Social Justice Organizing in the South

Today, there is an important national debate underway about the South. Political strategists, grassroots organizers, funders and others concerned about social justice are grappling with critical questions: What are prospects for change in the South? Is it worth investing time, energy and resources in the region? Can historic obstacles be overcome and momentum shifted to "move" a social justice agenda in the South?

To address these questions, the Institute for Southern Studies, in partnership with the Hill-Snowdon Foundation and New World Foundation, undertook an 18-month investigation into the political, economic and social landscape in the South and the state of social justice
organizing in the region.

The result is "Social Justice Organizing in the U.S. South" [pdf], one of the most in-depth looks at the state of organizing in the Southern region today. Drawing on over 80 field interviews and extensive research, the report looks at economic justice, youth, immigration and environmental justice organizing in six states: Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.

"As the 2008 elections showed, there's a national debate going on about what kind of change is possible in the South and whether it's worthwhile to invest significant resources in the region," says Chris Kromm, Executive Director of the Institute and lead author of the report. "Our research finds that not only is the South is too important to ignore, but rapid shifts in the region's social and political landscape are creating exciting new opportunities for change."

Among the other highlights of the 45-page study:

* An analysis of the South's growing political clout and the importance of the 2010 Census and redistricting;

* A look at the continuing impact of Hurricane Katrina and Gulf Coast disasters on Southern organizing;

* A framework for targeting philanthropic resources in the South;

* A special post-script on key findings and lessons from the 2008 elections for developing an effective "Southern Strategy" for political change.

* State-by-state profiles featuring information on important trends, the political climate, philanthropic institutions and recent organizing campaigns.

Read the full report here.




Change in the South

The South does not need changing. If you don't like it please leave. We don't need you.

Changing the South

I disagree. I have seen many examples of residential, cultural, and economic segregation in the South. It is disheartening to think that, in 2015, where you live determines your property value. If there is a white neighborhood on one street, and across the street is a black neighborhood, the property values of the white neighborhood are much higher than those of their black neighbors just across the street. What's up with that? That is one thing that needs to change. A black person in the south is, more than likely, going to have a lower quality education growing up because of the tax demographic. Not fair. Maybe we should put everyone's taxes in a pool, and divide it evenly.

In Response to Invalidated Resistance to "Change in the South

Generalizing statements such as "the South does not need change" should send out immediate warning signs. More than a century of Southern history witnesses these same kinds of resistance to "changes" like the end of slavery, poll tax and literacy laws which denied African American franchise, women's right to vote, lynching, Jim Crow laws, and of course more recently, labor exploitation, environmental destruction and disasters, women's right to their own bodies, immigrant rights, and LGBT marriage equality. In other words, unjustified and illogical refusal to "change" without any clear examples of what changes one is referring to and/or any definitive reason why specific changes are unwarranted is worrisome at the very least. Change is an inevitably in every realm of human life and when folks staunchly resist this reality and further attach a not so subtle threat for anyone who begins a discussion for necessary change to "leave if you don't like it," we should all demand to know why.

you must be joking.

When an officer of the law tells a woman that lynching is
SC is 3 or more beating on one person, when a police of chief is PR out on bond for domestic violence, when ethics has a grade F, when it doesn't matter if a husband neglects and abuses and terrorizes his on wife and it's one big cover up, when the Legislature votes themselves a raise and no money is there to pay that raise, when our tax dollars are wasted, when women aren't equal to men in any area, you just pacify them.
when our legislatures don't want a roll call, and can't make their own income public, and you say no change is needed.
this list could fill pages.
# 1 You are most definitely a man, undoubtabley in public office,or a law maker of own a business making plenty off getting things YOUR way.
Anounce your name you're afraid to do that!

Facing South
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