Over the last year, SONG’s base and thousands of other LGBTQ people have taken to the streets answering the call to do our part in demanding Black Lives Matter and Not1More Deportation. Black, immigrant, white, rural, urban, transgender, queer and undocumented SONG members have invited strangers over to their homes, planned their first vigil or protest, shut down highways and intersections, staged actions at city council meetings, launched campaigns, facilitated their first planning meeting and much more.
Also in this moment our membership, constituency, allies, different organizations in and out of the region have asked SONG to name some of our practices and to call on our white LGBTQ family to persevere in the struggle for liberation, both within our SONG roles and in the community. As current white leaders in SONG, now is the time to match the courage of our comrades, to make room and support Black, of color, immigrant, undocumented, and transgender and gender nonconforming people in launching and leading 21st Century movement building in this country.
The following tool is a starting point for developing more connection, unity and shared work inside of our white membership at SONG – across broad class, ability, locations, ethnicity and levels of experience. With this document we hope to centralize some of our orientation, principles, practices and possibilities towards our roles in advancing anti-racist, multi-racial organizing.
As SONG leaders wrote in the 1990’s, “We are a part of each other.” We invite you to join us in wrestling with these questions and engaging these ideas, experience, thoughts, and theories in practice:
- What does white leadership look like in this time? As white people in the movement for Liberation, what is our role in this time (not for all time)? How does our feminist, pro-poor, pro-Black, pro the oppressed, pro-queer and trans politic inform not just what we think or say, but what we do?
- What is the greater organizing and work needed in this time from white people, so that we can move beyond just safety and survival and into leadership in the struggle for Black lives, immigrant lives, and trans women of color lives?
- What are the key fights in our time that we white people can engage to advance broad movement goals that confront and dismantle white supremacy and structural oppression?
As with all of our tools – we welcome further conversation, engagement and feedback. For more information on this tool, or to continue the conversation contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is the link to listen to the audio from Suzanne Pharr’s presentation on The History of the Right Wing at Out South: A Gathering of LGBTQ Leadership.
The Penn Center: December 5th 2014
How do you put the best a national organization has to offer, in the service of local and regional leadership, to do the most for LGBTQ people in that place? What national collaborations impact what matters most to local advocates: the day-to-day lives of our communities? What can national organizations help provide that actually makes us safer, stronger, less alone, and more equipped in local and regional work?
“All we fought for at Weinstein Hall was lost when we left upon the request of the pigs…. You people run if you want to, but we’re tired of running. We intend to fight for our rights until we get them.” — Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) first pamphlet, 1970.
In the first 31 days of 2015 we have already witnessed the tragic loss of (at least) 6 LGBTQ people of Color. We sit in our homes, offices, and sometimes our streets, holding the reality that precious lives have been taken from us and that families and communities are grieving and surviving through this continuing nightmare.
For Immediate Release
Serena Sebring, SONG Campaign Organizer 919.597.9043 email@example.com
Jade Brooks, SONG Member Leader 831.588.3463 firstname.lastname@example.org
Caitlin Breedlove, SONG Co-Director 865.310-1463 email@example.com
January 17, 2015
Durham, NC - On Saturday, January 17 at 5:00pm, Southerners on New Ground (SONG) will host a launch event announcing the “Free From Fear” campaign, at The Pinhook (117 W Main St, Durham, North Carolina 27701). Free From Fear seeks to pass an ordinance to prevent discriminatory policing and police profiling of LGBTQ people and people of color, and to address the harmful effects of these patterns on the local community. The campaign’s central goal is the passage of a local anti-profiling ordinance, “The Durham Community Safety Act,” which would ban police profiling and discrimination based on race, immigration status, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation. Southerners on New Ground is a regional LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, + queer) organization made up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town people in the South.
“So many LGBTQ people face daily fear in our homes, workplaces, families, homes of worship, and in the streets. So it makes so much sense for LGBTQ people to work for a Community Safety Act that benefits everyone in Durham.” -Caitlin Breedlove, SONG Co-Director
“As a resident of Durham for many years, and a queer black mother raising three kids, I want to see my LGBTQ community take a lead in making Durham safer for my kids, LGBTQ youth, youth of color and everyone.” -Serena Sebring, SONG Organizer
“We know that Durham has been a hub of LGBTQ organizing for years, we defeated Amendment One here by over 70%! But not all of our community is treated equally by the police or the legal system. As a white queer woman, my commitment to my black and brown family means that I have to join this fight. ” -Jade Brooks, SONG member
The event is free and open to the public, and will feature a program of live music by local musicians, and speakers: Caitlin Breedlove (SONG, Co-Director), Serena Sebring (SONG, Campaign Organizer), Jade Brooks (SONG, Member Leader), Sendolo Diaminah (Durham Public Schools Board Member), among others. Light refreshments and childcare will be provided.