Our Way Home Research Institute's Vision and Mission
The Our way Home Research (OWHR) Institute is called together by our vision and a plan for healing and transforming our world. We include in this call both the outer transformation needed to achieve social justice, ecological sanity, and world peace, and the inner healing needed to foster loving relationships, a generous attitude toward the world and toward others unimpeded by the distortions of our egos. Our research and socially engaged community and the movement we are preparing will encourage a habit of generosity and trust, and the ability to respond to the grandeur of creation with awe, wonder and radical amazement.
Furthermore we say, there is a strong set of needs that we call spiritual or meaning needs: people want their lives to have some higher meaning and purpose than simply accumulating money, power, sexual gratification and fame — they want their lives to be connected to something about which they can feel that it has transcendent value.
And they hunger for personal relationships, families and communities in which they can experience themselves as being cared for and recognized in all of their specificity and uniqueness and spiritual beauty — not only for what they can “deliver” or “do” for others, not for how they will be “of use,” but simply because they are valuable and deserving of love and caring just for who they are as embodiments of the sacred.
Together…. Let us bring forward into every policy “spiritual principles and values of love, kindness, generosity, care. Let us see and treat each as sacred beings worthy of respect and dignity. Let us all respond to the universe with awe, wonder and radical amazement. Responding in this way, to the crisis in Gaza and other situations of conflict and oppression, we will be able to find a path to reconciliation, healing, peace and justice. (Embodied in the OWHR Institute Vision and Mission Statement are the principles set for by the Network of Spiritual Progressives. We embrace these principles and thank the NSP.)
More about the OWHR Institute Mission:
Further, we illuminate that, Our Way Home Research (OWHR) Institute For War Resistance and Policy Alternatives challenges underlying assumptions found in many research models, due to the generations of militarism embedded in our cultures. Moving research to a paradigm-shift away from the “pseudo-neutrality” view of warfare.
Thirty years ago, during the Vietnam War, 100,000 young men and women fled to Canada in the largest political exodus from the United States since the American Revolution. Now they’re coming again, related to the US Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now with ISIS in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa.
Due to the large numbers that came to Canada (during the Vietnam War) and their enormous contribution to Canadian life, this immigrant group of US war resisters is a “model to the world” of non-violence. The OWHR Institute for War Resistance and Policy Alternatives will illuminate its premise that military conflict at its root and practice is inherently barbaric and must be replaced in the 21st century by non-violent conflict resolution. That the resistance to war and the resisters to war are to be illuminated through the OWHR Institute’s research and presentation.
The Purpose of the Institute
The purpose of the Our Way Home Research Institute for War Resistance and Policy Alternatives is to promote global justice, freedom, peace, sustainability, and an understanding of the importance of ethical action.
The Institute engages in research on current social, international, and ethical issues, it analyzes these issues, and communicates about these issues with aspects of the local and world communities in a variety of ways. This includes working with justice-oriented groups, writing essays and scholarly papers, putting on talks and conferences, and disseminating relevant information through the Internet or by other means. The Institute is committed to clarity of thought, to critical assessment of ideas, to honesty in communication, and an understanding of the importance of ethical action.
The Institute provides a framework for:
- Developing and coordinating the concerns about global ethics and justice in which the Directors are currently professionally engaged; and for extending these concerns to further areas;
- Enhancing an understanding of issues pertaining to global justice and ethical action within the university community (Students, Faculty, Staff, Administration, and the Community at large); and for encouraging systematic and academic dialogue about these issues; and
- Increasing the involvement of members of the university community in ethical action that may help to promote global justice.
Global Justice and Ethics
Justice can be thought of as appropriate treatment, and injustice as inappropriate treatment. What counts as appropriate and inappropriate is, of course, an extremely complex question which will be addressed over time.
The OWHR Institute for War Resistance and Policy Alternatives focuses upon global justice issues that are claimed to involve ethically inappropriate treatment of individuals throughout human societies across the planet. And it is concerned with the issues regarding what type of action is the right or ethical way to respond to possible, or to identified, injustices.
Injustices typically result from the influence and control that more powerful individuals and groups have over others. The resulting injustice may be deliberate or inadvertent. At the forefront of global justice issues are the topics of war and terrorism, of genocide, of ethnic, racial and gender conflicts, of the environment, of world hunger, of the sustainability of life on the planet, of the appropriate nature of human economic endeavors, of the equality of human beings, of individual freedom, of human rights, and of the operation of human societies in accordance with true democratic principles.