We’re a team of passionate activists with skills to share with anyone who’s pushing back against oppressive systems.
In 2015, the majority of our team launched Better Eating International — a nonprofit with the goal to improve vegan education through the use of digital advertising and dozens of short, animated videos. We managed to reach nearly 2 million people with these ads and — thanks to a grant from VegFund — Expanded Circle Collective continues to run them today.
While Better Eating focused on animal rights and vegan education, we were founded with pro-intersectional values, a collaborative structure, and the intention to share our skills with other movements down the line. We frequently were approached by other organizations to ask if we offer creative services. So after a couple staff departures, the remaining team came together and decided the time was right to shift gears and start to focus on creating content and running campaigns for other organizations and causes.
What’s a Collective?
We practice decentralized governance following a one-person, one-vote decision-making practice. With a highly skilled staff, we trust each other’s abilities in our respective areas of expertise, yet offer mutual support and accountability. This works for us because we’re a small team, but there are collectives and democratically-led organizations of all sizes, including some with more complex structures. Our structure can be best described as a “worker self-directed nonprofit,” as coined by Sustainable Economies Law Center. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, we still rely on our Board of Directors to provide financial oversight and guidance, so we’re grateful to our volunteer board members Ndem Nkem, Karen Hixson, and Jen Riley.
Are you interested in democratizing your organization? We’re happy to discuss our experience with this model and offer consulting on a sliding scale basis.
I am really trying to make clear the nature of the artist’s responsibility to [their] society. The peculiar nature of this responsibility is that [they] must never cease warring with it, for its sake and for [their] own.”James Baldwin, The Creative Process, 1962
POINTS OF UNITY
01 Art and creative content plays and has played an essential role for all movements for liberation. Creative work is valuable and important work.
02 Larger companies and nonprofits typically have greater access to high-quality creative content. We seek to provide creative services to those who otherwise may not be able to access them.
03 People have value outside of their jobs. We seek to create life-work balance that allows the freedom to grow, create, and thrive both within and outside of work.
04 We both benefit from and are harmed by systemic oppression. We will be forgiving of each other and create space for honest, deep engagement and communication. (h/t AORTA)
05 Hierarchy breeds oppression. As an organization that seeks to assist in movements against oppression, we also strive to correct for our own internal imbalances of power.
06 Animal rights is a social justice issue. As oppressors of non-human animals, being vegan is the least that we can do.