Points of Unity

Revised Dec. 2013

Cakalak Thunder exists to challenge, defy, and transform all forms of oppression. These include sexism, racism, and capitalism. This also includes attacks on the poor, LGBTQ and immigrant peoples, systematically excluding disabled people and anyone outside “the norm,” and the thoughtless consumption and destruction of the earth. Our work on these issues begins with supporting the health of individuals and extends to building revolutionary relationships within the group and in our community. Our goal is to build a world that is democratic, just, accessible, and sustainable.

Leadership, Teaching, Learning, and Performing

We all practice teaching and learning, following and taking leadership, regardless of tenure. Sharing roles and responsibilities is how we grow our knowledge, skills, and confidence.

Newcomers of all musical and political skill levels are welcome to join Cakalak Thunder. We are happy to help a beginner understand, feel and play the music. In addition, we’ll help them get up to speed on skills like community building, analysis, facilitation, and consensus decision-making. We ask a similar offering of determination from all newcomers.

We want to play our music well. When we’re relaxed, confident, and having fun, our music is more powerful, inspiring, and HOT!

Roots & Culture

Music and art are alive, not museum pieces; they are ever changing. Music and art are political. They can bring people together in hope and celebration, and we allow the music to grow and change through and in us.

Music can thrive in the face of oppression. We are inspired by the everyday struggles of people resisting that oppression. We most heavily draw from samba—a music that is rooted in Brazil’s history of African and indigenous resistance to European imperialism.

We too practice resistance to the oppression in our lives, by playing samba, but also creating new music, drawing from the beats of our varied histories, streets, backgrounds, and hearts. Demonstrating that a culture of resistance is dynamic. It is one of love, creativity, vision, and transformation.

As one piece of this ongoing resistance, we work towards dismantling capitalism. We aim to be accessible to as many people as possible, and we do not play for personal financial gain.


While we try to be responsive to national, regional, and state struggles, we prioritize playing for our local community and local struggles. Sometimes addressing a local struggle will carry us outside of Greensboro and even the state. Playing close to home means collaborating with a broad spectrum of activists and communities. This gives us the opportunity to meet new people and to cross the lines that divide our community. We take those opportunities seriously and commit ourselves to understanding the perspectives of others, to building good relationships, and to learning about our city and its histories.