Intellectual: Rooted in a Critical Theory on Race
The Cultural Soul Project is rooted in a Critical Theory on Race. This means we recognize the saliency of race in society and advance the proposition that racism is inextricably linked and woven into the everyday fabric of social life. Because of our recognition and analysis on the nuances and complexities of race and racism in society, we have a critical analysis on the social construction of Whiteness and its function as a normalized ideology, which we posit serves and functions to protect and advance its own interest at the expense of others. However, our critical analysis moves beyond just race, as we are against any system or ideology that is value laden, interest bound, and can benefit some at the expense of others in society. As such, we challenge arbitrary notions of neutrality and objectivity in society, asserting that societal norms can also be biased and benefit some at the expense of others.
The Cultural Soul Project values the art of storytelling. We provide vivid articulation of the lived experiences, lived realities, and social conditions of those who have been shaped by life on the margins; this is accomplished by offering counter-narratives to the mainstream narratives that are often communicated and perpetuated about the plight and predicament of People of Color in inner-city urban America.
The Cultural Soul Project does not seek to liberate People of Color from the circumstances that marginalize or oppress them; rather we seek to dismantle the very systems and structures that make a liberation project necessary, and we also seek to transform the injustices and disparities that exist between groups in society. Lastly, our work is profoundly interdisciplinary; it integrates a variety of disciplines and theoretical models into its analysis to understand, and respond to, the socio-cultural challenges that exist and disproportionately impact People of Color in inner-city urban America.
We center the voices of people who have been shaped by life on the margins (i.e., “the least of these”) by making their plight and predicament fundamental to, and a central focus of, the gospel.