Mission Statement: What BETTER Looks Like fosters the development of beloved community by helping individuals imagine, articulate and create visions for a better world. The intentional infusion of love into our interactions has the power to create the radical changes necessary to make the world better.
What BETTER Looks Like, Inc. is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Connecting in Common Language: In order for us to connect with this mission, we are using the following understanding of terms:
Better: There are several ways to talk about things being better. When we visualize a better world, we do not mean, “slightly less bad than it was yesterday,” but rather, better as in healed and whole again. This formulation for better asks people to create their greatest vision for the world.
Beloved Community: This is a term used by Martin Luther King, Jr. The core value for Dr. King was community based on love, which he described as “overflowing love which is purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless and creative”…” It begins by loving others for their sakes”…[It] is love seeking to preserve and create community.”
This is the vision for community we embrace.
Community: We each interact in many communities. We invite people to explore the community they wish to impact whether it be family, workplace, or local and global villages. Defining the community in which you wish to create a change will make it easier to visualize the change you wish to make.
Founding Principles: In addition to the creation of Beloved Community, there are three founding principles:
1. The vision of Co-founder, Rob Graydon, is that everyone on the planet is here to be a healer, artist, teacher, or some combination of the three. We invite people to explore what they came to heal, create and teach.
2. Wherever nature creates a poison, the antidote grows within reach. Our work is based on the premise that when people come together in loving community, problems can be solved given the resources within the community.
3. Founding member, Marie Goretti Ukeye, lived through the Rwandan genocide, which killed nearly 1 million people in 100 days. She observed that so many people were killed because it was well planned and organized. She says, “If we are going to be that well-organized in the name of violence and war, we had better get that well organized in the name of love and peace.” We offer tools to help create support and structures based on love and peace.
Beloved Community Programs and Tools: To actualize our mission, we support and create projects that focus on developing Beloved Community. Our projects enable children, families and communities to pursue their own happiness while encouraging them to share their gifts and skills for the benefit of others. We invite you to explore our website and see the many ways we live our mission.
1. Beloved Community Action Projects: Gandhi implored us to be the change we wish to see in the world. WBLL has put our founding ideas into action in several community projects, both locally and globally.
a. Amahoro Women: WBLL has deep connection to Rwanda and Congo. We visited both countries in the fall of 2010 to develop projects in both area.
i: Nyarugunga Village of Hope: This is a village in Rwanda comprised mainly of Genocide and AIDS widows and orphans. We have committed to sending four students from this village in Rwanda to university for the next four years. We are assessing other needs in the village, and are seeking the best ways to work with the community to help lift them from poverty.
ii. 100,000 VOICES is a campaign to bring together people from around the world to stand in solidarity with the thousands of Congolese women and children who have been victims of sexual violence in the war ravaged country. United Nations officials have called the epidemic of sexual violence in Congo "the worst in the world," where women, children and men are raped, mutilated and left to die every day.
2. Connection Circles: We meet in a circle format to explore the concepts and question around What BETTER Looks Like to help people imagine, articulate and create visions for a better world. Meeting in a circle format connects and empowers participants and creates a special synergy that other forms of meeting do not.
3. Workshops/Training: We have developed workshops and trainings that offer in-depth exploration of the What BETTER Looks Like concepts.
4. Storytelling: When we share our stories, we invite an empathetic response that is important to the development of Beloved Community. Members of the community share stories that help us think differently about ourselves and the world around us.
5. Awareness activism: Martin Luther King, Jr. made the following observation:
It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality. Did you ever stop to think that you can’t leave for your job in the morning without being dependent on most of the world? You get up in the morning and go to the bathroom and reach over for the sponge, and that’s handed to you by a Pacific islander. You reach for a bar of soap, and that’s given to you at the hands of a Frenchman. And then you go into the kitchen to drink your coffee for the morning, and that’s poured into your cup by a South American. And maybe you want tea: that’s poured into your cup by a Chinese. Or maybe you’re desirous of having cocoa for breakfast, and that’s poured into your cup by a West African. And then you reach over for your toast, and that’s given to you at the hands of an English-speaking farmer, not to mention the baker. And before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.
With this understanding, in this section we highlight specific actions anyone can undertake, especially in the area of conscious consumerism, where we offer information on how our purchasing power can impact the lives of individuals in our global community.
6. Film/Video Projects: Visual arts are powerful tools for healing and educating. We create films and videos as part of various projects.