The principles that connect the members of the Southern Movement Assembly reflect many years of organizational partnerships and a synthesis of ideas based in collective practice and historical example. The principles serve to name who we are, what we believe, and our purpose for working together to regenerate and advance the Southern Freedom Movement in the 21st Century. Affirming these principles affirms the foundational belief that we are stronger together, and we do not want to do this alone. To work and be together is a political decision; we are not doing it for either comfort or practicality. These principles will be evaluated & evolved periodically.

ROOTED IN HISTORY: We believe remembering, learning, and growing from our movement history is critical. We commit to recognize our long-term legacies and the most recent work that led to this moment.

MULTIPLE STRATEGIES: We believe in and respect the diversity of tactics and strategies as we are working for liberation. We believe there are many ways to do this work.

COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE: SMA membership and people most affected by injustice should be included in decision-making that affects our lives. 

LOCAL LEADERSHIP: We respect and support locally-based leadership. Place & space matters, and we recognize the unique histories of the South and local sites.

ORGANIZATIONAL SELF-DETERMINATION: We recognize and respect the self-determination of each organization and engage in different choices and traditions of our member organizations.

PRINCIPLED DIALOGUE: We value and practice transparency. We strive to distinguish between perception and reality. We engage each other directly when disagreement or conflict is a barrier to collective action and do not air grievances.

COLLECTIVE ACCESSIBILITY: We recognize and value the skills, contributions, and resources that each community, individual and organization brings and will be intentional in how and where we assemble and share information for our collective goals

RESIST & BUILD FRAMEWORK: We believe political direction is determined by big picture analysis grounded in struggle to dismantle white supremacy, economic exploitation, patriarchy, and colonialism while simultaneously building decolonization processes for liberation of all people.

DEFEND OUR GROUND: We will defend the ground we have gained through struggle, and we will create and practice new forms of participatory governance that include and serve all people.