Curiosity Growth Relationship
At Ampersand, our work is values-driven with a commitment to equity-centered relationships and change. We ground our approach in the values of curiosity, growth, and relationship.
Curiosity drives our continuous learning and the understanding that those most impacted by our constructs are the experts in what is needed to achieve a greater vision. We are not experts, we listen deeply and build a shared understanding.
Growth is our understanding that change is ever-present and we will never fully arrive. The current model we all live under perpetuates unnecessary pain while preventing progress. In our growth, we must constantly strive to learn, evolve, and act.
Relationship is the core to every engagement as fundamentally tied to belonging and inclusion. We move at the speed of trust, and believe the “process” is as important as the “product” when the people impacted are centered.
Both/And: Two things can be true at the same time. As the building block of Ampersand Community, this mindset ignites through our curiosity to learn and understand rather than to be right. Our growth mindset allows us to move while also learning because we don’t think in binaries and relationships thrive under this approach.
White supremacy culture is deeply rooted and has cultured us in an either/or mentality that suggests there is truly only one way to best move throughout the world. This duality can limit our thinking and make solution finding incredibly challenging, since many times the best solution is often found when considering half steps between the two extremes.
The both/and mindset allows people to hold space for complex problems and solutions. understanding that some challenges do not have simple fixes. The nonprofit sector often provides opportunities where complex thinking is necessary to find customized solutions to unique challenges. With very few exceptions, the both/and approach is a critical lens through which to view the problem-solving process.
Fractal Effect: “What we practice at the small scale sets the patterns for the whole system” - adrienne maree brown. We must do our internal/personal work to impact organizations, systems, and structures. By repeating a simple process over and over, both personally and within organizations, we will create the revolutions we seek.
Nonprofits are perfectly poised to bring about radical change in America. Ideally, as a sector, communities would receive the resources and support needed from nonprofits to lift their own voices toward creating system change for the greater good.
Since the nonprofit sector is a microcosm of the larger system in our country, it also reflects an imbalance of power, resource, and privilege. To effectively create the large systemic changes necessary, the work will require radical change and heavy lifting.