Supporting those affected by the misery of stigma and exclusion
The above statement constitutes our mission statement. We're a charitable organization working to achieve our mission and objectivs through cultural change. This is because it's stigma which causes both inequality and social exclusion and irrespective of whether the stigma is expressed as racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism or in some other way the motivating factor is an over-simplified belief which is based on cultural or social attitudes. .
The basic premise of our mission
Social change requires cultural change Contrary to what many people believe social change cannot be achieved through political change. Believing that it can is the underlying premise of authoritarianism and similar collectivist beliefs. Qultura has no interest in determining widespread social or cultural attitudes or beliefs. We do not support or promote any specific religious or political belief, we do not advocate any specific or particular lifestyle, but work to promote human individuality and creativity.
Stigma is about access to power
Social stigma is all about disempowerment of specific individuals or a social group of people on the basis of labelling, stereotyping them so as to deny them access to opportunities which are asccessible to everyone else. It is about denying such people access to power which is social, economic or political, about denying them a voice, opportunities in employment, equal pay, housing, education, and even social relationships and access to public services such as healthcare and welfare benefits. This gives those affected a completely different life experience to the rest of the population, making their lives much more difficult and challenging unless they can develop ways of overcoming the barriers caused by stigma to regain their power and independence. Those not affected by stigma usually do not see or understand these barriers or difficulties and often it is this lack of understanding and awareness which upholds and reinforces the underlying stigma.
The impact on society caused by social stigma
At a certain level everybody is affected by stigma and exclusion. Both these issues stifle social mobility and the creation of opportunities. The impact of stigma affects many different people in different ways which are very real, by creating various social issues, making the work of people in the public sector much more difficult, increasing demand on charities and support organizations, draining public resources, and making our local communities less safe.
The role of empowerment in negating stigma and exclusion.
Empowerment negates social stigma almost completely particularly when it is done on a level which is individual and within local communities because it promotes social inclusion and equality through acceptance of the individual. Social privilege is in itself not a choice but something people are born into. Any choice when it comes to social privilege comes down to the choice of those with social privilege over how they exercise their power. They can choose to uphold and reinforce the cultural beliefs which reinforce the stigma, or they can choose to empower those affected by stigma or exclusion.
How Qultura works towards its mission and objectives.
Qultura is designed to work at a local community or personal level through a process of empowerment and mutual support. We create opportunities for networking both online in various social media groups and also where possible in real time making use of local community space. We are completely decentralized and start the process of empowerment through sharing our theories, work, and access to our networks free of charge to members of the public. We proactively encourage participation. Rather than working towards a central cause, belief or mission we work to promote human individuality and creativity through the creation and development of opportunities for social interaction, community cultural development and creative activities. In this way we hope to stimulate an increased level of social mobility and achieve a breakthrough in social interaction.