KEY COMPONENTS OF SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

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"For me, the most important lesson
[of the Freedom Movement] is that by respecting the fact that fellow activists could passionately disagree over strategy and tactics—yet remain allies—they strengthened SNCC and the Movement as a whole."
From Bruce Hartford's article in the current issue of Urban Habitat.
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Lessons learned...a great gift from the SFFS

Oh, SFFS you have been so good to me! I feel like my feet are more firmly planted on the ground as I have gotten to know my folks a little better…to know a little more about those whose shoulders I am standing on. It has been amazing to journey through stories, films, books, and discussions about a few precious decades that have come to shape my life for the better. In school, I heard time and time again the stories of Gandhi, MLK Jr., and Rosa Parks. Though the stories of those warriors are paramount to the legacy of freedom fighting, so are the stories are Fannie Lou Hamer, Herbert Lee, Ella Baker, the cooks who helped to provide a source of sustenance to SNCC staff, the hosts of families that opened their doors to give shelter, the woman/man that walked up to that counter to register to vote. So through this experience of relearning my people’s history, I have come to realize that I am standing on the shoulders of thousands; some who gave their lives, others who were a bridge for many to walk over, and many more who are still alive today to remind us not to take the little things for granted.

It was great to have the last Freedom School session filled with so many amazing people. It was perfect to close out with so much great energy. I really loved that there was such a blend of young folks, elders, and all those in between. A couple of things that I feel more grounded in is 1.) the importance of reaching out to all types of folks, everyone has a gift and could make a contribution, and it shouldn’t matter the type of educational background they have, how much organizing experience they have…we need all the help and love that we can get to make change. 2.) Commitment, I plan to stay in this for as long as I am alive, and I trust that there will be a community of energetic and passionate folks that will pick up the torch. 3.) There may be times when I don’t feel or see that the work I’m doing is making a change, but to know and trust that it is having an impact. 4.) I was also reminded of how important it is to just have fun.

These lessons and so many others will be a source of light for me as I journey to effect change wherever I am. I just want to give a humble thank you to everyone who took time out from their Saturday to participate…this has helped to shape me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Much love everyone!

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