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Mark Charles, Support

A transition from Lament and Critique to a voice of Vision and Leadership

Ya’at’eeh. I recently changed the financial goal of our Crowd Funding Campaign from $170K to $500K. ThatMRC_PHX is quite a big jump, and I thought it would be good to share with you why I raised it. For the past decade, we have been living on the Navajo reservation, and I have been writing and speaking about issues of social justice for Native Americans. However, the primary voice I have been communicating with has been one of lament and critique. And I think that was very important for a time. For I was going through a period of lament and critique myself. However, my goal has always been to grow into a position of leadership on these issues. In my recent article, “The Doctrine of Discovery- A Buried Apology and an Empty Chair” that was what I started to do – transition my voice from one of lament and critique to one of vision and leadership.

For the past 2 months I have had the privilege of traversing the country, speaking about this vision, and stepping into this role of leadership.  And I believe it would be good for my organization to also reflect this change. For while one can lament and critique in solitude, it is not possible to lead in solitude.  So I have created a new budget for 5 Small Loaves, one that includes funds for full-time and specialized staff members as well as allocations for office space, equipment, administrative, and travel

Lately, when I speak, I have started asking for a show of hands from those who are aware and knowledgeable of the Doctrine of Discovery. After addressing about one thousand people in the last month, and several thousand in the past year, I would estimate that only about 5% of our nation, regardless of education level, has a knowledgeable understanding of the Doctrine of Discovery and its influence on the church, our nation, our laws, and our founding documents. But while there is a wide-spread lack of education, I am encouraged at the incredible openness and willingness I am finding in people from all segments of our nation to learn about this history and engage in this dialogue.  There is much work to be done and I would like to ask for your help to meet our budget, as I, and our organization, transition from single voice of lament and critique into a hopeful voice of vision and leadership.

In an update a couple months ago, I shared that our family is planning to move to Washington DC. Next week I will be traveling there to begin looking at neighborhoods to live and work in. These past few months we have assumed that it would be best to move in the summer, but as my travel and work schedule has begun to explode it is becoming clear that we will probably need to move sooner. We are also quickly coming to the point where our organization neeIMAG2587ds full-time staff.

My dream is that this work and this project would be funded primarily through Crowd Funding. Hundreds, even thousands of people giving what they can. I do not think this work should be dependent upon any one person, and I think it would speak volumes to our political and national church leaders if they saw our citizens and congregation members coming forward in mass to help bring this conversation to the forefront.

So I am asking you to consider giving to our Crowd Funding Campaign on GoFundMe and sharing about it on your social media networks. This work is not dependent upon any one of us, but it is dependent upon all of us. So please consider giving what you can.  Ahe’hee’.

Mark Charles




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