Purpose

Praxis exists to facilitate dialogue about the realities of Philadelphia and its communities, both directly as perceived by those who live in them and through intensive research and analysis. In the process, we gain a better understanding of our reality and become better able to shape it.

Principles

  • All individuals and groups have a fundamental right to autonomy and self-determination.
  • Systems of oppression are all-pervasive, and their dynamics can be reproduced by anyone, well-intentioned or not.
  • The liberation of oppressed people can only be accomplished by oppressed people themselves.
  • All forms of oppression are inextricably linked and cannot be subverted in isolation.
  • Liberation requires a fundamental shift in the way people relate to one another, the environment, and other creatures.
  • Our ability to organize for our collective liberation depends on our ability to strategize, which is itself dependent on our understanding of our context.

Methodology

Local Focus — Focusing our frame of study on a specific area enables us to explore that area in greater depth. The Praxis model is designed around locality, and, for us, that means Philadelphia. We‘re engaged in studying the effects of global and national forces as they manifest in Philadelphia and its many communities.

Participatory Engagement — Our research and agitation necessarily involves direct engagement in community struggles and activities. In every step of the process our role is to facilitate collective self-investigation, so that we are able to increase the capacity of our communities to resist. Another function of our work and a central part of our strategic outlook is the concept of praxis. Praxis is the realization of theory through practice; the combination of ideas and action. As radicals, we want to see local struggles become more effective in challenging oppression and transforming everyday life.

Engaged Media — Our focus on producing quality media goes beyond mere aesthetics. We are committed to distributing our findings and, more importantly, the perspectives of community members in as many forms as we are able to. By making these shared perspectives as accessible as possible, we hope to not only extend the power of communities to communicate but also their power to communicate with one another.

Theoretical and Historical Fluency — As researchers, organizers, and agitators we have a critical role to play as participants in collective social struggles. In order for us to fulfill that role effectively, we have a need for constant and intense study. Our theoretical base helps us understand the dynamics active in our communities. Studying global, national, and local history enables us to readily interpret these dynamics as they apply to specific events and circumstances.