At Witness for Peace Southeast, we work to raise people’s consciousness and empower them to take action through education. We don’t provide material aid. Instead we ask why some countries need charity in the first place. Learning and working with with our partners in Latin America we work to tackle these root causes of poverty and oppression. Our analysis centers the deleterious role of colonialism, imperialism, and paternalist policies throughout Latin America. These policies have (and continue to) oppress marginalized communities, rapaciously extract material goods and labor from the colonized country, and strive to suppress voices of dissent. Witness for Peace Southeast strives to work against such policies, beginning with our belief in an anti-imperial methodology. Instead of telling the government's of other countries what to do, following the directives of our partners in Latin America, we advocate for a change in US policy only. In doing so, we stand in solidarity with our partners in Latin America, and seek to center their own voices.
At Witness for Peace Southeast, we believe in a model of popular education. Within this model, we believe that no one person has all knowledge about a topic. Instead, everyone has something to provide through experience, their own teachings, or their analysis. This model of learning operates through a more horizontal power structure. In addition, it encourages continual growth and learning. We apply this model of learning on our delegations and in our day to day tasks as an organization. We use this model of popular education to continually update our analysis about the drug war, US military funding and training, free trade agreements, and US immigration policy.