Building Unity: a call to action and the next steps toward the possibility of our survival

We know. Even though many of us are acting as though all is well and there is no need to worry. If you are reading this, you likely know, there is plenty to worry about.

We are at the beginning of massive social and environmental collapse which greatly increases the chances of global war – the last straw for humanity. It is all happening faster than most of us can imagine.

Our dominant systems, build upon centuries of land theft, colonization, slavery, white supremacy, patriarchy, and the prioritization of profit over people, have run their only logical coarse and have brought us to a critical point where we must choose between life, love, and a shot at survival, or fear, greed, and the continued business as usual that is threatening all chances for a livable world.

As Greta Thunberg says, “It is time to Rebel!”

If ever there was a time to give it all that we have and fight as though the lives of our children really mattered, now is that time.

Building Unity is a project that is shared by a few networks, organizations, congregations, groups and clubs, with the goal of uniting for greater strength and as we face these perilous times.

Our movement for unity and intelligent action is not about one way, cause, tactic, or strategy. Our approaches are as diverse as we are. Our common goals and our solidarity will weave our differing ways into a collection of powerful actions.

We don’t have all the answers but we have our moral compass and the beginnings of a road map. We know the direction we need to go, and we have some ideas about the essential first steps. And, we know, we can’t get anywhere without you.

Building Unity is the name for that collective dream, that “before it is too late moment”, that tipping point of collective awareness, when the human family wakes up and does the right thing – just in time. Now is the time to move forward, shoulder to shoulder, one for all and all for one. We are the ones, and this is our time.

Your input, your passion, your love, connections, dreams, skills, creativity and all that you are, are needed. Building Unity is now only the beginnings of a plan and a journey that heeds you and a whole lot more of us to make it real.

Here is the basic outline of our next steps toward Building Unity!

Step 1: Understand and commit to the four pillars of the Building Unity movement

  • Peace: War is destroying lives and our planet, and it is draining the resources needed to transition to a survivable future. On a national and global scale, we most focus on meeting basic human and ecological needs. War has no place in our plan for survival.
  • Justice: We must unite in solidarity against all policies that are based in racism, sexism, capitalism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, or any other form of oppression. As mentioned above, we must meet the needs of humans everywhere. We must learn to share and care for each other in a way that recognized that we are one people with one shared destiny. Equity needs to be central to all that we do.
  • Sustainability: It is now or never! We need to go for broke, knowing that we can’t do enough and that we must do the impossible. In the face of numerous escalating environmental crises, we must do everything possible to prepare for, adapt to, and minimize the current and increasing environmental catastrophes.
  • Democracy: Voter suppression and fraud, big money politics, gerrymandering, and an under-informed (lied to) and under-involved populous has left us with a plutocracy, not a democracy. We need to turn this around if we are going to address the existential crises that we face – and we need to do so now.

It is only by fully embracing a complete and uncompromising platform based on all four of these essential pillars, that we stand a chance of building the kind of unity that is necessary to change the social, political, and ecologic crises that we now face.

Step 2: Supporting and uniting the Building Unity movement partners

Though some of the networks and organizations listed below have not yet “officially” become “Building Unity Partners,” we consider them all partners in creating a united movement for peace, justice, sustainability, and democracy. We encourage all to support them as they have been and will continue to be foundational to the unity movement that we are building.

ACLU, Blue Jean Nation, Citizen Action, Clean Water Safe Skies Coalition, Common Cause, Dignity at Work Coalition, Extinction Rebellion, Family Farm Defenders, Gaia Coalition, Indigenous Nations of Wisconsin, Interfaith Peace Working Group, Kids Forward, League of Women Voters, local progressive/peace, justice, environmental, and/or democracy promoting groups, NAACP, Nukewatch, One Wisconsin, Our Wisconsin Revolution, Peace Action – Milwaukee, Sierra Club, United to Amend, Voces de la Frontera, Wisconsin Council of Churches, Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, Wisconsin Grassroots Network, Wisconsin Network for Peace, Justice and Sustainability, Wisconsin Voices, Wisconsin Unitarian Universalist State Action Network, Wisdom, and Youth Climate Action Team – Wisconsin.

