Guidelines for an Effective Basis of Unity

This list is intended as a support for a critical conversation about the effective qualities and uses of a Basis of Unity for collectives, community groups, or activist initiatives. What is a basis of unity, and how can we ensure that ours is useful in guiding our actions and decisions?

These points could be used as a handout, or reproduced on flip charts, to help structure a group conversation about creating or improving your basis of unity. 

Qualities of an Effective Basis of Unity

  • Practical / strategic
  • Express key aspects of group / work
  • Short, clean, accessible language
  • Compliment vision / mission
  • Dynamic – updated every 1-2 years
  • Understood and supported by all engaged members

Qualities of a Less-Effective Basis of Unity

  • Conceptual / moralistic
  • Express compromise of personal identities / politics
  • Long, wordy, academic
  • Stand alone
  • Too Static or Too dynamic

Effective Uses of a Basis of Unity

  • Guides development and evolution of collective or group
  • Guides complex / controversial decisions
  • Builds alliances, coalitions, partnerships, etc….
  • Assist in the resolution of some conflicts

Less Effective Uses of a Basis of Unity

  • Used as the main content for outreach, merchandise, etc…
  • Used for fundraising
  • Used as a strategic plan
  • Used to open every meeting
  • Used to resolve all conflicts 

Guidelines for an Effective Basis of Unity – Word Doc