Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative

Alabama Statewide Conference

August 27, 2016 – Montgomery AL, Unitarian Universalist Church

70 people participated (including about 20 young people from Wilcox County)

The group was predominantly Black, mostly women, and a few 30something men. Two elected officials were present – the Mayor of Haynesville (Lowndes County) and a city council member in Wilcox. Folks were there from Mobile, Montgomery, Dothan, Selma, Haynesville, Atmore, and Birmingham.

SRBWI is organized through 12 Human Rights Commissions across three states (MS, AL, & GA). The model is based on the founder Winifred Green’s vision of a coordinated set of committees who work on all issues that affect Southern rural Black women and families.

 

 

People stood and testified to specific frontlines that they are organizing around:

Public infrastructure crumbling

–               Water crisis, lack of utility services in rural counties

–               Healthcare and Medicaid crisis

–               Lack of transportation

Lack of Employment

–               Businesses displaced by high water costs

–               Nothing for young people

Failing Education and no spaces for young people

–               Schools with no textbooks

–               Police and security guards abusing power in schools

–               Lack of sexual health and AIDS education

–               Lack of youth development spaces

Violence

–               Happening in all communities, and by police

War on Immigrants

–               ACIJ spoke to the ICE raids, the effects of HB 56, the fight for drivers licenses, and against criminalization of immigrants (it was new information for a lot of folks in the room, received very warmly)

Political power

–               Voter apathy and discouragement

–               Corruption

–               Voter suppression