Health - Opportunity - Privilege - Education

Designed by Gigi Polo.

This is the fresh new logo for HOPE Alliance. It represents many years of experience and reflection on life and learning. HOPE is an acronym for Health - Opportunity - Privilege - Education. These four elements form the center of what our HOPE Alliance is structured on. Our purpose is to define action in finding each of these elements in our lives and the lives of those we touch. 
Hope without action is wishful thinking.
The circles represent the concentric nature of challenges, and the quantum directions we can go to address them, like ripples colliding in a pond, each creating new possibilities. The feathers represent the soft voice that speaks to each of us coaxing us to keep moving toward our hope. The circles point us in four directions: Respect - Understanding - Relationships - Responsibility and are symbolic of what I call the Hope Wheel. The Hope Wheel represents a life-span perspective toward living and learning. It provides a valuable visual representation of development and progress. Hope is the elemental foundation supporting the process. Surrounding this hope are four concepts, each representing a concentric path toward cultural interdependence. In the east, the first path is Respect.

Respect (East)

Respect points east where people gaze with wonderment at the world surrounding them and begin to simply realize they are part of this world; they are learning to be. They begin to feel an implicit purpose to learn. They need answers to the question, “why?” When we walk the path of discovery with people we support finding the answers they seek; we establish value in learning… we help them define purpose. A template for interaction between themselves and others is established on the path of respect. Interacting with ideas and concepts in the domain of respect leads to the establishment of self-identity, and orients people toward the evolution from dependence to independence.

Understanding (South)

The domain of understanding points south and is where people learn to know. Skill acquisition, new knowledge, and rationale for life-long learning are established within this domain. People at this stage begin developing an independent nature as they take risks with learning and start to develop intrinsic motivation to discover. In the domain of understanding people sharpen their focus on the surrounding world; they look more critically at themselves and others in their quest to gain knowledge and make sense of things.

Relationships (West)

When people move west to the relationships phase of the wheel, they begin to understand the value of interdependence among people; they learn to live purposefully and collaboratively with each other. People who function competently in this domain actively seek extrinsic sources of support in their developing relationships, and they begin to understand that interdependency is about distributing strengths among a network of collaborative people working together to learn. In the domain of relationships, people become more resilient by seeking the support of significant others. They learn how to think deeper and critically about ideas, and they establish self-imposed boundaries.

Responsibility (North)

Individuals who have traveled full circle on the Hope Wheel enter the north; the domain of responsibility where they learn to do. They display an implicit understanding of the imperative to serve themselves first, so they can responsibly and competently serve others. They understand what taking action means. They become caregivers for those traveling the hope paths behind them. In the domain of responsibility, people display intrinsic knowledge and insight as a result of their experiences, and they begin to feel confident enough as leaders to engage others; to support and nurture them. 

The first time an Elder spoke to me about the meaning behind a medicine wheel twenty-eighth years ago I was admittedly disrupted. I had never heard anything like what I was hearing. My youthful worldview had internalized a larger-than-typical amount of experience and learning the hard way about many things, but this was completely foreign to me. I was intrigued. I asked a lot of questions over the years following, and more than any other, what she had to say that day was the most influential catalyst in my evolving points of view. 

I have come to understand that learning is the essence of living; it’s organic and natural, and for many, can be represented by a medicine wheel in one form or another. The teaching represented within a medicine wheel model is timeless and simple, but hard to embrace. It applies to everything if we're open to perceiving it. It also applies to everyone. The medicine wheel is an intertribal or intercultural reality; words that connote universality and the necessity to work collaboratively to effect desired outcomes. "Cultural" in this context refers not only to 'people from specific cultures but also to the fact that everyone represents two cultural perspectives; one unique to themselves, and the other unique to the cultural group they belong to. When we can apply a universal principle to any cultural group, or anyone's individual cultural perspective, we can say it is intercultural. I think of the concept of kindness as an example.

From Wikipedia...
Effective intercultural communication relates to behaviors that culminate with the accomplishment of the desired goals of the interaction and all parties involved in the situation. 
A medicine wheel in principle can be applied contextually to any cultural reality. The term medicine in "medicine wheel" is symbolic of balance. Good medicine represents balance and anything that helps get to that state. Michael and Judy Bopp are co-founders of Four Worlds International, a human and community development organization with roots in indigenous peoples’ development work in North America and well known for its ability to bridge between the cultures of communities and the culture of the agencies and professionals who attempt to serve them. 

They explain that,
Medicine in tribal tradition refers to any substance, process, teaching, song, story or symbol that helps to restore balance in human beings and their communities. The medicine wheel is an ancient symbol which represents an entire world view (a way of seeing and knowing) and the teachings that go with it. 
Borrowing from the timeless wisdom of the medicine wheel provides us with all we need to establish a simple, non-linear framework of intercultural purpose. HOPE Alliance is an effort to find and restore balance and purpose where it has been lost, and it has been lost for so many.

My version of the Hope Wheel is a useful guide we can use to navigate the varied cultural perspectives of people and their networks. Individuals and groups are placed on the Hope Wheel relative to their experiences in life, how they view them, and the emotions created as a result. Becoming aware of the social, emotional, and cognitive states, (what we frame as cultural perspectives) embedded in the circles we travel allows us to work in purpose-driven contexts as we learn to advance ourselves on the wheel in different domains of learning how to know, do, be and live purposefully and productively with each other. 

Let's move toward hope together.


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