Strengthening community by bringing people together to discover passions and cultivate skills that enrich rural lives and livelihoods.
G.A.L.A. is committed to making a difference within our sphere of influence – our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities. We agree with Wendell Berry when he says, “The right local questions and answers will be the right global ones.” We believe that sustainable community building is a creative process, not a promise, and we are committed to embarking on this process in a way that is strategic, makes sense, and is fun for those involved.
We believe that all the technology, creativity, and intelligence necessary to make our communities more sustainable is all around us. Our focus is not to search far and wide for experts in the field, but rather to harness those resources that already exists within our communities. We echo the Hopi Elders who proclaim, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
We embrace the broad and complex nature of sustainability, while also striving to simplify the concept by making it practical and local. Because sustainability looks different everywhere, we design our programs based on unique local conditions. We also aim to make the necessary tools, services, and information accessible that empowers people to contribute to sustainable community building everyday.
Interdependence We understand that our daily choices and local actions have impacts through space and time. We consider the global and generational impacts of our daily choices and local actions.
Independence We promote the independence that means the assumption of responsibility in society. We promote independence by encouraging corporate and individual accountability.
Local autonomy and inclusive decision-making We believe that decisions made by the people who will experience the impacts of those decisions usually leads to sustainable outcomes.
Peace and nonviolence We cultivate peace within ourselves and between others/each other, knowing that these attributes are integral to sustainability.
Creativity Creativity is the heart of sustainable community building. We encourage and promote creativity and innovation in all that we do.
Diversity Diversity brings strength and resilience. We value and foster diversity.
Intrinsic wisdom of nature The earth’s ecological systems naturally tend toward sustainability. We honor and are guided by this intrinsic wisdom of nature.
Learning Sustainable community building is a creative process; there is always more to learn. We are open to new ideas and value research and critical-thinking.
Storytelling People understand the world through stories. We develop and share the narratives behind sustainable community building.
Celebration Celebration evokes joy and a sense of place. We celebrate often and embrace rituals around rhythms of nature.