What We Do

 

 

Vision

A just Connecticut where all people have the power to live and thrive with dignity.

Mission

CONECT organizes a broad, diverse, and powerful mix of faith and community institutions to build relationships, develop leadership, dismantle oppression, take action and win concrete change on a broad range of social, racial, and economic justice issues that affect our families, our member congregations and institutions, and our communities.

CONECT

  • Builds relationships
  • Develops leaders
  • Dismantles oppression
  • Takes action
  • Leads change

Values

  • Multiracial and Interfaith

    We believe people of all races, ethnicities, classes, and faith backgrounds have value and a voice. By coming together across many lines of division, we can build more collective power to act in solidarity with one another and to act on our common interests. As an organization primarily made up of faith institutions, our many diverse and often shared religious values are an important grounding and guide in our work together. At this time, our 37 member congregations represent more than 30,000 people, including Black, white, Latino, and Asian people and people of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Quaker, and Unitarian faiths. We denounce bigotry and hate in their many forms directed towards any people because of their race, ethnicity, faith tradition, or background.

  • Relationship Based

    CONECT believes in collective power that is built through the consistent and persistent cultivating of relationships between and among the leaders and members in our congregations and institutions. Strong, sustained relationships built over time with integrity and trust are the building blocks of our collective power that can lead to transformative change. Additionally, it is through relational conversations that we listen for the problems and issues confronting our families and communities and then craft the action agenda of the organization.

  • Anti-racism and Inclusivity

    CONECT strives to be an anti-racist organization by analyzing the forms of racism and discrimination – individual, institutional, interpersonal and structural – and their impact on ourselves and our work. We are committed to interrupting patterns of racism, sexism, classism, and other forms of discrimination in our own organization and to dismantling discriminatory and oppressive policies in the structures and institutions of our society.

  • Independent and self-sustaining

    We are an independent organization, where our member congregations and institutions own and direct the organization. All member congregations and institutions pay annual dues to sustain the organization. To assure our independence, we do not accept government funding. We cultivate individual donations in support of our organization and apply for foundation grants aligned with our work and issue agenda.

  • Non-ideological and non-partisan

    CONECT approaches issues and campaigns pragmatically rather than from an ideological or partisan perspective. We do not support or endorse candidates for office or their political parties. We will work with public and private sector leaders on concrete and practical solutions to the hardships, struggles, and issues confronting our communities.

  • Small-d democratic

    We believe our cities, towns, state and country are stronger when more people are engaged in the democratic process. We believe participating in the democracy process begins with voting, but voting is just the beginning. We believe we can reclaim democracy and politics as an honorable pursuit in which people working together have the power to change their communities and their country for the better. We use existing opportunities and work to create new opportunities for people from all backgrounds to participate in the democratic process, have their voices heard, and get their problems and issues meaningfully addressed.


  • Responsibility, Solidarity, and Accountability

    We believe in the power of people to speak and act for themselves. We also believe that no one else can speak to any issue better than those directly impacted by it. Thus, we look to organize people to take responsibility to act on the issues they are impacted by, to tap into our collective power by having others act in solidarity with them, and to create a culture of accountability where we hold ourselves and others accountable to do what we say we are going to do.

The Cycle of Organizing:

CONECT believes in the power of relationships. We begin the organizing process with relationships, and we return to rebuild and deepen those relationships again and again in the course of our work. We think of organizing as a cyclical process, rather than a linear one. The diagram below illustrates that concept, showing the key steps along the way.