“Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.”
― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
We are in a time of serious societal reckoning. We have felt the failure of systems viscerally. The fear of sickness and ecological turmoil, the helplessness of systemic injustice, and the alienation of social distancing and hyper-individualism, are all produced by capitalists.
A revolution is on the horizon - however, it might not be the one we’ve imagined. In their public protest, Bed Peace, Jon Lennon and Yoko Ono advocated strongly for a revolution of the mind. A process of slowing down, deprogramming the “monster” in ourselves, and using time and thoughtfulness to create something new. This is the undertaking of our community’s initial season.
We’re PactDAO - a mutual aid cooperative in NYC 👋. In the first step of our revolutionary experiment, we will start by simply bringing New Yorkers together. We see that the way out is through, and together, we can reprogram our minds and habits to build a foundation of familiarity, accountability, and companionship to actualize our collective potential. To plant seeds of change, we must grow in relationship with our community and each other.
Here in New York City, we live in multi-unit apartment buildings, yet each unit has its own WiFi, each of us has our own social circles, and set of worries and fears that we face in isolation. Every day, even in this massive ecosystem of millions, we are encouraged to operate as automatons. The “energy” that is so notably palpable in NYC, an energy brought by the people, is not seen by its citizens as something they are a part of, as much as an exciting backdrop.
What if we tapped into this momentous power to collaborate regularly, like we did in the 2020 Black Lives Matter uprisings? What if we lived in a city of large-scale unity and support? Where, rather than millions of individuals operating in small sects, we create a beautiful ecology of sharing and interdependence? We see this future of our city as not only possible but probable in the face of failing, exploitative systems. We are ready to take this next step in imagining a new way of living. We hope you’ll join us.
To build this relationship with the people and grassroots movements in NYC, we invite members to participate in events (both online and in-person) centered around mutuality, service, healing, and play.
Trust and familiarity are the foundations to which we feel a sense of belonging. Rarely do we cross lines into new ways of thinking and new relationships without empathetic experience. We will shepherd an environment of thoughtfulness where our identity markers are acknowledged and treasured but do not make up the totality of our being.
We’ll hold space for each other every week at an informal meetup as an invitation to simply come know and be known. For members and their friends, a diverse group of individuals, this is an opportunity to build bonds with people we might not have met otherwise but who share our commitment to a stronger collective and more humane living conditions for all. This easygoing gathering will be held on the same night every week to establish consistency and assurance, with varying locations and event types (bar hangs, potlucks, etc.) that will be decided upon in the member Discord (a free messaging app) channel weekly.
"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." – Coretta Scott King
Alongside friendship, we must build a habit for public service and civic engagement. Walled in by capitalistic individualism, many of us forget what it’s like to participate in group healing. This means rolling up our sleeves to serve the people in our communities with what they need (and not the solutions we ascribe to them).
In partnership with local grassroots organizations, mutual aid groups, artists, and organizers, who are also present in our Discord, we will be sharing opportunities for members to take an active role in the healing of our city. It is this kind of participation that will boost members' standing (via relationships and eventual tokens) in our ecosystem - because even though mutuality, healing, and play are all essential parts of the picture, they serve only as self-indulgence without the commitment and humility of service.
It is a principle that we cannot move towards the future until we understand the past. That’s why we’ll be looking not only into our personal and political pasts but learning from true stewards of collective living and liberation throughout history - like indigenous communities, mutual aid groups, and labor movements.
In this season, we’ll also be working with local creators and healers to host intentional gatherings to unlearn the effects of oppressive systems and fully embrace our humanity. In a foundation of companionship, we believe that our collective can do the challenging work to decolonize our minds. Even with new tools, if we do not change, we will be fated to repeat the same insidious systems because we’ll still be carrying the damaging beliefs they imparted on us. A new world needs to be shaped by new beliefs. It starts with us.
One of our greatest joys, which is often suppressed in adulthood, is our ability to play. Between the severe compression of our daily tasks to the sole focus on monetizable hobbies, our lack of imagination is an intended systemic dulling of the senses. In taking back our time for silliness, exploration, and rest, we participate in a direct rebellion against the systems that try to convince us we are machines. They cannot have our humanity.
Some of our events will be held for meditation, artful practices, and play, and we want to invite the entire city to participate in our collective joy. Hoping the COVID infection rate will have dropped dramatically by this time, we're planning a large-scale event for March which will support local and diverse artists, creators, and businesses that make our community thrive. We’ll be looking for partner communities and DAOs to help achieve this effort by sharing resources and co-creating a memorable evening that has the potential to be the tipping point of a new era. Details to come.
Pact’s community is for anyone who wants to see this vision for our city - not just New Yorkers in web3 and not just organizers and activists either. We welcome all walks of life who believe in collective power and want to see it actualized here in NYC.
We look forward to venturing out on this journey together.
Your partners in progress,
The Pact Collective