Oakland Peace Center Partners’ Values
Over the course of 2015, the organizations that make up the Oakland Peace Center met to determine our shared values for engaging with each other and with the wider community. In January 2016, we finalized the following values as our guidelines for engagement.
- As partners working together, we will function out of a culture of “first do no harm,” pausing to ask if our words or actions might be harming another and using that as a guide in our personal interactions. In our interactions with each other we will seek to understand one another and approach each other with curiosity rather than skepticism.
- We commit within our partnered work to a culture of nonviolence. Even if our own organizations practice nonviolence, we will seek out opportunities to delve into the discipline of nonviolence with other OPC partners to deepen our shared practice.
- We commit to watching out for each other to keep the building safe whenever we are in the building.
- Recognizing that conquest and slavery are the foundations of this country, we commit to practicing racial equity. As we work collaboratively over time, we also commit to deepening our cultural competency with our partners from many backgrounds within the OPC collective.
- We commit to creating a shared space that honors the dignity of poor and homeless people and to working together against the criminalization of homeless people, people of color and youth. To that end, we commit to seeking alternatives to calling the police when people are on our property or when people are on our property for non-OPC purposes, turning to other alternatives laid out in our OPC procedures document. We commit to doing so while keeping building users safe. We also commit to creating spaces to address the issue of economic violence, giving preference to the voices of poor and homeless people in shaping the solutions for our community.
- Recognizing the need for access to mental health services for poor and working class communities and for intergenerational opportunities to practice peacebuilding and to manage conflict in healthy ways, we commit to exploring how we can work together to address these specific needs for the sake of both inner peace and peace in our society.
- Recognizing that our peace relies on harmony with the environment, we commit to honoring the earth and acknowledging the original inhabitants of the land each time we gather individually or collectively, recognizing that the land and the building and our ancestors are also partners in our work together. We also commit to making this building and our practices within this building the best they can be for the earth.
- The Oakland Peace Center foundationally supports equity, access and dignity for all. All partners adhere to these principles in general and specifically to communities experiencing a lack of equity, access and dignity. Partners commit to treating with honor and respect people with disabilities, people of color, people across the gender and sexuality spectrum, and people regardless of income who are in this space. Similarly, all users of the building will honor and treat with respect the building and the land on which it was built and treat them with dignity.
- Individual partners may address specific aspects of peace, but as a collective, the Oakland Peace Center lifts up holistic approaches to creating peace, which involve the personal, the social, and the systemic.
- In the midst of a complicated history related to both violence and displacement which called us into being, the partners of the Oakland Peace Center commit to lifting up and honoring the cultural heritage and history of Oakland, appreciating and loving the people, the land, the Town, and the broader Bay Area.
- We commit to exploring together the possibility of financial or other commitments by OPC partners to represent their investment in being a part of the Oakland Peace Center.
- We commit to supporting each other in bringing our whole selves into our shared work: our family-connected selves, our spiritual selves, our activist selves, our particular gender-identifying selves. We commit to working together to build a community at the Oakland Peace Center where we do not have to diminish any part of who we are in order to be in relationship with one another.