MOSES – Madison Organizing in Strength, Equality & Solidarity
MOSES is a grassroots, interfaith, nonpartisan, non-profit organization working for transformative justice in Dane County and Wisconsin. Most of our members belong to faith communities, but others are unaffiliated individuals committed to social justice.
We start with the issues of mass incarceration and mass supervision, which negatively and disproportionately impact people of color, people with mental health issues, and people living in poverty. Members organize collective action using the tools of education, advocacy, and policy analysis. We work to identify and improve the conditions in our Dane County Jail and in Wisconsin prisons, while proposing alternatives to incarceration and other forms of involvement with law enforcement. We recognize that racial inequities (e.g., in housing, education, employment, and wealth accumulation) and racial disparities in policing, court representation, sentencing, and bail have led to disproportionately high rates of imprisonment of people of color. We advocate for policies that address the root causes of these inequities.
Our work goes beyond criminal justice system reform. We, as participants in the historic struggle to overcome white supremacy and systemic racism, seek to dismantle this unjust and unsustainable system. We believe that effective reforms will ultimately allow a reallocation of public resources for the well-being of communities and families and will lead to a beloved community where all can thrive.
We seek true justice for all people – a justice that cannot be reached until racial discrimination ends and systemic racism is eliminated from our institutions, economy, laws, policies, and enforcement practices. We seek a justice that respects all people as part of a sacred community, honored in their individuality, and equal both under the law and in the eyes of society.
We are committed to seeking justice by raising the voices of those who are most negatively impacted by structural racism and often not heard. We value the voices of those who are currently and previously incarcerated individuals, their families, people of color, people living in poverty, and those burdened with physical, emotional, or mental health issues.
To create change, MOSES engages in:
- Education: Helping individuals and communities better understand the issues that affect their lives;
- Training: Advancing our abilities to act as teachers and leaders;
- Advocacy: Speaking with a common voice so public policy better reflects our common values;
- Action: Working collectively to change the power dynamic and transform our communities to better reflect our shared humanity.
To do all this, MOSES relies on members as leaders. We welcome participation through chapters within faith communities, and by individuals who are not affiliated with a member congregation.
MOSES seeks to:
- Deliver a message of hope, healing, and unity that reaches beyond the divisions of race, creed, and social-economic status.
- Build solid relationships within the organization and with the greater community.
- Identify and take action on the root causes of injustice, oppression, and poverty.
- Empower and train leaders to respond to injustices at the local, state, and national level.
- Be an agent of change to build upon and create strong and just communities.
Our Relationship to WISDOM:
WISDOM is a statewide organization with more than 125 member congregations in ten local affiliates across Wisconsin that work to live out their values in the world. As part of the WISDOM network, we align with other regional networks to build education and advocacy campaigns to embed social justice in systems of governance. While each local organization is autonomous, we work together on matters of common concern.
Other WISDOM affiliates:
ESTHER, Fox Valley
JOSHUA and RUTH, Green Bay and Manitowoc
JONAH, Chippewa Valley
SOPHIA, Waukesha County
EXPO, EX-Prisoners Organizing