Changing Ourselves to Change the World

Our work is informed by people like James and Grace Lee Boggs, Immanuel Wallerstein, Paulo Friere, bell hooks, Toni Cade Bambara, John Bradshaw, W.E.B Du Bois, Erich Fromm, Silvia Federici, Anibal Quijano, Raj Patel, Chancellor Williams, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Toni Morisson. 


It is also informed by our personal transformations and engagements with grassroots projects in Detroit for community community self-reliance that could make us less reliant on currently existing systems. We understood that these projects were created in Detroit out of necessity and wondered how they might be created in places where their need was less obvious. We wondered what kind of community organizing trainings might help people see the need for these kinds of projects wherever they lived.

Through our active engagement, research, and countless conversations with people like Tony Moneteiro, Muhammad Ahmad, Alvery Williams, Myrtle & Wayne Curtis-Thompson,Grace Lee Boggs, Minetta Hare, and Charlene Williams we saw clearly that the ways in which we have lived, thought, and existed in society for the last 600 years are not only unsustainable and responsible for the deaths of so many, but that they are supported by systems that are dying in our midst. It is with that harrowing recognition that we realized our world was in need of a complete cultural, economic, and political transformation.  


We believe that if we transform ourselves and create systems and cultures to support us, our external realities will begin to reflect our transformations. Visionary Organizing Lab was born from asking ourselves what might happen if we applied this logic to the broader world. We believe doing so might help us become more peaceful, just, humane, and become pillars for more peaceful, just, and humane societies. We are at a critical juncture in our evolution as human beings–we can transform our relationships with ourselves, each other, and nature; or we can die along with these systems. 


To systematically support people in this task VOL became a fiscally sponsored project of Allied Media Projects in 2019.

Learn more about our programs and who we work with.