VOL emerged in 2016 as a volunteer collective greatly influenced by the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership to explore how people in cities other than Detroit might begin experimenting with place-based projects for community-self reliance. After a few years of experimenting with workshops toward this end, VOL became a staff based collective in 2018 and began to create media alongside the workshops we offered.
We have learned to locate our media and curricula within what we call ‘Being Based Approach’ to social change. These approaches assume that alongside our material needs, Humans have an innate pursuit to understand themselves and define ourselves on our own terms that aligns with our inner wisdom that is stunted by poverty, racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression. Being-Based Approaches to change re-connect us to our inner-wisdom and explore how we might meet our material needs in ways that satisfy this hunger.
By embracing Being Based Approaches to social change, we create space for people to begin this transformative process for themselves, their communities, and organizations through an immersive form of education that allows them to challenge inherited ways of being and create new relationships, ways of thinking, and ways of being.