Phoenix Society Values Statement

From what’s wrong to what’s strong

Phoenix Society Values

As we foster a healthy community free of substance misuse, working from what's wrong to what's strong, we are guided by a series of core values. Here is a summary.

Social Justice

We work toward building a community and a world where resources and knowledge are distributed more equally. Social categories - including race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, accessibility needs, country of origin - do not lead to oppression and structural inequality. Instead, global collaboration, cooperation and partnership are directed toward peace, justice and sustainability. There is an urgent need to understand and take action on the consequences of our human thinking, activity and social practices.

Our accountability to the values of social justice is defined by whether our programs and products:

  • respond to human deprivation by improving the lives of marginalized citizens
  • empower previously silent or excluded social groups by creating new capabilities
  • transform exclusionary mechanisms into inclusionary strategies

Relationships Built on Safety, Trust, and Integrity

  • We build relationships on foundations of safety, trust, and integrity. We acknowledge that these safe relationships allow the heart to open and permit trust and hope for the future to take root.
  • We are accountable in all our relations with others. We quickly acknowledge our mistakes and actively make an effort to repair breaches that inevitably occur in relationships. We know that these values in action build trust, and most importantly, build trustworthy platforms for further collaboration, cooperation, creativity and accomplishment.
  • We fulfill the commitments we make. We do what we say we are going to do.

Social Innovation for Individual and Community Well Being

Social innovation demonstrates the process of continuous renewal. The safety and health of our communities is everyone's responsibility. In the spirit of renewal, we actively create safe, inclusive spaces and opportunities allowing citizens and communities to flourish. This involves actively pursuing positive change at four levels:

  • Individual Level of Change: We actively build awareness of how the social, economic and political world shapes our consciousness, our ideas of who we are, our place in the world and the kind of world we are bringing into being. We are mindful of our privileges and how they affect how we are with participants. An important expression of our social justice values is our view of the individuals we serve as citizens rather than as "addicts," "the homeless" or other distancing terms. We believe that when citizens become marginalized, they are deprived of the ability to participate in the social, economic, political and cultural life of the community. Our purpose, then, is to empower and to build the capabilities of citizens to fully participate in community life. It is in this way that we can all become the unresigned and uncontainable spirits that we as human beings really are.
  • Group Level of Change: We are a learning community where everyone is engaged in a learning how to create conditions where individuals and communities flourish. We focus on our strengths as individuals and as a group. We acknowledge and celebrate differences in the perspectives of others, and are open to questioning our existing routines and policies. We actively invite voices that are often less heard. We take time to listen deeply to each other and support each other to learn and grow.
  • Organizational Level of Change: Our organization cultivates and sustains a culture of inquiry. We conscientiously inquire into our positions and identities as people choosing to help others. We welcome and encourage energetic conversations about our practices across diverse perspectives and challenge each other respectfully always remaining mindful that safety is the key to promoting robust discussion. We practice and model an openness to learning as well as an openness to process work which inevitably emerges as we begin to reflect on how the lived experiences of participants affects us and challenges our understandings of our own lives. We promote open discussions concerning our understandings of our work together and the decisions we are making as leaders. We promote inquiry into what is happening in the Phoenix Community and how we are making sense of events, including how participants are making sense of us, our behaviours, decisions and actions. We welcome courageous and difficult conversations that may lead to the positive changes in our organization that benefit the individuals and communities we serve.
  • Institutional Level of Change: It is widely accepted that the health and well-being of people is largely influenced by the socio-economic conditions in which they live. Our vision for a healthy community therefore, sees individuals, communities, neighborhoods, governments, business and other sectors devising strategies and goals to realize the vision of healthy communities. Everyone can, and indeed everyone is needed to participate to create a healthy future.

    The scale of the challenge of poverty elimination is enormous, and can only be achieved by working at multiple levels. We build relationships across disciplines and across sectors in order to achieve maximum impact on the broader determinants of health in our community.

These values have guided us in our leadership in moving from disconnection and fragmentation. Instead, we aspire to connection, collaboration, cooperation, partnership, peace, justice and sustainability.