Collins Dictionary defines a Coalition as "a group consisting of people from different political or social groups who are cooperating to achieve a particular aim."1 The Rastafari Coalition can be defined similarly as a group consisting of members from different Mansions of Rastafari who are cooperating to achieve a particular aim, that aim being to "organize and centralize" the Rastafari movement.
Organize and Centralize
During one of His early meetings with Rastafari brethren in the 1960's, it's reported that His Imperial Majesty instructed Rastafarian elders to organize and centralize the movement. And while there have been a number of organizations seeking to unite our people, there is still no cohesive unity among the millions of Rastafarians worldwide.
Instead, our people have become fragmented by theological dispute. The development of Mansions, or denominations, of Rastafari has been good in that it gives everyone in our movement a voice. But it has also been the primary cause of internal division amongst us, with each Mansion defending their own theology in reasonings that often turn into hostile debates. Making adversaries of those with whom we should be working to solve the problems we face in our communities.
So how do we solve this problem? The only solution is to turn to the Teachings of His Majesty, which tell us clearly that "Religion is personal."2 Remembering this key principle, we seek to base our efforts for unity on respecting the right of each Mansion to their own religious principles within the larger context of Rastafari. This will help to remove the distractions which have divided us, and allow us to begin to work together in true unity.
Our mission at the Rastafari Coalition is to create an environment in which all Rastafarians can work together, regardless of theological differences that may exist between Mansions, to achieve the economic and social objectives we share in common. To put aside anything that threatens to divide us, and exploit the areas of agreement and common interest. That is the Teaching of His Majesty. That is the goal we choose to pursue.
"The force of this unity must be based on community of interests, so that the individual, without as a result suffering neglect or prejudice, may understand the power of this unity and the advantages to be drawn from it in the protection of his personal interests, whilst at the same time renouncing all personal ambition which would be to the detriment of the common goal."3 — Haile Selassie I
The Rastafari Coalition is a nondenominational organization whose main goal is to bring the various Mansions of Rastafari together in unity. To accomplish this, we seek to provide a platform through which all members of the Rastafari community can put their theological differences aside and work together to achieve the aims and objectives we share in common.
We are not a Mansion. Our members come from all Mansions. All are welcome to join us in this work. What we seek is to advance the mission of Rastafari through cooperative measures among Mansions. The focus of our efforts are social justice, economic empowerment and educational programs. Through these works, and collective adherence to the Teachings of His Majesty, we can serve both the Rastafarian people and the communities in which we live.