systems change

Systems Change + Input =

By Andrew BocherEmerging Nonprofit SpecialistMinnesota Council of Nonprofits


At the last Organizer Roundtable put on by the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, someone asked how we (organizers, in this context) can start seeing past single issues to face the larger systemic issues before us. The examples given for these larger problems were patriarchy and capitalism. Now that’s a loaded question…

I would love to chat with this person sometime to try and unpack what they were asking, but I didn’t bring this question up to analyze it – I brought it up because I think it strikes a chord in a lot of social justice workers. Even if it’s sort of an unanswerable, rhetorical question, it still resonates strongly with me on an emotional level. I don’t have the answer, but I get it. When I think about all of the injustice that exists today – whether it’s the increasing racial disparities in Minnesota, the continuous theft of Indigenous land for profit throughout the world, or the fact that confirmed homicides of transgender women have nearly doubled in the past year within the U.S. – I begin to feel paralyzed. I wonder the same thing as the person who asked this question.