Building from Below is a 501(c)3 organization based in the Triangle and Triad region of North Carolina. We are an organization powered by the everyday people in our neighborhoods, towns, and cities, who are coming together from all walks of life with a shared desire to build a society where all can live with dignity.
Confronted with increasing social, political, economic, and ecological challenges undermining the well-being of our communities, we are building common cause by understanding and addressing the common causes of our varied and shared experiences, as students, as black, latino, white, and other working class people. Our research, education, and community organizing focuses on the interrelation of various problems:
- Displacement, unaffordable housing, and instability
- Poverty, debt, unemployment, and insecurity
- Policing and mass incarceration
- Inadequate and costly education
- Poor health and lack of access to healthcare
- Environmental contamination and damage
To work across generational, racial, and class differences to build self-reliant community institutions based in principles of solidarity, equality, democracy, and cooperation.
What are we building, from below?
- The capacity to research, analyze, study, and reflect in order to form solutions
- The capacity to decide, organize, and strategize for a common purpose
- The capacity to teach and learn collectively, intergenerationally, and across difference
- The capacity to heal, nourish, and shelter sustainably
- The capacity to work and produce to meet community needs
- The capacity to ensure justice, resolve conflicts, and promote safety and community belonging
We believe the forces of social change in our country must take a long-term vision of creating infrastructure and institutions that will allow us to create, from the bottom up, a community base that can effect fundamental changes necessary for the well-being of all.
We think this understanding of the ability of people to build solutions from the bottom up is necessary if structurally marginalized communities are to truly determine their futures. Our commitment to this vision is based on the conviction that our communities hold a wealth and diversity of knowledge, skills, and gifts, even when their material resources are few.
With organizational spaces that allow for cooperation and growth of these gifts, we believe our communities can develop the analyses, visions, and strategies to address our problems and provide rich alternative paths for a more just society. We are therefore dedicated to the long-term construction of community institutions that create these possibilities.