What if the next Dolores Huerta, Alicia Garza, or Martin Luther King, Jr., is someone who can't afford community organizer training? From May 31 - June 3, the Highlander Center in northeastern Tennessee will be holding their second annual Rage, Hope, and Community: Community Organizing in these Times workshop. The goal of this fundraiser is to sponsor scholarships for attendees, to ensure that money is not the lock on the door to a transformative leader.
The Highlander Center has an amazing history, starting in the 1930s in the mountains of Tennessee. The Center has been a catalyst for grassroots activism for more than 80 years, training leaders and organizers to fight social, economic, political and environmental injustices in Southern, Appalachian communities. They played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement, training leaders like Rosa Parks, Ralph Abernathy, John Lewis, and Septima Clark, as well as offering adult education to help Black voters learn to read and write in order to pass voter-registration literacy tests (one of the methods used in the South to restrict Black voting). The Center evolves with the times, offering training and workshops in response to current issues, such as the Movement for Black Lives, immigration rights, Islamophobia, juvenile justice, and LGBTQ rights.
There is so much fantastic information out there about this organization; their work, their history, and their popular education methodology (a method which speaks very closely to my heart as an educator). If you're interested, I encourage you to check out their website, watch this 9-minute video, and/or read this brief summary from the Marguerite Casey Foundation.
But mostly, I hope you'll consider giving towards a scholarship! The Highlander Center offers a sliding cost scale for their workshops, and makes scholarships available to those who need them - this fundraiser aims to make sure that one more scholarship is available for that one additional change-maker whose impact, big or small, will change the world.