Transformative Intermediaries Group | Who are the TIGgers?

This month’s Activists, Allies, and Agents of Social Change (3A) section highlights all of the organizations that make up the  Transformative Practice Canopy at the US Social Forum (USSF).  Each field intermediary organization was asked to contribute a paragraph about their work and answer the question, “How do you see the use of transformative approaches, practices, modalities, etc.  impacting social justice work?”

Currently, six organizations make up the TIGgers, Transformative Intermediaries Group. They are CXC (Center for Transformative Change), Generative Somatics, Movement Strategy Center, Rockwood Leadership Institute, Social Justice Leadership, and Stone Circles. The TIGgers is a collective of organizations and individuals that have over the years, built relationship and collaborations. Each TIGgers organization plays various intermediary roles in bringing transformational work and practice to social change and justice movements.

Here’s what they have to say:

about stone circles:
stone circles works to sustain activists and strengthen the work for social justice through spiritual practice and principles.  Much of our work is based at The Stone House, our 70-acre center for spiritual life, strategic action and a sustainable relationship with the land.  We offer leadership training, practice retreats, land-based education, strategic programming and radical hospitality.
Q:  How do you see the use of transformative approaches, practices, modalities, etc.  impacting social justice work?
A:  We believe that the deepest roots of injustice lie in the tangled places of our hearts and minds. The spiritual practices that we offer encourage a careful examination of these places, in order to gather insight and compassion for ourselves and others. People learn some basic principles and practices that will guide them on their journeys to being more effective leaders and more responsible agents of change in the world. At The Stone House we provide an environment that inspires creative strategy and reflective understanding through our land, facilities and programs.  And we have done this by maintaining a space that is available and accessible to all people.
about Rockwood Leadership Institute:
The Rockwood Leadership Institute was founded in 2000 to provide individuals, organizations and networks in the social benefit sector with powerful and effective training in leadership and collaboration. Rockwood teaches skills and tools that help organizers, advocates and other social change workers overcome organizational challenges; inspire and align individuals and organizations toward producing quality outcomes; develop collaborative skills; decrease “burn-out”; and create organizations that celebrate sustainability and diversity.
Q:  How do you see the use of transformative approaches, practices, modalities, etc.  impacting social justice work?
A:  Rockwood’s approach to systemic change utilizes an integrated model that attends to hearts and minds along with practices for shifting human behavior that ultimately helps the leader and their networks to change systems that uphold and maintain oppression. The training curriculum integrates a wide variety of transformative practices such as mindfulness, compassion, personal responsibility, purpose, personal ecology and centeredness.
about Social Justice Leadership:
The mission of Social Justice Leadership  (SJL) is to help usher in the transformation to a just society by catalyzing a new generation of individuals and organizations in the social justice movement.  We hope to assemble the elements for a new model of social justice organization: a values-driven and skillful leadership that understands the significance of reflective practice, a culture of organizational performance that is uncompromising on results, and a perspective toward movement-building that is strategic and long-term in its outlook.
Q:  How do you see the use of transformative approaches, practices, modalities, etc.  impacting social justice work?
A:  We believe that both personal transformation  and systemic/structural transformation are required to achieve true societal transformation.  Transformation, as the term suggests, is not merely change, but instead implies a process so deep and thorough that a reversal to previous conditions is impossible.  Systemic/structural transformation, meaning transformation of laws, policies, decision-making and use of resources at the societal level is essential to bringing about the highest form of democracy, justice, and equality. But this alone is insufficient for bringing about true liberation.  We must also transform the people and the culture of the society, lest the old habits of all of the people undermine the new structural relationships.  Similarly, we cannot simply transform individuals, because the oppressive system will always acculturate and coerce more people faster than those who find individual liberation through personal transformation.  Through our exploration of Transformative Organizing, that engages the people most oppressed and disenfranchised by society, SJL seeks  a process that can forward both personal transformation and systemic/structural transformation in an integrated and mutually reinforcing way.
about Generative Somatics:
The mission of Generative Somatics is to grow a transformative social and environmental justice movement.  One that integrates personal and social transformation, creates compelling alternatives to the status quo and embodies the creativity, rigor and life affirming actions we need to forward systemic change.  We use the innovations of Somatics to support social and environmental justice movements and organizing work toward liberation.
Q:  How do you see the use of transformative approaches, practices, modalities, etc.  impacting social justice work?
A:  Somatics understands transformation, both creating and sustaining it, through a radically different framework.  Its principles and practices are grounded in the interdependence between the mind, body, spirit, land, relationship and social context.  Transformation requires a process of shedding the old while organizing ourselves toward the new—somatics understands this as an embodied process, shifting thinking, emotions, actions and practices, structures and relations.  We have inadvertently “embodied” the systems of oppression we are also trying to change.  We have to change ourselves, organizations, relations and understanding of power.  While generating solutions, alternative institutions and ways of being that embody values of liberation and justice.  Somatics supports embodied transformation through somatic awareness, somatic opening and somatic practices, both individually and collectively.
about Movement Strategy Center:
The Movement Strategy Center strengthens the movement for social justice and racial justice by increasing the capacity of individuals, organizations, alliances and sectors to be more strategic, collaborative, creative and sustainable. We work intensively with leaders in a range of “justice sectors” in order to strengthen and align sector leadership and sector strategy and to help them establish a transformative culture in their movement building.
Q:  How do you see the use of transformative approaches, practices, modalities, etc.  impacting social justice work?
A:  Through intentional practice social justice leaders and movements  begin to embody the changes they would like to see in the world. Transformative movement building links organizers’ visions and values with their strategies and day-to-day organizing. It links individual transformation with group and social transformation. And it connects deep structural change with deep cultural change. Because of this, transformative practice goes hand in hand with movement strategy. By having a clear vision of what we want, we can then clarify who we need to be in the world to facilitate that transformation, and then develop practices to help us embody and make that change in ourselves and in the world.
about CXC:
Center for Transformative Change (CXC) is the first national center entirely dedicated to bridging the inner and outer lives of social change agents, activists and allies to support a more effective, more sustainable social justice movement.  We name, frame and advance Transformative Social Change by both developing practices and programs for agents of social change and working in collaboration with leading organizations to help shape this emerging movement. Most importantly, CXC reflects the field and the movement back to itself, strengthening our collective identity, community, and shared vision.
Q:  How do you see the use of transformative approaches, practices, modalities, etc.  impacting social justice work?
A:  Our founder, angel Kyodo williams, said it best, “America’s next great social movement must be an inner one.  Without inner change, there can be no outer change.  Without collective change, no change matters.”  The long-term vision for shifting the paradigm of work for social justice, changing the WAY change is done, will fundamentally alter broad-based social change at its very core–from inner to outer–resulting in a more just, equitable society for all.  Rather than temporary change, we focus on deep change, also known as all-out transformation.  Deep change comes from deep practice.  Our core practice offerings (fearlessMeditation, fearlessYoga, Universal Form, and Jo Kata) were adapted and designed from the ground up, within a social justice framework, specifically for social justice activists and allies.

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