Truth and Reconciliation Project
The Truth and Reconciliation Project
We are a human-rights collective demonstrating that we can build an interdependent community based on dignity, equality and decency. We actively challenge assumptions of superiority and inferiority and work to elevate everyone into their own sense of security, authenticity and freedom.
This work is being played out within our own lives, our small community and our world. We are becoming the change we wish to see in the world.
Our work falls roughly in three areas of discovery and affirmation.
Security: This is something achieved when we are not hungry, free from physical and emotional violence, able to gather financial resources, have access to clothing, housing and healthcare, enjoy fruitful work, live in a healthy environment and can exercise our political voice.
Authenticity: Inside and outside oppression limit us all from experiencing and expressing who we are and who we want to be. Authenticity describes a person free from these oppressive forces. Projects that promote honest reflection, expression, reconciliation and new behaviors lead to more satisfying relationships.
Freedom: When we have the opportunity to contribute what we have and encouraged to take what we need within a community, we are freer. We are building a community and an agency that supports and reflects the ageless yearning for freedom.
The Truth and Reconciliation Project (TARP) was conceived in 2003 as a place where projects could be developed in the spirit of love and mutual aid. We are now a collective of creative and inspired people looking to ourselves and each other to support our critical thinking and dynamic actions toward the betterment of all.
This project-based architecture has been the birthing place for a number of solution oriented movements thus far. We have rejuvenated a four building complex with gardens and residences and offices that house an urban media studio, Nashville Bike Works, our offices, the TN Coalition to Abolish State Killing and a number of artist residences. We call this place, informally, The Projects.
A Free Store is mainatained and a lending library, the local chapters of Food Not Bombs and Critical Mass use the site regularly and there are several installations of art, in and out of the buildings.
TARP has five major movements they are supporting and cultivating:
Our Good Food for Good People Campaign centers around developing an urban edible park, food gleaning from the Farmer's Markets, diversified neighborhood distribution, back-yard gardens and a summer teen intern program focusing on hands-on experience in hunger relief and food security.
Our Community Home Energy Audit Program combines popular education with individual energy audits to help families and businesses reduce their energy footprint. The slogan is save $ and save the world.
Our independent media project is just that. We are developing video and radio resources and outlets to give air to voices often unheard and images often avoided. We program three hours of community radio each week, have produced two original videos and have screened two major documentaries on economic justice issues throughout the community.
Our MALCOLM Program is developing popular education, provided by community members, to the local "alternative" school for children who have been pulled out of our mainstream educational system because of some behavioral choices they made. We are developing experiences in art, nutrition and food cultivation for the spring semester.
Our Shramadana movement is the newest to date and is being developed as a community resource for groups who want to build a movement of social change. It assumes that social movements have a pedagogy and that sincere social change activists are willing to encounter a critical thinking and emotional evaluation to align their values with their actions.
In all these efforts there is a common string. As a culture, we are falling apart and not actively addressing our miscalculations. We must first become more honest, more secure, and more flexible so that we can make new and more sustainable choices. This entails a series of processes as yet unrefined, yet vital if we are to thrive in the coming generations. We are experimenting on the organizing principles of unity and what interdependence would look like.
We are grateful people, still brimming with hope even in the face of this picture of decline. Things always fall apart and change. We wish to work together, with people like you, to become the change we wish to see in the world.
Shramadana is what the Mahatma M. Gandhi called it. Roughly translated, it means work for the betterment of all. We call it the Truth and Reconciliation Project.