Mijente Principles of Unity

June 30th, 2018

These are our Mijente Principles, to help us remember and guide us in struggle.

Estos son nuestrxs Principios de Mijente, para ayudarnos a recordar y guiarnos en la lucha.

1. We are Latinx and Chicanx people that are part of movements for justice and self-determination for all people.

We are pro-Black, pro-indigena, pro-worker, pro-mujer, pro-Lesbian Gay, Bi, Trans and Queer, pro-migrant because we hold all of those identities, and because our unity against shared oppressions is central to our vision for change. We cannot sustain and thrive in isolation or in movements that exile parts of our community or expect us to hide who we are to participate. We are Latinx and Chicanx people who want to see our entire community thrive, brought together by a shared consciousness of the challenges we face and a deep seated need for co-development and kinship across identity, generation, language and place.

2. We believe transformative change requires more from us, not just more of us.

It has been predicted that demographic change, particularly tied to the growth of the Latinx and Chicanx community, will lead to progressive change in the United States. But demographics is not destiny. We believe that the transformative change we need is not a given and that both external and internal factors threaten it. Latinx and Chicanx people need to organize, spark, sustain and nurture movements to ensure transformative change happens and combat the ways our community is held back. We see our liberation as bound to Black Liberation, Indigenous sovereignty, economic and climate justice and other liberation movements.

3. We are creating a leaderful space that is accountable, transparent, and continues evolving.

We have too many climbers and not enough lifters. For too long many of those who claim to be leaders of the Latinx and Chicanx community have served themselves first rather than demonstrating the courage to work and live in the service of community lifting itself up. We often see this in elected leaders, but these dynamics are not limited to political office. Trust and power are lost when community leaders are unaccountable, don’t share information, close off input and room for others’ leadership. We need more not less leadership; and we seek to lift up all the different forms of leadership people bring to justice work. We strive for a leader-full space, in which we hold ourselves and each other accountable, share information and resources, listen and implement input. We believe Mijente must be a space where we develop and make room for new and seasoned leaders to continue evolving our political home.

4. We organize people, technology and resources to get the goods. 

Our foundational approach to change is through organizing, bringing together people and sustaining collective efforts to achieve change. Sometimes, however, in our work for change we are resistant to change. We cannot deny that technology has deeply impacted how and with whom we are able to communicate, connect or collaborate with. As a result, how we make social change is changing.

We believe our communities and organizing efforts can and should harness the possibilities of new technology, without ever losing the power of in-real-life connections. We believe we can and should examine and innovate on how best to accomplish our goals. Towards these goals we are open to experiment with new partnerships and ways to generate resources beyond philanthropy. We need to build power through organizing in URL and IRL (online and In Real Life) and seek to create digital and physical space for Latinxs to connect and build with each other.

5. We are loyal to our ultimate goal of achieving el buen vivir and self-determine our future, not to singular tactics, strategies, or dogma. 

Being ‘right’ or the ‘most down’ is not our ultimate objective. If we understand our problems are systemic, we must also acknowledge that those systems are complex and constantly changing. There are many and changing paths to victory; we therefore must contend for power on all fronts. We build power and challenge it by working outside, against, and from within the state. In that spirit, we recognize that all of us find ourselves living and working within these complex systems and have different gifts and contributions to offer in movement. As individuals and organizationally we will work in different fields and formations as parts of a multi-pronged strategy.

6. We don’t throw each other away. 

The word “family” carries significant and sometimes painful meaning. We do not take it lightly and our experiences show us that it is complicated. Whether it is family as determined by blood or family we choose, it takes work. There will be mistakes and growing edges, and they will have impacts. We know everyone is capable of being harmful and of being harmed. Conflict is inevitable and necessary for honest discourse and unity across difference. We believe building a space that can hold disagreement can lead to greater accountability, resilience and antifragility. This means we won’t condone call-outs and exiling each other, or playing oppression olympics with each other. But this also means we don’t allow things to fester inside. The state has often robbed us of our ability to transform conflict and hold relationships with one another. Thus we believe principled struggle is central to our capacity to self-govern and build for the long haul.

7. We acknowledge and value that part of the work is to recover, unlearn, and remember.

We live with the complexities of the present, and with what has been passed down. Like all colonized people we hold that double consciousness of what we have been told versus what we know to be true. Colonization has forced Latinx and Chicanx people to assimilate into values that work against our own self-interest and fragmented who we are for generations. We owe it to those who will follow to do the work towards wholeness, wellness, and healing. Part of this is unlearning lies we’ve been told, remembering who our people are and where we come from, and living the legacy of radical love, resistance, and resilience of our ancestors.

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