Mission, Vision and Ethical Aspirations

Updated November 2020

We recognize the urgency, fragilities and possibilities of the moment, including the vulnerability of the planet, the accelerating loss of languages and cultures and the wisdom they embody, and the assaults on freedom of expression and other human rights, as well as the sources of resilience and awareness of interdependence on the part of communities around the world.

We acknowledge that our best intentions do not eliminate risks of harm, and that ethical aspirations and reflections on our actions are central to our work.

We value reciprocity and life-affirming creative collaboration, and we invite others to participate with us in this spirit.

We commit to processes that are inclusive of the diverse perspectives, knowledge sources, languages, and ways of seeing the world in this ecosystem of artists, cultural workers, scholars, conflict transformation practitioners, educators, diplomats, activists, policymakers, funders, and many others. We facilitate participation from people of different regions, abilities, genders, classes, ethnicities, races, faiths, generations and languages. We build bridges by promoting respect and cooperation across the differences in power that often divide us and impede effective collaborations.

We aim to infuse our processes with creativity, joy, and care for those with whom we engage and for ourselves.

We work to balance our commitments to flexibility and distributed leadership with efficacy.

Ethical Aspirations and Related Actions

Ethical aspirations Actions that support these commitments
We aim to support Creativity and Innovation
  • Encourage and foster freedom of creative expression
  • Make space for creative engagement within all facets of our work
We aim to engage in Genuine and Just Dialogue
  • Move into dialogue with willingness to listen deeply, speak to aid understanding, and learn and respond compassionately
  • Raise difficult issues thoughtfully and carefully
  • Continually assess the quality of discussion, making adjustments as needed
  • Treat differing viewpoints as an asset
We aim to build on Grounded Theory and Practice
  • Develop theory from Indigenous peoples’ and grassroots knowledge and practice
  • Develop and test protocols and tools that make critique and feedback generative, and that foster an understanding of differences in the ways that people engage with conflict
We aim to support social and individual Care/Healing
  • Create spaces that acknowledge individuals’ and communities’ experiences of trauma while minimizing risks of harm
  • Encourage a multiplicity of approaches to care/healing (i.e., ritual and other expressions of culture, civic action, and so on) and establish partnerships that contribute to care when need arises to do so
  • Amplify individuals’ and communities’ strengths and acknowledge their sources of resilience
We aim to extend Hospitality
  • Create spaces that are welcoming and nurturing, even when in virtual environments
We aim to practice Inclusivity, Honor Interconnectedness and develop Intercultural fluency
  • Support inclusion of individuals and groups from different regions of the world, people who play different roles in the ACCT ecosystem, who practice and value different ways of knowing and different modes of expression, who are of different ages, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, etc.
  • Promote and support intercultural collaborations
  • Acknowledge power imbalances between historically dominant paradigms and others
  • Foster collaborations of integrity in which participants engage respectfully and justly across a range of knowledge systems
  • Be sensitive to the ways in which conflict is impacted by different concepts of time in particular contexts, redressing imbalances seen in the prioritization of linear time
  • Disrupt human-centric practices and support processes and policies that acknowledge and honor relationships within the cosmos (with the natural world, spirit world, etc.)
We aim to nurture Generative Aspects of Conflict
  • Capture and utilize positive energy and tensions within conflict
We aim to acknowledge and Practice Reciprocity
  • Recognize the assets and strengths of all participants and create opportunities for exchange of resources
  • Build relationships of mutuality that acknowledge that all parties both contribute and benefit
  • Redistribute financial resources and social capital from the global north to the global south, and from historically well-resourced to historically under-resourced communities
We aim to support Self- determination
  • Structure discourse opportunities in ways that make space for participants to express the full range of identities they wish to share
  • Recognize the multiple, complex, and intersectional systems that restrict or privilege some identities over others
  • Honor the rights of individuals and communities to make decisions that affect their own lives