Since 2017, GJN has operated as an organization that believes in placing its values at the center of its organizing and campaigns. Here are the organization’s guiding values and principles:
Centering the most impactedWe believe that those closest to the pain are the closest to the solutions for the problems we seek to solve. When we center those who are the most impacted by issues, we attempt to elevate the voices of those who have been drowned out by public policy and a system that isn’t working for everyone.
Leaderful movementsStrong people don’t need strong leaders. Our members lead our fights and our organization. We believe in incubating the leadership of our community to be able to fight for their own needs and change our communities.
Multiple strategies for powerOrganizing is our pathway to power and freedom. But our true people power is nested amongst multiple tactics and strategies that utilize policy, politics, cooperatie economics and more.
Embracing Radical PoliticsThe word radical was formed from the Latin adjective radicalis, which simply meant "of or relating to a root." Since a root is at the bottom of something, radical came to describe what is at the base or beginning, in other words, what is "basic, fundamental." As a noun radical came to be applied to a person who wants to make extreme or "radical" changes in the government or in society. To us, embracing radical politics means holding political principles focused on altering social structures through revolutionary or other means and changing value systems in fundamental ways at the root of whatever we do.
Holistic organizingCreating the movement that we deserve means being able to see each other as whole people, full of humanity and dignity. We believe in creating opportunities for deep relationship building using any and all methods that can showcase our humanity and identity.
Intersectionality and InterdependenceSystems of oppression like race, class, and sex are interconnected. Issues affect marginalized communities in different ways, and that means that the solutions are different.
Anti-capitalist/anti-racismCapitalism and racism did not break from the old order but rather evolved from it to produce a modern world system of “racial capitalism.” We believe in scrutinizing the systemic racial bias and exploitation that is endemic within our society. In order to challenge the ills of racism, we must fully challenge the system of capitalism that exist that makes racism possible (and profitable).
Pan-Africanism and InternationalismThe struggle for freedom and liberation abroad are not mutually exclusive to our fights at home; they are products of a fight against colonialism, capitalism and racism. We stand with oppressed people in Palastine, in South America and throughout our country.
AbolitionAbolition names a past as well as a future: it reminds us, as Maria Mies wrote of patriarchy, that structures of violence have a beginning and can therefore have an ending. Our understanding of abolition is a rebuke and challenge to the systems that thrive on a lack of freedom—white supremacy and settler-colonialism, patriarchy and heteronormativity, capitalism and debt.