Dear friends and colleagues, movement partners and rabble rousers,
I am writing to share that my last day with Southern Vision Alliance is December 21, 2020.
When I agreed to join the founding leadership team at SVA in 2014, I had already been organizing in North Carolina for a number of years. I was fortunate enough to be forged in the migrant justice struggle, characterized and led by fearless young people and undocumented leaders in Charlotte, NC. It was not a stretch to find an organizational home in SVA, for this organization has always situated itself in a broader movement; centering, valuing, and honoring what we can and must do together to challenge and transform power.
In the last 6 years, I’ve had the honor of calling my co-conspirators my co-workers, board members, and friends. This team of people I have been in the thick of struggle with, who have seen me and I, them, through changes, both those turbulent and good and those turbulent and challenging. I will be forever grateful for how this time, spent building and steering an organization such as ours, has shaped and taught me, as well as sharpened and grounded my sense of purpose and service.
There is a lot to be said about where SVA started, as a nascent organization with 4 part- time staff, to where it is now: staffed with a team of more than 20 brilliant movement thinkers, organizers, and practitioners who direct and manage a number of programs including: the Frontlines Leaders Fund (home of the Queer Mobilization Fund and Carolina Youth Power Fund), the sponsored projects program (where we provide support to over 30 fiscally sponsored organizations), the Solidarity & Resistance Hubs (providing digital and physical assets to any and all grassroots organizing efforts), and a few others; all of which are grounded in SVA’s vision and mission to be an anchor for frontlines groups and leaders to disrupt and transform power for collective liberation.
You can read more about those reflections here.
But in this letter to you today, I want to emphasize that SVA is in extremely capable hands. If you didn’t know before, the organization has spent years refining its leadership structure; to as much as possible move away from traditional, corporate driven tendencies within non-profit spaces. One expression of this commitment is through our leadership team, which engages staff from various levels of the organization to make collective assessments and decisions related to the internal life of the organization as well as our external interventions in the movement. Over the next few weeks and months, you’ll be learning more about our leadership team and leadership philosophy.
I want to express my deepest and sincerest gratitude to each of you, regardless of how you came to the SVA family–organizer, funder, supporter, grantee, or cheerleader. It is your fortitude, commitment, resilience, and vision that makes the work of SVA meaningful; your steadfast attempts to change the South and thus change the world, is what gives our organization life.
I hope that even in my absence (though I am not going far), you will continue to stay in relationship and support Southern Vision Alliance.
Here are some ways you can do that today:
- Share with your friends and family our December fundraising campaign
- Make a contribution to SVA or one of our many sponsored projects or re-granting programs
- Follow SVA online on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to keep up to date with the amazing work happening across the region that we have the honor of supporting and amplifying
During my time here at SVA, we have seen and been a part uprisings and rebellions, strikes and living wage campaigns; we have moved mountains and resources to make sure that queer and trans people are treated with dignity; that people have homes and respect on the workplace; that our people understand and practice all of the ways our liberation are bound up with each other; we have trained hundreds if not thousands of leaders to deepen the bench of Southern organizers who want to stay and fight; we have re-granted over half a million dollars to grassroots efforts kept out of traditional funding spaces; we have led freedom schools and fellowship programs and solidarity caravans and art bombs and so much more.
I believe deeply that SVA is needed now more than ever and gratitude only begins to scratch the surface of emotion for how I’ve been able to be part of this political project.
Yours always in struggle,