People Power

For Humanity United, “People Power” is the ability for local peacebuilders to harness and translate their energy, contextual wisdom, and creativity into collective action, transformed relationships, and enduring responses to achieve deeper social change.

Our work on People Power draws on the inherent power of communities to self-organize for social change. We believe that connectedness generates creativity and new forms of power, and that by nurturing relationships and supporting spaces for collective action, we can amplify the power of local communities to build peace.

Through our work on People Power, we support locally-led networks, accompany different forms of collective action, and explore meaningful participation initiatives that move beyond the more rigid frames of peacebuilding projects. In short, we believe in supporting local peacebuilders to achieve the change they want to see.

A few examples of the partners we support are:

Program Focus: South Sudan
Since 2016, Humanity United’s work in South Sudan has focused on investing in a growing network of young peacebuilders. These relationships work across deep divides toward co-created responses to the long history of violent polarization in their communities. Drawing from HU’s years of engagement in Sudan and South Sudan, this work is built upon the belief that deep, resilient relationships are the foundation for long-term social healing and sustainable peace.

This program is implemented through a uniquely collaborative partnership known as “Cohort 0,” comprising the Unyoke Foundation, Search for Common Ground, The HiveMind Institute, and Humanity United. Cohort 0 emerged out of a desire to reorient power dynamics and reframe what partnership could look like, exploring together the evolving facets of a relational accompaniment approach centered on reinforcing locally-owned and led approaches to peacebuilding.

Through this accompaniment partnership, we invest in the next generation of young South Sudanese peacebuilders as they weave individual, communal, and national relationships with a shared vision for peaceful coexistence. For each of the organizations represented in Cohort 0, this is also an opportunity to reframe the role of international actors, and to push forward new models of working together alongside local peacebuilders.

Program focus: Colombia
Humanity United has been supporting people and organizations that are redefining relationships and bridging divides among individuals, communities, and public and private actors during the implementation of the historic 2016 peace agreement. We work closely with Fundacion Ideas para la Paz (FIP) on applying a systems lens to their work, with Plataformas Dialogos Improbables (PDI) on the evolution and adaption of the regional dialogue groups, and the Peace Accord Matrix Barometer Initiatives from the Kroc Institute on the ongoing monitoring of the peace accord, with an emphasis on the move to regional barometers. We are in partnership with Everyday Peace Indicators (EPI) in an effort to promote more locally driven peacebuilding measurement, and EPI has a deep connection to this work in Colombia.

Program focus: Inclusive Social Contracts
Bridging our People Power and Shifting Institutions strategies is an exploratory body of work that aims to support pathways for marginalized citizens to engage with political, economic, and security leaders and institutions of governance and justice in order to ensure peace processes and agreements are inclusive, responsive, and sustainable.

We invest in safe spaces for activists and civic leaders to engage and support one another, and serve as a platform for building, sharing, and educating the public on crucial skills for nonviolent collective action. We support diverse coalitions to hold leaders and institutions accountable, and ensure that they are responsive and working with tools of progress and peace. We ensure our partners have access to the medical, psycho-social care, and legal support they need as they challenge entrenched systems that perpetuate violent conflict.