We represent our organization.

When we talk with individuals and prospective volunteers about our work, each of us is the face of our organization. The impression that we make matters, and we take that responsibility seriously. We treat everyone we encounter with care and respect, whether or not they agree with us. If we ever encounter disrespect or hostility from others, we try to de-escalate the situation and walk away if need be.

We listen with empathy; we don’t argue or debate.

We actively listen and validate people’s experiences, even if we don’t always agree with them. Active listening allows us to find common ground that we can build upon. Research has shown that when two people enter an argument or debate, both parties usually come out more committed to their prior beliefs than before. Arguing moves us away from common ground; listening with empathy moves us towards it.

We connect by sharing our stories.

We tell our stories, and we honor each other’s stories. We all have a stake in this fight, and something to gain in coming together. We tell our individual stories to connect with each other and to open the door for others to resonate with our motivations. Talking about our own struggles with the healthcare system or stagnant wages is much more powerful than an abstract policy argument.

We value work.

Our leadership comes not from titles, but the ways that we give to the organization. We take initiative and encourage others to do the same.

We believe in taking risks.

We are called to push ourselves to be uncomfortable, because we know the greatest change can happen when we step into discomfort together. We invite others to step into risk with us.

All of Us

We fundamentally believe that everyone has worth — no matter your background. We all deserve to live a dignified life. This is about all of us — every single person who is part of Pennsylvania and our country, regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ability, or country of origin. Our job is to connect with people and to tell an aspirational story of America; a story about what we are capable of achieving when we join together; a story that the people we’re talking to will want to be part of. at VOW we believe we all do better, when we all do better!