Statement of Accountability
Accountability to the community is key to organizing effectively and with integrity. It is critical for maintaining adherence to these principles and for moving forward as an anti-racist organization involved in undoing racism. As a principle, it connotes inter-relationship, interdependence, and community.
OUR STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
In order to realize our vision of a just, anti-racist society, we recognize the need to change culture, systems, and structures of power. Haymarket seeks to embody that change in the way our organization works. The following principles were approved as part of a long range planning process and reflect our values and guide our work together:
If we hope to achieve just societies that include all people in decision‑making and assure that all people have an equitable share of the wealth and the work of this world, then we must work to build that kind of inclusiveness into our own organization. This requires more than tokenism.
Let People Speak for Themselves
We must be sure to hear the voices of people directly affected by our policies and practices. Haymarket must provide ways for spokespersons to represent and be responsible to the affected constituencies. Organizations and individuals participating in Haymarket must be clear about their roles and about who they represent in order to assure accountability within our structures.
Work Together in Solidarity and Mutuality
Haymarket funds a variety of social change issues. People in Haymarket represent a wide range of communities, goals, and strategies. Individuals and groups working on similar issues with compatible visions should consciously act in solidarity and mutuality and support each other’s work.
We need to treat each other with justice and respect, both on an individual and an organizational level, in this country and across borders. This includes a commitment to honesty, integrity, and to face-to-face confrontation, and a rejection of dishonesty, manipulation, and polarization. Defining and developing “just relationships” will be a process that won’t happen overnight. It must include clarity about decision-making, sharing strategies, power, and resource distribution.
Commitment to Self Transformation
As we change societies, we must change from operating in the mode of individualism to community-centeredness. We must embody the values that we say we’re struggling for. As Haymarket members, we are committed to political and personal growth, and open to being challenged.
Culture is the life support system of a community. If a community’s culture is respected and nurtured, the community’s power will grow. Sharing culture is central to our work together. We know that different cultures express themselves in different ways and we will work to respect different modes of expression.
Internal Dynamics of Leadership Development
Grassroots leadership needs to be developed intentionally and systematically within all Haymarket’s structures.
The growth of an effective broad-based movement for social change requires networking or “building a net that works.” As the movement develops a strong net, people are less likely to fall through.
Openness and Commitment to the Process
We encourage an atmosphere of open dialogue about issues. We trust Haymarket members to participate in dialogue, disagreement and struggle with the intention of building the organization and making it stronger. We understand dissent to be integral to the process and commit to engaging with dissent honestly, creatively and productively. In the spirit of consensus process, we understand that “blocking” consensus entails the responsibility for staying in the process and hammering out a new solution. Disagreement and dissent also entail that responsibility.
We expect each person to take responsibility for his/her needs, feelings and actions. We call on each person to discern the difference between their personal issues and issues that are of interest to the organization as a whole, and to be mindful of what is useful to bring to the group.
In order to work effectively, Haymarket members need to be fully informed of ideas, changes and developments that impact our work.
We will work to communicate as effectively as possible and to disseminate information in a timely manner.
We are engaged in powerful, difficult work where conflict and tension is inevitable. In order to move forward we need to take the time to support each other.
Anything that we would try to write about humor would be hopelessly over-earnest. Just plan to laugh a lot.
* These principles are based on material developed by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. (www.pisb.org)