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Our values

Fighting for a new systemic vision

The Democracy Collaborative staff in 2021 worked together to craft this statement of seven values that reflect what we expect of each other and what drives our work.

Community: We work together to advance aligned and cohesive goals while embracing personal autonomy. We make space for fun, enjoy our colleagues, and provide support and solidarity. We act with kindness but allow for emotion, conflict, and tension in a way that honors our individual differences and transforms them into scaffolding upon which we can grow. We find purpose and meaning in our shared endeavors in a way that brings both personal satisfaction and collective joy. 

Integrity: We honor our commitments to each other, to our partners, to the communities we serve, and to our ambitious mission to change the world. We hold ourselves and each other accountable to these commitments and for our actions and words. We do so with empathy, flexibility, and honesty, acknowledging societal and workplace pressures, differing capabilities and experiences, and power dynamics and imbalances. 

Communication: We communicate openly and transparently with each other and value everyone’s individual contributions and experiences regardless of status or tenure. As an organization and individuals, we set and communicate clear expectations, decision-making processes, and roles for ourselves and each other, and take responsibility for following through. 

Reflection: We come to our work with a sense of humility. We make space for introspection and acknowledgment of our mistakes in order to invest in self-improvement. Valuing multiple forms of knowledge, we are both confident in our expertise and able to support the leadership of our colleagues and allies. 

Equity: We recognize that racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, and other forms of oppression have created systemic inequities and power imbalances in our workplace and across society, and that these profoundly impact our individual conditioning and lived experiences. We intentionally seek to recognize and counteract those factors/histories in order to create an inclusive space for all staff members to show up as themselves, succeed at the organization, and feel ownership over our collective work. 

Balance: We believe that we can only achieve our important mission and steward our limited resources effectively by recognizing that work is only one part of our full selves and acknowledging that working under capitalism and for a mission-based organization can push people to the brink. Therefore, we strive to: create spaciousness and flexibility in our work and processes; build in time for rest, recuperation, self-improvement, and reflection; make intentional decisions and set reasonable expectations about what we pursue; and respect boundaries and individual work styles. 

Ambition: We are committed to a better world and believe that it is in the process of being built. This is what drives our passion and compels us to put forward bold, imaginative visions of what is possible. We are creative and curious, unwilling to settle for anything less than transformative change.

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