A Letter from Linda Stout
We are at a time of great unrest and unimaginable opportunity. In the words of YES! Magazine, “A new civil rights movement is being born.”
We watch in horror as practices that are ages old are brought to light through new technology like cellphone videos. Savvy young people are drawing increased attention to police brutality, poverty, and a country built on systemic and institutionalized racism.
The outpour of protest seen from Trayvon Martin in Sanford, FL to Ferguson to Baltimore and beyond has brought hope that practices targeting and criminalizing African-Americans will be rejected at last.
Young people rallying their generation (and ours) for transformation can take us down a new path where everyone is treated equally and with dignity.
While protests to bring attention to what is happening are critical, this is an issue that requires a long-term solution. We need movement infrastructure in order to organize and build power for long-term and systemic change. Supporting youth leadership development is one vital step. But we must also mobilize for voter registration and voter turnout to elect local officials and government as well as state and national representatives who will be accountable to their communities.
The protests have called for a new level of democratic participation. In 2016 we have a chance to begin to elect folks at the local level that truly represent people. North Carolina has been referred to as “ground zero” for the 2016 elections, due to changes in demographics and population, a major senatorial and governor race, and state representatives that can turn around repressive policies.
Spirit in Action will be working in collaboration with other state organizations to build a voice for power among disenfranchised people.
Peace, Power and Love,