Goals and Visions

Helen Chauncey

The Coexistence Initiative

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

Part of this is also a function of where we think the broader peace building and peace management field is right now. Particularly in the post-September 11, post-haydays of the dot-com economy world. There simply are not as many people available to write large checks, simply on faith.

The Coexistence Initiative thinks it is extremely important that any organization, and of course that also means us, can clearly explain what its goal and vision is. It cannot use random words that might be interpreted by one person one way and another person in another way. That is important in general because any non-profit organization is basically holding the public trust. We don't have to pay taxes; we are given a series of advantages in society writ large. We feel that it is important that we are good guardians of that trust, which means that we've got to have, and this is a word that's key to us, a "value added." We've got to be able to say that we do something we think is good and that the person writing the check will also decide whether they think it is good or not. And if he or she thinks it's good, they write the check. If he or she thinks it's good then they write the check. We do something we think is good that isn't necessarily duplicated by anybody else out there. It is not simply more of the same.