Defending the ground

Click here to watch the video.

On May 29th, over 100 community members from all over the South participated in an important discussion about defending our ground against racist attacks on our movement institutions and sacred spaces.

Ash-Lee Henderson & Allyn Steele, Co-Executive Directors at the Highlander Center for Research & Education, in New Market, TN

White supremacy and its violence is not a new phenomenon or a U.S. specific phenomenon. Folks on the national level are just now connecting to what we’ve been saying in the south for decades.” Ash-Lee Henderson


[Highlander is] a movement home for thousands of people. We focus on educational work to catalyze social change. . . . We cannot concede the territory of spiritual faith work.Allyn Maxfield-Steele

Elizabeth Sanders, General Manager at WMMT, a community radio station with Appalshop in Whitesburg, KY

There are roles for everyone to play to fight white supremacy. How do we build so that groups outside the South are flanking and not swooping in or draining our resources? And though there were many of us organizing the Prison Justice Movement Assembly the morning of the fire, we took the lead of the Black women in our crew to ultimately decide which way we were gonna move. With heart, strategy, and community we moved onward. And that’s what we’re doing across the South and beyond.

Elizabeth Sanders General Manager at WMMT

Nia Wilson, Co-Director at SpiritHouse in Durham , NC

“SpiritHouse and Harm Free Zone have created a tool called “Who You Gonna Call.” There are times when we find ourselves in emergency situations and need physical or other forms of support. This worksheet will allow you to plan for that. Share it with your family and community members. Sometimes shame interferes with our being willing to call on people. It’s important that we see supporting and loving each other as part of our work, so we can call on each other.”

Nia Wilson, Co-Director at SpiritHouse in Durham , NC

Emery Wright, Co-Director at Project South, in Atlanta, GA

“It is clear that anti-Black violence & racism are foundational (in this country) and are part of an attempt to undo change-makers. This (recent) upsurge in violence is to throw us off our movement-building game. But we’re not afraid.” – Emery Wright

Emery Wright, Co-Director at Project South, in Atlanta, GA

Colette Pichon Battle, Director at Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, based in Slidell, LA

“Play your role. Now is the time. The call has been made. We have what we need to win.”

Colette Pichon Battle, Director at Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, based in Slidell, LA

Resources and Information 

Please use these resources to have discussions with your families, networks, and communities.

Listen to the recording & share the resources below.

More information and history of the Highlander Center for Research & Education.  

More about the fire at Highlander Click Here. 

Who you Gonna Call PDF

More information on Harm Free Zone

More information on Septima Clark: