Changemakers Circle is a new key initiative of BALE (Building A Local Economy). It is a space for young leaders to gather with elders, to build relationships, and to engage in the creation of their own initiatives, grounded in a grassroots and spirited approach to the crises of our day. BALE offers space, the foundational work of drawing them together, and support to advance their chosen directions.
This is about linking the community of the next generation in our region with the long-time leading organizers and wisdom-holders in the areas of activism, social justice and spiritual change; this is about supporting the vision of youth in this time of climate emergency and economic disorder and grounding it with the elder change leaders who become mentors and guides to the passion held by youth. This is also about culture shift. For the coming year, the focus is on the foundational work of making connections and relationships… and establishing a structure or pattern of participation to work within.
As a core initiative, an anticipated multi-year framework includes restructuring the way BALE, the organization, operates, bringing in a distributed leadership model to its work going forward. While offering up total support for direction guided by an initial core of youth and BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of color) collaborators, we can imagine a framework that includes programs and retreats to build cohesion, offer wisdom from diverse elders/leaders, identify resources and capacities, and develop a plan for ongoing capacity that shifts power dynamics, and creates deep solutions-based actions and initiatives.
We have a dozen young “changemakers” who are bringing their fresh ideas and own creative endeavors… and sense of responsibility for the deep change necessary, who will make up the founding circle. As well, we are connecting with elders to join this collaborative structure to help design and engage with this circle of changemakers.