Stories

Capacity Building

  • Mayra Rangel: Challenges of Being a Leader

    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...

  • John Littles: Youth Training and Vision for the Future

    Since 2000, John Littles has been Executive Director of McIntosh SEED (Sustainable Environment and Economic Development), a grassroots organization that fosters quality education, housing, recreational facilities, business opportunities and environmental protection for McIntosh County, Georgia, through community development, organizing and advocacy.

    Littles provides technical...

  • Ralph Paige: Challenges of Generational Transition

    Ralph Paige has served the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund for 30 years, 15 as Executive Director. The Federation improves the quality of rural life through housing, community credit unions, cooperatives and training programs. It helps small farmers access the full range of USDA programs and keeps thousands of landowners informed of their rights and responsibilities to...

  • Shirley Sherrod: Progress, Vision and New Leadership

    Shirley and Charles Sherrod founded the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education in 1961 to educate, engage and empower through advocacy and community organizing. SWGAP has successfully addressed school segregation, welfare rights, voter rights and education, housing, land loss, economic development and unfair policies affecting school children and families.

    After decades of...

  • 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...