Longtime activist and founder of Spirit in Action, Linda Stout has been working with activists since the 1970s. Her new book, Collective Visioning, teaches activists and community groups of all kinds that looking at the future together, and seeing what is possible, can change much more than our neighborhoods; it can also melt hard divisions between groups whether black or white, gay or straight, young or old, middle class, upper class, or impoverished.
She’s emphasized that much of what keeps folks of color and folks of low economic status out of groups that advocate for change is that they lack a voice in these groups, many of which tend to be younger, whiter, and mostly middle-class in their leanings. Because of that many points of view and ideas that would be invaluable to communities as a whole, that would create greater change, get left out. This book gives plenty of information about how to face these discrepancies head on. Folks learn to do more than just envision their future, they explore the vision, discuss it, set priorities and determine what active steps to take next. Visioning gets folks beyond their current reality by focusing on what the group wants and where it is going. As Stout writes in her book, “if you can imagine a better world, you can make one.”