Building Power, Winning Justice
DART brings diverse religious congregations together around shared values and concerns in order to effectively address and resolve community problems. However, the goal is not merely to solve specific issues. Rather, we seek to build organizations in cities that possess enough power to successfully hold political, economic and social systems accountable to acting justly.
The organizing process we use for building powerful organizations follows a basic three-step yearly cycle:
Listening. Every year, leaders within each DART organization spend time meeting with others from their congregation in order to strengthen their relationships, discuss community problems, and establish networks. Through these conversations, common areas of concern emerge. Leaders then vote to determine a few major priorities to focus on for the immediate future.
Research. Leaders form research committees to determine viable solutions that will resolve the problem long-term, as well as the individuals in their community who possess the authority to implement those solutions.
Action. The organizations then hold a large public meeting called a Nehemiah Action Assembly. Members from all of the congregations involved in the organization (usually thousands of supporters) gather to hear testimonies as to how these issues affect people’s lives and negotiate solutions with appropriate authorities in attendance.
This process is repeated every year, each time with greater power and power than before, as the organization grows and leaders develop their abilities.