Our Approach

Our Work, Our Hub:

While Building from Below works directly in communities in the Triangle and Triad, we also maintain a primary hub of research, education and organizing, called The Seedbed, or “Semillero.”

Located in Mebane, NC, between the Triangle and Triad, The Seedbed consists of seventy acres of land with facilities including multiple large meeting and gathering spaces, a library, offices, a common house with communal kitchen and social space, an outdoor pavilion, six cabins for residents of the Seedbed, a community garden, a chicken coop/stable, a pond, walking trails, and fertile land for farming.

These facilities and land offer a regional hub to strengthen progressive movement-building in the region.  At the The Seedbed, we and surrounding communities aim to plant and nurture the seeds of programs and initiatives that we will grow into interconnected community-based institutions that are the foundation for making fundamental systemic change.

The Foundation of Our Work:

  • Organizing to Study and Analyze: We conduct community-based research and analysis, where our communities are not objects of study but active conductors of research and analysis and where expertise is enlisted to serve community-determined needs.
  • Organizing to Learn and Dialogue: We create learning opportunities to share and discuss the root causes of our problems through seminars, workshops, retreats, and trainings. These educational spaces are tailored to be multi-generational, youth-focused, and multi-lingual according to the needs of our communities.
  • Organizing to Organize:  We engage people directly in collectively creating solutions to the problems we face in our day to day lives by putting into practice concrete solutions in the areas of work, health, education, housing, food, etc.  Those needing and desiring change actively participate in creating and sustaining the programs and initiatives.
  • Organizing to Build Cooperative Institutions: We form community programs and initiatives into self-sustaining cooperative institutions (worker cooperatives, housing cooperatives, etc. ) reflecting mutually-reinforcing organizational missions and organizational structures rooted in principles of social justice, democracy, cooperation, and equality.   We do this through leadership development, technical assistance, facilitation, advising, and support.