Southern Movement Assembly Special Update: Live from Uniontown, Alabama
Greetings Southern Movement Assembly family,
For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes must be proclaimed and denounced. – From Frederick Douglass’ July 4, 1852 speech “The meaning of the Fourth of July to the Negro”
This is a moment to act.
Our fire burns brighter than their fear.
While the recent white supremacist attacks on communities and churches are meant to send a message to intimidate and silence us, we are clear that regenerating the Southern Freedom Movement is the path to our liberation. We demand freedom. Now is the time to imagine and work for what we want and for what we deserve.
Quinn Chapel, a 140 year old AME Church in the Black Belt, courageously opened its doors to host 60 organizers from Southern states who are convening in Uniontown, Alabama to plan our next collective steps during this critical time.
The Southern Movement Assembly stands with Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health & Justice as they declare their independence from environmental racism, police violence, unemployment and exploitation, unresponsive elected officials, and the disastrous effects of dumping tons of toxic coal ash from all over the country in one of the poorest, Blackest counties in Alabama.
What better way to prepare for action, train up organizers, deepen our analysis, share our best practices, and kick off our Southern People’s Power Summer Organizing Drive, than to flank local leadership on frontlines of environmental violence and racism and support their long-term efforts to get free.
This weekend’s Organizing Intensive, a three-day convening of groups who will continue to work together as Action Sites throughout the summer, is one of several training opportunities during the year-long Gulf South Rising initiative. We are preparing for Southern Movement Assembly V to be held in New Orleans, August 27-29 during the Week of Action commemorating Katrina 10.
From Uniontown, Alabama to the Gulf Coast South…Enough is Enough.
For more information and to join the Southern People’s Power Summer Organizing Drive: contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Go to: www.southtosouth.org / www.gulfsouthrising.org
For more on Uniontown:
HISTORICAL TIMELINE ON ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM IN UNIONTOWN, compiled by Cita Cook
Also, check out this Report
Project South coordinates the Southern Movement Assembly’s annual Organizing Intensive that launches the shared Summer Organizing Drive in partnership with anchor organizations from the Southern Movement Assembly: Women Watch Afrika (GA), Alternate ROOTS (regional), Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (LA & Gulf South region), Concerned Citizens for Justice (TN), National Council of Elders
(Southern region), SpirtHouse (NC), Black Workers for Justice (NC), Southwest Workers Union (TX), New Jim Crow Movement (FL), University Sin Fronteras (GA, TX, & FL), The Ordinary People’s Society (AL), Georgia Citizens’ Coalition on Hunger (GA), and Crescent City Media Group (LA).
Participants in the 2015 Southern Peoples Power Organizing Intensive include the anchors and organizers from frontlines across the South including folks fighting for immigrant justice, food sovereignty in Alabama, organizers from Gulf South Rising, Arkansas, and Tennessee, organizations fighting environmental racism, LGBTQ liberation, and young people fighting state violence.
Save the Date: #BlackLivesMatter Sunday – July 12th, 2015
What: Black Lives Matter Sunday: A Southern-led, National Call to Action
When: July 12th, 2015
Why: In this moment of consistent and overt attacks on Black communities, from the murder of 9 Black people (6 women and 3 men) at Mother Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church to the 8 Black churches that have burned in the less than two weeks since the Charleston Massacre, one thing is clear: We have an opportunity and obligation as folks in the Movement for Black Lives and folks in the Black church to hold our movement and church families accountable to standing up for each other. Nia Wilson of SpiritHouse in Durham, NC called for Southern-led action, and we align with her call.
Examples of actions that can be organized for the National Day of Action include, but are not limited to:
Ask local pastors to allow someone currently involved in the movement for Black lives to give the speak/preach to the church’s congregation on the 12th.
Co-host an evening conversation on what this political moment means to Black folks and the churches role and responsibilities in the Black Liberation Movement.
Allow for folks to teach about this political moment and the role of the Black church in Sunday school classes.
Churches and local BLM organizers collaborate on an after sermon or beyond the pew community speak out. YOUR SUPPORT MAKES MOVEMENT POSSIBLE! Thank you for everything you do to grow strong move