" Oppressed People, whatever their level of formal education, have the ability to understand and interpret the world around them, to see the world for what it is and move to transform it." - Ella Baker
The Southern Organizers Academy
serves as a political home and leadership pipeline for Southern folks that have limited to no formal organizing experience.
SOA maintains an intentional focus on cultivating and manifesting the power of our shared legacy of multiracial and intergenerational movement building.
SOA is formulated to be deeply collaborative in nature, connecting and building bridges between long standing community based organizations, individuals and non-profits to serve as a resource to folks that have been doing the work for decades while growing the capacity of under resourced organizations. The SOA will accomplish its mission using these pillars of practice:
Liberation: What does it mean to be free. Understanding systems and power. Changing dominant ideologies.
Education: In-depth, culturally, historically and geographically relevant emergent curriculum – experiential and real time learning environments.
Realization: Active, empowered application of skills as they are learned. Participants will shape their own direct actions and campaigns or may choose to be involved in adding capacity to a currently existing campaign.
Transformation: Building and shifting power. Creating the lived experience, we desire.
The Truth Is
Of non-profit leadership is from the south
The Non-Profit Industrial complex has historically and consistently moved in ways that block development of Black and Brown Southern Movement Leaders.
Community members and those most affected by various oppressive systems are often the least likely to receive or be given access to concrete organizing tools and training. We require leadership development that is not merit based, but systemic and available to anyone who is seeking it.
The Southern Organizers Academy is an accessible vehicle to support the growth and development of those who are looking. As much as we need freedom, we need freedom fighters.