About Us

to create democracy

"To speak today of the defense of democracy as if we were defending something which we knew and had possessed for many decades or many centuries is self-deception...

...we should be nearer the mark, and should have a far more convincing slogan, if we spoke of the need, not to defend democracy, but to create it."
 -- E H Carr

Creating Democracy seeks to advance a self-organizing movement for collective liberation with small groups at the foundation.

At its heart, Creating Democracy is about these four fundamental assertions:

We believe any truly democratic movement must be grounded in collective liberation, values and actions that challenge oppression and bridge divisions of race, class, gender, sexual orientation and identity, ableness, and culture.  Collective liberation is the process of realizing each person’s own inherent human dignity and the organizing work of challenging and replacing all systems of oppression with democracy and justice.    

The ability to make decisions as a movement is key to exercising our collective power.  Democracy matters because it is not enough to build powerWe must yearn to learn to share power, radically, even though we haven't seen it at scale.  The alternative to unaccountable concentrated power must be deep movement wide participatory decision making paired with a commitment to just and compassionate accountability.  

We are all organizers! We need all of us in it together to have the numbers and thus the power that we need to make the changes we want. People who want this change must be active in growing our movement as organizers, specifically bringing people together to learn, connect, and put our values into action for our shared liberation.    

Small groups are the building blocks of a large and powerful democratic movement.  But in order to have impact as a movement, hundreds of these small groups must connect to one another in an ongoing way, building towards the whole, and making decisions together.  

Our vision looking forward a year or two is of 1000 people engaged through 100 small groups of 7-25 people – each small group with the capacity and skills to take action to advance shared plans.  

Our strategy is guided by our response to the question, What do organizers need to build a self-organizing, sustainable, scalable movement for collective liberation? And what is Creating Democracy’s role in advancing this vision?  Our thoughts fall into these three primary areas:

1. Sharing Organizing and Movement Building Skills - If everyone is an organizer, we need to make an organizer’s skill set available to everyone.  Making decisions together, running our own groups, building accountable relationships across race, class, and gender that promote learning over shaming, and advancing our ability to self-govern all require ongoing learning, practice, and support.

2. Building Loving Movement Culture - In order to grow and sustain our movement for the long haul, we need to support healthy, positive, inclusive, loving movement culture rooted in collective liberation that is both aspirational and relevant to people’s everyday lives and needs.  We need to welcome people from wherever they are on their journey while also clearly and lovingly holding ourselves accountable to our vision of collective liberation and ending oppression.  

3. Creating Democratic Structure - Our work to strengthen skills, consciousness, and culture all come together through a structure that ties many small groups into a movement whole that can make democratic decisions and take collective, strategic action.  The power that we build through our numbers, our shared values and desire for change is only as strong as our ability to make good decisions together.  In order to advance our own means of self-governance, or even effectively participate in civic life such as it is today, we first have to learn to share power and exercise real democratic decision making together.