Dignity and Power Now (DPN), a grassroots organization in Los Angeles, works to end mass incarceration. Founded by Patrisse Cullors, an artist and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, DPN uses an innovative organizational model which embeds art, healing, wellness and leadership development within its political and social reform agenda. In this video, leaders and participants describe how they have created a new spiritual community through this BLM affiliated organization.
DPN employs “radical inclusion,” embracing female and queer leadership and disrupting a legacy of largely male, heteronormative leadership in traditional Black faith groups. It also uses practices such as acupuncture, reiki, herbal tinctures and African and indigenous faith practice to bolster its justice work. This blend of spiritual practices helps activists impart meaning, heal grief and trauma, combat burn-out and encourage efficiency in their organization. DPN represents the front lines of new community development, founded on notions of self-care, resilience, and transformative justice, and based in new conceptions of spirituality and activism.
This video is part of CRCC’s “Reimagining Religion: Stories of Religious Creativity in L.A.” series, part of the Religious Competition and Creative Innovation project. The project was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.
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