Recognizing that we must model the world we are building through our activism, FORCE operates with the following guiding principles. Knowing oppressive behavior shows up in our social justice work and organizational structures, we seek to adopt organizational structures and practices building an alternative way to do the work and to hold ourselves accountable when it happens.
- Relationships and Interpersonal Dynamics: In fighting rape culture, we seek to honor the process and the humanity/individuality of every person we encounter. We work to be sensitive and create healing rather than upsetting relationships and experiences, and learn from our mistakes. In communication, we speak from our own experiences. We are open to being challenged and embrace change. When oppressive ideas and patterns reproduce, we point it out in a way that isn’t a personal attack, and take responsibility for our words and actions. We work to repair hurt when it occurs. Careful listening and truth telling are what allow for a true sharing of ideas.
- Self reflection and Self Knowledge: To honor ourselves, we commit to knowing ourselves and each other better at every opportunity. We show up as ourselves, and recognize each other’s humanity and dignity. We trust oppressed people to know their own needs and experiences. Our work comes from a place of joy and love. We seek to be accountable for our actions. We recognize the power that comes from expressing our own experiences. We value everyone’s right to privacy and confidentiality so we can feel safe to share. We lift up our dreams, because we need them to create a different world.
- Shared Leadership: Through the herein described leadership structure, FORCE shall operate under the principles of shared leadership with FORCE staff, FORCE Operations Board, Monument Quilt Leadership Team and members of Gather Together having valued and structurally meaningful input into important decisions. In collaboration, we commit to doing the hard work as a team and honoring the group process. We seek to be inclusive of and open to new ideas, knowing we learn and grow from each other. We always ask permission before offering touch, healing, or prayer. We honor everyone’s capacity.
- Survivor Leadership: FORCE believes that as those most directly affected by rape and abuse survivors are the best people to create effective change. FORCE is a survivor-led project where survivors are the majority of every decision making body. The interests and well being of survivors will be centered in the strategy, programming and planning of FORCE activities.
- Healing and Self Care. As an organization FORCE works to create a culture of consent where communities support survivors. Our internal structure should reflect the world we are working to create externally. Healing and self care for all staff and leadership are foundational to our programmatic and organizational goals.
- Transparency: To build trust among and between FORCE leaders, staff, board members, project participants and supporters, FORCE operate with transparency. FORCE staff, Operations Board Members, Monument Quilt Leadership Team Members and members of Gather Together communicate regularly, share important information, and execute transparency around budgeting and financial decisions.
- Anti-Oppression: Rape, sexual, intimate partner and domestic violence and abuse thrives in oppression. Rape is foundational to how systems of oppression— including racism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, ableism and classism— were created and how they persist today. FORCE believes that without an intersectional and anti-oppressive understanding of these systems of oppression, rape culture, we cannot effectively work toward ending rape, sexual, intimate partner and domestic violence and abuse. In its operations as an organization, FORCE will work to model building an anti-oppressive organization including prioritizing and centering marginalized voices, sharing power, speaking from our own experiences, and by holding oppressive behavior accountable.
- We believe survivors.
- We are accountable for our actions.