Why do we need Southern People’s Initiatives?

As hostility and violence intensifies in all our communities, from climate disaster and deportations to police killings and generational poverty, Southern movements are rising. Organizations are coordinating across borders and beyond single issues to demand justice and to build a better world.

In the South, it’s not just about a confederate flag. The Southern People’s Initiatives confront the historic realities of poverty and racism that manifest today in destructive policies, widespread voter suppression, and a dangerous social climate.

It will take a people’s movement to dismantle injustice and build a new economy, a true democracy, and protected communities.

We invite you to participate in the Southern Movement Assembly and connect your powerful work to the Southern People’s Initiatives in 2016.

We are stronger together.

  • Southern Movement Assembly anchor organizations invite you to participate in the Southern People’s Initiatives, a set of broad, multi-issue, 13-state initiatives to stop the attacks on our people and grow the power of our communities in 2016.

What are the Southern People’s Initiatives?

in-i-ti-a-tive :
1. the ability to assess & initiate things independently
2. the power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do
3. an act or strategy intended to resolve a difficulty or improve a situation; a fresh approach
4. the right of people outside the government or legislature to originate legislation

Ready to organizize towards Southern Movement Assembly VI?

Watch a Digital Dialogue to learn more about the Initiatives?

May 1st Initiative for a New Social Economy

People’s Democracy Initiative for Power & Movement Governance

Protect & Defend Initiative to End State Violence

In the South, we live in an economic reality that has been defined by slavery, privatization, and Right to Work laws that exploit people, workers, and undocumented migrants.

The Southern Movement Assembly coordinates a just transition from extractive and exploitative economics to build new institutions like cooperatives, practice community-based agriculture, and develop education to generate knowledge and strategies for a people’s economy.

In 2016, Southern organizations are challenging legal barriers to political participation, expanding civic engagement beyond the vote, organizing voter education and mobilization campaigns to include communities that are most marginalized, and practicing local and neighborhood assemblies that will deepen our public and civic engagement year-round.

The Peoples 100 Day Countdown from August 1 to November 8 will educate the electorate about democracy, center people’s real life stories of resistance in the national dialogue, and organize collective actions that build power in all our communities.

Violence is foundational to U.S. history and impacts our communities every day.

The Southern Movement Assembly calls for a coordinated effort to reduce the impact and eventually eliminate state violence in all its forms, including mass incarceration and social control, medical violence on our bodies, and military violence in our communities and globally.

This initiative focuses on coordinating community resistance to violence, disaster preparedness, rapid response to crisis, and education to address systemic impunity.

Where did this plan come from?

From the streets to the courthouse to the schoolhouse to our own homes, Southern communities have declared ‘Enough is Enough!’ The Southern Peoples Initiative represent the synthesis of over three years of collective work to develop a plan of action.

Since 2012, hundreds of community leaders in the South have gathered at five Southern Movement Assemblies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. At each assembly, people discuss the pressing issues of our time, develop bold visions for change, and commit to action steps to build power.

Who is the Southern Movement Assembly?

The Southern Freedom Movement began when the first enslaved African resisted.

-Trap Bonner, Crescent City Media Group

Since 2012, hundreds of community leaders in the South have gathered at five Southern Movement Assemblies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. At each assembly, people discuss the pressing issues of our time, develop bold visions for change, and commit to action steps to build power.

The Southern Movement Assembly is an organizing process, a convergence space, and a form of movement governance. The SMA centers the voices and experiences of grassroots leadership on multiple frontlines.

Organizations take actions locally and regionally to confront poverty, racism, and violence and to build political power in our communities.

SOUTHERN PEOPLES INITIATIVE ANCHOR ORGANIZATIONS:

Alternate Roots | Atlanta, Georgia

Black Workers for Justice | Raleigh, NC

Concerned Citizen for Justice | Tennessee

Crescent City Media Group | New Orleans, LA

Georgia Citizens’ Coalition on Hunger | Atlanta, GA

Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy | Regional

National Council of Elders – South | Regional

New Jim Crow Movement | Jacksonville, FL

Project South | Atlanta & Regional

Southwest Workers’ Union | San Antonio, TX

SpiritHouse | Durham, NC

The Ordinary Peoples Society – TOPS | Dothan, AL

University Sin Fronteras | Atlanta, Bemidji, Detroit, Jacksonville, San Antonio, & Puerto Rico

Women Watch Afrika | Clarkson, GA