Who are we?
Wild Goose Festival is a transformational community grounded in faith-inspired social justice. Wherever we come together – at our nationwide festival, smaller local and regional gatherings, or online spaces – we learn and grow by co-creating art, music, story, theater, and spectacle, engaging in a wide variety of robust, courageous conversations with each other and with thought leaders and artists from other communities.
Who is invited?
We are welcoming and hospitable to people of all faiths – or no faith – who join us in seeking the common good. We fully affirm and celebrate people of every age, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual identity, education, bodily condition, religious affiliation, and economic background, particularly those who are most often marginalized.
What do we mean by faith-inspired social justice?
We are rooted in progressive christianity. For us this means moving beyond belief to center ourselves in justice and compassion, to walk toward those in need and to solidarity with the marginalized and the oppressed, acknowledging our own privilege and actively working to use our power to alleviate suffering and achieve wholeness.
We take seriously the trauma and evil that has been done and is being inflicted upon our neighbors who are vulnerable — based on race, religion, identity, class, and other differences. We also take seriously the struggle of the privileged and powerful to fully grasp the reality of this trauma and evil. Knowing that absolutely safe space is impossible, we seek to create brave space where we can enter into needed conversations for mutual liberation. We realize that viable whistleblower disclosure and whistleblower protection systems are necessary for societal institutions to be trustworthy in discharging their responsibilities for our common good and that of posterity.
Why the name Wild Goose?
A wild goose is strong, beautiful and…utterly unpredictable. It often surprises us and disturbs our plans, leading us on wild and wonderful adventures. As such, it truly symbolizes the spirit we follow and the beloved community we seek to build. After all, wild geese most often fly in flocks, sharing a common direction, honking their encouragement to each other and freely providing “lift” to one another simply by sticking together.
Every person is created to be an active participant in the infinite, life-generating, constantly evolving and cosmic process of creation. At the festival, we value and promote co-creation and interactivity at every possible level. We encourage everyone to be creative, to participate, to tell their stories, to “trouble the waters,” to express themselves through art and music and campsites and clothing, to not be simply a passive observer but to be an engaged collaborator.
We love stories. We believe in stories. And in their power to shape our world. So at Wild Goose we celebrate storytellers, and we’re committed to listening. Listening to each other’s stories, in all their truthful, messy ambiguities, and looking for our shared narratives, and how they’ve shaped us – in our joy and in our suffering. We’re dedicated to offering space to challenge the destructive narratives in our world, the stories that breed fear, violence, and control. And to being a place where new stories of restoration and hope can be born.
We intentionally welcome all, without requiring adherence to any belief or creed. We foster a climate of purposeful inclusion, an environment where all will feel valued, cared for, and given an opportunity to form meaningful connections with each other.
We understand that to be inclusive is to center the human rights and dignity of all people, particularly those who have been historically – and are presently – marginalized or oppressed.
We strive to create an inclusive, protective, and courageous space for all – a supportive, affirming and celebratory environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, violence, and abuse – in particular for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities, women, and those with a uterus. We support bodily autonomy as a fundamental right that lies at the heart of human dignity.
We dream of a movement where everyone is welcome to participate. We are dedicated to fair trade, gift exchange, ecological sanity, and economic inclusion. We strive for high standards of mutual respect, collaboration, and participative planning.
We encourage a wide, and wild, variety of expression, and intentionally make space for both joy and lament.
We endeavor to make room for courageous conversation that grapples with questions instead of doling out answers, valuing and honoring our differences while also moving toward each other with humility and compassion. We make space for interaction that takes apart the usual class and social barriers, that takes down the walls that separate us, that invites speakers and artists and teachers into conversation with the wisdom of the greater community. We are here to teach and learn from each other.
We resist violence in all forms, whether through physical weapons like guns, verbal weapons like hate speech, name-calling, or microaggressions, through things we do or fail to do. We aspire to be vulnerable versus defensive, giving and forgiving, kind and tenderhearted, in a world where there are always new (and sometimes subtle) ways to be violent, to each other and to the earth.
We learn from the past, without making it our god, recognizing that we’re not always right, remaining flexible and open to new people, ideas, ways of understanding ourselves, each other and God. We listen for stories of not only intent, but impact. When we make mistakes we strive to make amends and seek to repair our relationships. We hold all things loosely, constantly seeking and discovering new ways to make the world more generous and just, and growing in love for our neighbors, ourselves, our earth and God.
Conversation With Civility
Conversation is at the heart of Wild Goose Festival. With so many diverse worldviews represented, there will be disagreements. This is a place where we can gain understanding of views not our own, but only if we maintain civility. We have hardly any rules, but this is paramount. We will not abide disruptive, aggressive, threatening or intimidating behavior.