Stories

Advocacy

  • Hollis Watkins: Advice to Young Organizers, Generational Transition

    A veteran of the civil rights movement, Hollis Watkins founded Southern Echo, a leadership development, education and training organization working to develop effective, accountable grassroots leadership in rural Mississippi and the surrounding region.

    Watkins and Southern Echo have been instrumental in challenging redistricting in Mississippi, protecting communities from landfills and...

  • Sophia Bracy Harris: Early Work with FOCAL

    Sophia Bracy Harris is Executive Director of the Federation of Child Care Centers of Alabama (FOCAL) and Alabama Director of the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative for Economic and Social Justice (SRBWI). Her lifelong dedication to improving educational opportunities for children and their families has been recognized with the Rockefeller Public Service Award, Gleitsman Foundation “People...

  • Maureen O'Connell: SOCM Changing and Adapting

    Maureen O’Connell worked at SOCM for 35 years, 16 as Executive Director. During her tenure, SOCM expanded from a five-county grassroots community organization focused on coal (Save Our Cumberland Mountains) to a statewide organization working on a host of local, statewide, regional, and national issues of environmental, social and economic justice (Statewide Organizing for Community...

  • Mayra Rangel: Need for ACIJ, Challenges of being Undocumented

    At age 16, Mayra Rangel walked through the desert for six days to escape poverty and find a job to support her family back in Mexico. Her activism began in 2011 when the Alabama legislature passed HB56, the nation’s strictest immigration law. She helped the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice defeat many parts of the bill. Since then, she has continued to volunteer, organize, register...

  • Perry Perkins: South as a Dumping Ground

    Perry Perkins is the Supervisory Organizer for the southern region of the Industrial Areas Foundation, the nation’s oldest and largest network of organizers and training institute for institutional organizing. He serves on the National Strategic Team and is Co-Chair of the Staff Transition Process. Perkins also serves as Lead Organizer for Together Louisiana, the coalition of IAF-affiliated...