Transformational Social Change Initiatives
by Martha Lasley
Transformational social change empowers people to connect with their inner power. Instead of holding power over someone, social change leaders discover that power with others comes from deep connection. Shared power helps us unleash our collective creativity and contribute to human evolution. By connecting with our common values that lay just beneath our conflicting strategies, we can transform ourselves into more loving, peaceful states.
There are hundreds of thousands of social change initiatives. A few that I’m especially inspired by:
- A former mountain climber, Gregg Mortenson brings people together to build schools in Pakistan to alleviate poverty, improve education (especially for girls), and reduce Islamic extremism in the region.
- Social activist Shridhar Kshirsagar restores dignity to marginalized groups in India by building community toilets so that Untouchables can stop carrying human waste through the streets.
- An activist and playwright, Eve Ensler stops violence against women by getting them to break the silence and change their relationships with their bodies.
- A trainer and consultant, Dominic Barter offers Restorative Circles in Brazil that help victims, offenders, and communities to create their own healing process and collectively decide on restitution.
- The Pachamama Alliance works with indigenous people to save the rain forest and their way of life.
- A comedian and puppeteer, Marc Weiner uses the e to helping kindergarten students in Israel empower themselves to resolve their own conflicts.
- A doctor at Harvard for half the year, Paul Farmer works in Haiti to transform medicine, where understanding the culture is crucial to effectively reaching people in need of health care.
- The Michigan Peace Team provides trainings in active nonviolence and deploys peace teams into places of conflict, both domestic and international.
What's the one social change you like to see happen during your life time? You don't have to start a new social change initiative; just join one that's already in motion.
 Mortenson, G. & Relin, D. O. (2007). Three cups of tea. Penguin.
 Ensler, E. (2007). Insecure at Last. Villard.
 Dominic Barter. Retrieved from http://www.stthomas.edu/justpeace/nvcrj/
 Retrieved from http://www.pachamama.org/
 Marc Weiner. Retrieved from http://theempathylabyrinth.com/
 Kidder, T. (2004). Mountains Beyond Mountains. Random House.
 Retrieved from http://www.michiganpeaceteam.org/
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