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Durham 2011 Meeting

Fourth in a series of regional discussions about community organizing history. March 17, 2011, Durham NC. Videos are being prepared of the speakers.

NOA, collaborated with Communiversity, a nonprofit located in North Carolina whose purpose is to document the history of social justice events in the Southeast through archiving historical events, presenting docudrams, and sponsoring discussions, forums, symposia, and conferences. The National Organizers Alliance and Communiversity sponsored a discussion at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, NC. Panelists were Mauricio Castro (Organizer, NC Latino Coalition and the Industrial Areas Foundation), Jim Grant (Activist, Wilmington 10 and Charlotte 3), Nick Wood (Organizer, Farm Labor Organizing Committee), and Gary Grant (Participant, Warren County PCB Struggle and Executive Director, North Carolina Environmental Justice Network), who shared their experiences as organizers. They very graphically told their stories, what happened, what was achieved, what lessons were learned, and what they would do differently next time.

The audience, who were primarily from the Research Triangle, NC area, was welcomed by Dothula Baron, NOA Board of Directors member. The event was acilitated by Rebecca Hart, Shop Steward with UE 150. The closing was given by Shafiyah M'balia, Executive Director of Communiversity. Videography was by Richard Brown; photography was by Ron Garcia-Fogarty. The planning committee consisted of Walter Davis, Ron Garcia, Shafiyah M'balia and Dothula Baron. Speakers and participants have been pioneering agents of change in the state and beyond.

Facilitating/assisting: Rebecca Hart, Shafeah M'balia and NOA Members Dothula Baron-Hall and Ron Garcia-Fogarty

History matters. History shapes how we respond to current issues. We have a vision for social justice but we seldom share what got us to this point in our work. Often times we are driven by the moment, by legislative pressure, by seeking resources to do our work, etc. Despite the pressures of these times, we need to reclaim our history and build upon it.

Organizing History Discussions look at the organizing experiences of a city or region. Local organizers and activists, who lived through the experiences, will guide the conversations. Join us to creatively and critically reflect on recent decades of organizing. Organizers and allies are invited to bring their own take on history to share. What did organizing achieve in our communities? How did we change ourselves? What battles were won or lost? What lessons were drawn? What do we value in the history of the struggle? We will be happy to support NOA members who want to initiate a discussion in their communities. We will help publicize your local Organizing History Discussion, and can help identify potential resource people. Email us at info-at-noacentral-dot-org -poster available by email.


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