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We are a diverse network of women willing to risk being different with one another, our families, communities, workplaces and organizations. We are committed to a process that builds personal and community well being on the strength of self-knowledge rather than on the distress of oppression. Because we believe that enduring progressive change begins with and is sustained by persistent personal growth, we bring to people a model for individual and organizational effectiveness which replaces silence with information, assumptions with a diversity of insights, and powerlessness with a sense of personal responsibility.
Be Present, Inc. is a national community-based organization engaged in capacity building, advocacy, and organizing/base building for progressive social justice. We develop leaders that foster full participation of diverse communities engaged in improving the economic, health, and political status of women and girls.
We partner with organizations doing the long-term work of social change movement building within the fields of philanthropy, human and civil rights, public policy advocacy, organizing, education, and community development.Be Present Empowerment Model (BPEM)
Be Present uses a model of transformation, the Be Present Empowerment Model (BPEM), which was created by Lillie P. Allen to provide individual empowerment and collective leadership skills first, to African-American women, and now to women from all walks of life, as well as men and boys.
The BPEM recognizes that social change is the active building of community one person at a time. The model begins on the individual level, exploring the impact of diversity and oppression on women and girls. It is built on the understanding that in order for change to be sustainable, women and girls must understand and appreciate who they are and find and value their true voices. As women and girls are able to feel their own power, they begin to comprehend their connections with others, and to move their focus from personal empowerment to community action and grassroots social change.
Be Present offers women and girls an opportunity to learn how to expand the dialogues and analyses on race, class, gender, age, and power, and to encompass what until now has been polarized between intellectual and emotional discussions, and then apply theoretical understandings in practical ways.
The BPEM is a guide through three distinct stages of development:
1. Know yourself outside of the distress of oppression.
2. Listen to others in a conscious and present state.
3. Create new relationships and build alliances that celebrate differences as well as similarities.
- Rashaunda Allen
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