A North American approach to systemic change

by | Apr 12, 2014 | Systemic change

SVDP Systemic ChangeBackground for North American definition of Systemic change provided by Fr. Lou Arceneaux.
In 2006 an international committee was established by Father Greg Gay, the Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission, to focus on systemic change. That committee, initially led by Fr. Bob Maloney, offered workshops in various parts of the world and composed a book, Seeds of Hope, on systemic change.
In the United States a workshop was held for interested members of the Vincentian Family in North America.  After that workshop, the North American Vincentian Family Collaborators (VFC), a committee with representatives from various branches of the Family in North America continued work on systemic change. In 2009 the VFC developed a definition of systemic change that the members agreed to use. The leadership of the many branches of the Vincentian Family that gathered for a meeting in 2011 adopted that definition for the entire Family in North America. This is the definition.
“Systemic Change among those living in poverty aims beyond providing food, clothing, shelter and alleviating immediate needs.  It enables people themselves to engage in the identification of the root causes of their poverty and to create strategies, including advocacy, to change those structures which keep them in poverty.  Systemic Change requires transforming attitudes.”
For other resources for looking at systemic change visit Vincentian Encyclopedia.