The Moment

The Power of Place and the Urgency of Now

“The battleground for racial justice remains in the South, and the victories for justice must be fought for and by ordinary people in the South together with allies from other parts of the nation. Although the pestilence of racism has historically affected the lives of Black and Brown people, its reach extends to all who counter the ideals of white supremacy. A shared story of us is clear as we collectively reconstruct a democracy that is real for all, not just some. … We must not be cajoled into the thinking that centering Black and Brown perspectives in the current movement for justice minimizes injustices experienced by others. The story we share is that all our liberation is bound together. We are at a point of reconstruction where we must secure and guard our shared liberation.

“The current threat to our shared story leads us to the urgency of now. We now witness in real time how the seeds of divisiveness and anti-inclusion are being planted on fertile ground made possible by far-right, conservative leaders specifically, but not exclusively, in Southern states, counties, cities and towns. Therefore, supporting existing and establishing new bases of organized local power that demonstrate bold and radical models of service, advocacy and justice are critical to the success of our new public narrative. This moment more than ever requires a strategic focus on the South for the greater good of our democracy and nation. And power is in the autonomy of local people engaged in this narrative of liberation.” 
—Jalaya Liles Dunn, “The Power of Place”

Revisit our Spring 2023 magazine that highlights the deep-rooted legacies of power and justice in communities in the South.

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