Following a year-long effort to engage with people across all five U.S. territories, Right to Democracy has released a report titled “Building a Movement: Democracy, Equity, and Self-Determination in the U.S. Territories.” Right to Democracy launched a year ago as a new project focused on confronting and dismantling the undemocratic colonial framework that impacts people in U.S. territories. This sweeping report presents findings from a listening tour conducted by Right to Democracy that included more than 200 participants in seventeen community dialogues across all five territories. Building a Movement also sets forth the strategies and opportunities Right to Democracy was able to identify and co-create with its partners during an historic Summit on U.S. Colonialism it convened in New York last October, which led to the creation of a cross-territorial coalition that is working to advance these issues.

Building_a_Movement_Report.png“The starting point of our work is understanding what people in each of the five territories and their diaspora communities think about democracy, colonialism, citizenship and decolonization. Our biggest takeaway was that despite so many differences within and between each of the territories, there are powerful areas of common ground that can be the launching point for building a movement,” said Adi Martínez-Román, Co-Director of Right to Democracy, which works to advance democracy, equity, and self-determination in U.S. territories. “Learning from people in each of the territories has been transformative to me personally. But it has been even more exciting to see how the connections we’ve been able to facilitate between people in each of the territories has transformed the way people think about and engage on these issues. It is clear we can be stronger united than divided.”

“We are incredibly thankful to all the people who have helped make this work possible over the last year. What started as just an idea a year ago has proven effective in bringing people together to work towards the common goals of democracy, equity, and self-determination in U.S.  territories,” said Neil Weare, Co-Director of Right to Democracy. “Working together we’ve been able to build a strong foundation that makes me hopeful for the opportunities ahead.”

The 50-page report also brings together helpful statistics and historical information about all five territories, providing an important resource for people interested in learning more about each of these areas. It also highlights some of the monthly cross-territorial conversations Right to Democracy has convened on issues ranging from disaster recovery to climate justice, from veterans, to philanthropy, to government transparency. It ends by outlining five coalition working groups that are focused on specific strategies for driving change: education and media, organizing, litigation, policy advocacy, and international law and indigenous rights.

“We encourage people to join us in building a movement to advance democracy, equity, and self-determination in U.S. territories,” Martínez-Román said. “This could mean becoming part of the coalition or one of the working groups, or helping support Right to Democracy’s work as a Founding Donor.”

Right to Democracy’s Founding Donor campaign provides an opportunity for people to be recognized as supporting this important work from the beginning.

A supplemental report providing territory-specific information from the Listening Tour and a Spanish version of the Report will be forthcoming.

The Building a Movement Report is available at