Our Guiding Principles
How We Work (Our Guiding Principles):
Frontline leadership: Ruckus supports action in which frontline communities lead the strategy, vision and action.*By frontline communities we mean those most (want to find a better word than ‘most’) impacted by a political, social, economic or environmental injustice and who are actively organizing to confront the injustice. (frontline of struggle)
Relationships for the long-haul: Ruckus comes where we’re called, respecting local work and building long-term relationships of support.
Visionary and confrontational: Ruckus supports action that builds strength and holds space for a strong community vision. We aspire to actions in which the visions and solutions presented are deeper and more compelling than the injustice and are placed directly in the path of the injustice.
Reflection and action cycle: Ruckus is committed to ongoing organizational evolution to better represent our values, serve the movement and adapt to changing conditions in the world. We believe that we must model the principles we’re guided by.
1. Ruckus comes where we're called, respecting local work and building long-term relationships of support. We outreach and build relationships with groups we respect, to lay the groundwork for being called to frontline work. We do not insert ourselves into people’s political or community work.
2. Ruckus supports action when the community most impacted by a political, social, economic or environmental injustice is the leader of the strategy, vision and action.
3. Ruckus supports action that builds strength and holds space for a strong community vision.
4. In a successful action, the visions and solutions are deeper and more compelling than the injustice. (We are calling for a movement wide shift away from action that isn't grounded in a vision of deep systemic change, as that ultimately is a misuse of our time and energy.)
5. No social movement in history has successfully transformed its society without direct action, and we at Ruckus recognize our historic significance and the need for our work in the movement at this time. However, the actions that had the most impact were uniquely suited to the time, place and political conditions - we feel the movement has gotten stuck in a tactical rut and its time to leap out with actions that address our current political conditions directly (post 9/11, Patriot Act repression, global economic and climate crisis)
6. “Transform yourself to transform the world.” – Grace Lee Boggs. We aim to be an organizational model of the change we call for in the world. Within our small organization we have gone from a kick ass majority white, male-led environmental-issue centered community to grow into a female-led, majority people of color and women, movement, people AND environment centered community which lovingly embraces those who brought the skills before us and those to come as part of the same fierce family of fearless activists with lifelong commitments to societal transformation. We are intentional about living our vision in terms of how we operate as a community, in order to bring vision-based support to the movement we love. We opt for self-determination and sustainability in everything from our structure to our budgets to our programs.
Our solutions, strategies and actions should be based on:
- Root Cause Remedies – getting to the underlying cause of the problem
- Rights – Protection and advancement of individual and collective rights, including the Rights of Mother Earth
- Reparations – Repairing our Relations, which includes making amends for past harms as well as setting ourselves up for the relationships that we want now and forward going.
- Real Representation through Direct Democracy – communities have control over the decisions that effect their daily lives – and no decisions about us are made without us.