Recovery from the Dominant Culture

OaklandFrom the work of Oakland’s Seminary of the Street, a school for the training of love warriors working toward the transformation of their communities by embodying God’s love in the world. From 2013-2015, they ran an experimental “Recovery from the Dominant Culture” 12-step group. 



We are a fellowship of people in life recovery who share our experience, strength, and hope in order to be liberated into full aliveness. We believe that our social ills are perpetuated through the manufactured but unspoken cooperation of each of us and that changing our own ways of being can catalyze change in our communities. We do this by working the twelve steps, which teach us the countercultural practices of humility and surrender; honest vulnerability and confession, verbal and living amends as well as forgiveness; and humble service. Because we believe that we cannot fully recover without contributing to the healing of the culture that made us sick, we have modified the twelfth step to include that work.


Modified from Alcoholics Anonymous

  1. We admitted that we were powerless over the ways our feelings, thoughts, desires and actions had been shaped by the dominant culture and we admitted that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to a Higher Power of our own understanding.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to our Higher Power, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked our Higher Power to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power, praying only for knowledge of that Power’s will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we practice these principles in all our affairs, carry this message to those who still suffer, and spend our efforts on projects that embody an alternative to the addictive processes of the dominant culture.

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