Solidarity: a Way to Wholeness

Posted: 10/23/2012

by Vie Thorgren

The Center for Spirituality at Work is committed to the practice of solidarity with people on the margins. This practice of solidarity is essential to our mission "to unite diverse people for spiritual transformation and social justice." It informs the way we evaluate, plan, decide and act. It urges us to ensure spiritual direction and retreat services for people in poverty, youth at risk, men and women in shelters, and elders in assisted living through our Formation Program for Spiritual Directors. It also prompts our commitment to women in prison and during re-entry. The practice of solidarity undergirds our Making Choices program, our writing classes and our spiritual guidance services for women in the correctional system.

The root word of solidarity is the Latin, "sol" which means "whole." We believe that there are no throw-away people. To the extent that a society marginalizes and excludes certain people, its perspective is fractured and impoverished.

Webster's dictionary defines solidarity as "complete unity, as of opinion, purpose, interest and feeling." This unanimity is expressed in the language we use... for example, people in poverty, not "the poor." It is also expressed in our determination to embrace those we serve as full partners on advisory boards, in the evaluation of program materials, in the training of new volunteers, in the education of the public, and in our fundraising, marketing and celebrating.

What does the word "solidarity" mean to you?

Has the practice of solidarity shaped your volunteer work?

Has your volunteer commitment taught you anything about solidarity?

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