and socioeconomic inequity requires persistence, resilience, and vigilance. This is not linear work and it is rarely work that is ever completely done. Therefore, morena strategies is invested in the long-haul, willing to plug in at any and all phases of the change cycle to keep momentum going in a positive direction.