Our Healthy Alliance is designed to support collaborations that build social movements. Alliances serve as key building blocks for social movements.
Social movements happen when a critical mass of people align around vision, values, and goals for transforming society’s relationships, culture, and institutions. Successful social movements profoundly shift the way we think, the way our society and our communities are structured, the way we live, and even who we are.
Alliances have helped create visible social justice movement moments such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott that galvanized the civil rights movement, and massive worker marches in the 1930s that resulted in New Deal policies such as unemployment insurance. Alliances also nurture the less visible work of trust building and innovation in quieter times where the conditions for a movement moment are cultivated.
Alliances can play a role in social justice movement building: Movement Building is the coordinated effort of individuals, groups, and community institutions to build readiness and intentionally spark or sustain a social movement. Movement building is based in collective processes and infrastructure for alignment of vision, strategy, and action.
Of course, social movements involve more than just organizations and formal alliances. Movements involve individuals who may or may not be affiliated with any formal structure. Movements create a collective sense of injustice, appeal to peoples’ humanity, and create a vision and strategy for an alternative future. In a social movement, different kinds of people from different kinds of places feel a sense of belonging and self identify with a set of shared values.
OHA is a tool specifically tailored for movement-building alliances. While other tools exist for mainstream alliances, none (that we know of) is specifically designed to support alliances for social change.