Kairos Center Convening on Militarism

Shifting the Narrative – Working Group Session 1
December 7, 2018

We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. —Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Shift the Narrative: We aim to take on the false and limited definition of poverty and the distorted moral narrative in our country. We are changing the narrator by building a platform to lift up the plight, fight, and insight of those most impacted by systemic injustice.

The current narrative is that poverty only impacts a small group of people in our country and that it is the fault of the poor because we are lazy and unable to organize ourselves. We will interrupt this narrative and bring media attention to, 1) the 140 million poor and low-income people in the US and the true extent of the moral crisis we are in, highlighting policy violence; 2) diverse impacted communities revealing the interlocking nature of the five evils and the need for people to come together across race, region, religion, gender, ability, and all lines of difference into a fusion movement; 3) the demands of our campaign, showing that we as poor people, moral leaders, and activists  know the solutions we need; and 4) the real issues in our communities that impact the majority of people’s lives.

Discussion of Guiding Questions for Kairos Convening on Militarism (30 min) 

  • What is the connection between your work/community/state/region and militarism? 
  • What impact does the war economy have on your community?
  • How is your state benefitting from the war economy?
  • Does your community talk about the US military, the military budget, or what the role of the military is/should be? How so?
  • What are the current economic changes that your community is experiencing? 

Telling Our Personal Stories (30 min) 

  • How does your story connect personally to the problems of militarism and the war economy? 
  • How can we integrate the issue of militarism into our personal narratives?
  • What aspects of this narrative will resonate with other members of your community? 
  • As you listen to each other’s stories, share back what stands out? What compels you? Take notes on what might resonate with your community.