As you are able, please connect with the groups, networks, and coalitions listed above, (or others not listed here), support them with your time, treasure, and/or talent, and encourage them to be (or continue to be) a part of the Building Unity Project and help us to complete Step Three (see below).

Step Three: Come together, build community, and be with the people around you

Here is where the Building Unity project is taking our principles into action! Each month, Building Unity is helping people like you host what we are calling Building Unity Gatherings (BUG’s). Happening in community centers, houses of worship, library meeting rooms, and in people’s homes, these simple gatherings all have 4 things in common:

  1. Each starts with time to talk, get to know one another, and share food together. People who can, bring food to share.)
  2. Each gathering provides a voice for people to share ideas, actions, events, etc. that concern grassroots action to promote peace, justice, sustainability, and/or democracy.
  3. Each gathering concludes with a program, themed discussion, or activity that celebrates or promotes one or more of our movement objectives. This section of the BUG, includes things like presentations, concerts, “townhall meetings”, candidate forums, letter-writing parties, panel discussions, or a variety of creative expressions.
  4. They happen at the same time and place every month. (i.e. on the 4th Saturday). Routine helps to build the event and make it a part of the local culture.

These gatherings are a place where people who are concerned about the state of our communities and the world, can find each other and together, move our world into a better direction. They cut the isolation that is epidemic in our society now and they give people opportunities to meet and learn with neighbors that they might otherwise not get to know.

Building Unity Gatherings are starting to pop up all over the state! So far, there are ten in January alone! Take a look at the highlighted event on our Building Unity website events page. We are finding each other and strengthening our united movement for Peace, Justice, Sustainability, and Democracy!

Wisconsin Network for Peace, Justice and Sustainability encourages each and every member and member organization to recommit to WNPJS by renewing your membership and by attending a Building Unity Gathering near you.

Not a Building Unity Gathering in your community yet? We can help you get one started. Call Tim Cordon at 608-630-3633 and he’ll be happy to help you find your next steps towards a BUG in your community.

In 2020 Building Unity and our Building Unity Gatherings will play a significant role in making sure that voter turnout is larger than ever and inspired by our work for Peace, Justice, Sustainability, and Democracy.

We’re asking everyone, everywhere in Wisconsin, to join us in creating a united turning point in our history. For more information, or to get involved wherever you live, call Tim at 608-630-3633.

Lamenting alone, as we watch society and our natural environment unravel will not change a thing. We need to find each other and build a movement that is effective, fun, creative, and inspiring – and we need to do it now.

Though we are already too late to avoid much of the destruction and suffering that will increase for years to come, and the hurdles that we must jump over multiply each day, we must not give up.

Step Four: Organize, engage with and activate the Voters!

It is time for the people to UNITE. From our monthly gatherings we are going to organize events in key districts of the state. We are going to help each other to talk about the issues that matter – Peace, justice, sustainability, and democracy – and we are going to make sure that people everywhere are aware of how important it is to make sure that everyone we know is registered and ready to vote like the future of our children depends on it.

We will be holding candidate forums, “Town Hall meetings”, and other family friendly events that will pull people out of there homes and give them hopeful actions to take with their neighbors and friends. We will be building a better organized and activated Wisconsin Network for Peace, Justice and Sustainability, and we will do it with you!

If you and your friends, family, congregation, workmates, neighbors or group would like to host a program about the Building Unity movement in the coming months, call Tim at 608-630-3633. Together we can build this movement to your community, and will make it fun, creative, and exciting. You can follow the progress of the Building Unity movement on the web at: http://buildingunitywisconsin.org/ and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/buildingunitywi/

This is our time, and we know, time is running out.