Tennessee Organizers Are Taking the State Back From the Right. Here’s How.
Credit: In These Times
Social justice organizing has deep roots in the Volunteer State and, despite deep-seated opposition, the movement perseveres. This article tells the story of the past, present, and future of the progressive movement in Tennessee as organizers work to bend the arc toward social justice.
- “From our lens at MVP, funding groups in 40-plus states, Tennessee was already really high on our radar as having especially excellent groups that are especially collaborative and strategic.” — Billy Wimsatt, executive director of the Movement Voter Project (MVP)
- “The legacy of intergenerational, intersectional organizing, relationship-building and coalition-building in a really strategic way, that’s one thing that I think is a gift the South has to give, especially Tennessee.” — D. J. Hudson of the movement group Southerners on New Ground
- “A dying mule kicks the hardest. All of this trickery, all of this cultural war, all of this voter suppression are nothing but signs [the] political extremists are recognizing that slowly, but surely, [their] ability to hold onto power is lessening.” — Rev. Dr. William Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign
- “The Left wants Tennessee so bad, because if they get us, the Southeast falls, and it’s game over for the Republic.” — Rep. Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka)