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Greensboro Justice Fellowships

For thirty four years, the Greensboro Justice Fund worked to increase capacity of the progressive movement by supporting over 300 cutting-edge, community based organizations working to end all forms of discrimination and exploitation.  The Fund was established to honor and carry on the work of César Cauce, Mike Nathan, Bill Sampson, Sandy Smith and Jim Waller, five community organizers who were murdered in Greensboro, NC on November 3, 1979 by the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis.

Believing in the power of and strategic need for committed and skilled organizers, the GJF at its 30th anniversary announced the donation of its assets to the Beloved Community Center and to Highlander to train organizers in the name of the Greensboro Justice Fund. The Fund was originally created using an award from a civil case that found the city of Greensboro and members of the Ku Klux Klan complicit in the murders.

Greensboro Justice Fund Fellows at Highlander began their year-long fellowship focused on learning, thinking and acting by attending a popular education and community organizing social change workshop at the Highlander Center, during which time fellows worked together as a class as well as part of a larger learning circle of people from around the country. Throughout the year, fellows will have access to mentoring, be networked to each other through technologies, attend a second training at the Highlander Center and be supported in other learning opportunities regionally and nationally to enhance their skills and build relationships.

The Highlander Center serves as a catalyst for grassroots organizing in the South and Appalachia and approaches its 81st anniversary as a world renowned beacon for progressive organizing.

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE THIRD CLASS OF THE GREENSBORO JUSTICE FUND FELLOWSHIP

Sunday, November 3 2013 marked the 34th anniversary of the deaths of the five community organizers who were murdered in Greensboro, NC on November 3, 1979 by the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis. In their memory, Highlander is honored to announce that it is now accepting applications for the third class of the Greensboro Justice Fund Fellowship at the Highlander Center.

ACTIVITIES AND BENEFITS OF THE FELLOWSHIP

The Greensboro Justice Fund Fellowship at Highlander is a learning and relationship building fellowship. The fellowship will provide multiple opportunities and ways for learning for community action, and is meant to enhance team building among fellows to increase their perspective on community initiatives in which they are involved.

Fellows will begin their one-year fellowship by coming to Highlander for a popular education and community organizing workshop with their class on February 7 – 9, 2014. They will return to Highlander May 27 – 31, 2014, for W-7, our sixth annual Wild & Wacky, Witty & Wonderful Workshop Work Week (W-7.6), to dig deep into Highlander’s methodologies with a larger group from across the country. During W-7, fellows will have small group time as a class, and individual time as well. Fellows will also have the opportunity to attend Highlander’s annual Homecoming celebration in September for a cross-class connection and learning exchange with previous classes of the fellowship.

Throughout the year, fellows will be networked to each other through conference calls and internet technologies. Through its networks and contacts, Highlander will help keep fellows abreast of other potential learning opportunities including regional and national conferences to enhance their skills and build networking relationships. Fellows will have access to Highlander’s facilities for research projects, or space and time to write, reflect, and plan.

Fellows will be supported by Highlander staff, representatives of the Greensboro Justice Fund, and members of the inaugural class, and they will have ownership to help shape their fellowship experience and create hands-on opportunities to learn from each other.

Expenses to Highlander workshops will be covered by the fellowship, and fellows will receive a $500 stipend to support their local community efforts, payable in two parts.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Fellows must be living and working for social justice primarily in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. One fellow each year will be from North Carolina.  Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

Applicants must be available for the two scheduled activities of the Fellowship at Highlander Center, February 7 – 9, 2014, and May 27 – 31, 2014.

TO APPLY FOR THE GREENSBORO JUSTICE FUND FELLOWSHIP AT HIGHLANDER

Fellows should submit a Statement of Interest and Intent with the support of 3 nominators who write a one page nomination/reference letter.

Statement of Interest and Intent

Please include your name, postal address, phone number(s) and email address. In your own way and your own words, please let the selection committee know the following about you:

  1. Please      describe your work for justice and community organizing experience.
  2. Discuss      the skills you would like to strengthen or develop and/or the things you      would like to learn as a GJF Fellow at Highlander.
  3. Describe      how the fellowship could help you move forward as a community organizer.
  4. What      is your vision for how change happens?
  5. What      would be exciting to you about being a Greensboro Justice Fund Fellow at      the Highlander Center?
  6. Which      of the 5 organizers for which this fellowship is named do you relate to      and why?
  7. Please      tell us about any additional information not yet mentioned including your      paid work experience, volunteer experience or any awards or recognitions      you have received (submission of current resume may suffice).

APPLICATION/NOMINATION PROCESS

Applications must be received in the Highlander office by 11:59 pm Eastern time on Monday, December 9, 2013. Only complete applications will be considered. A complete application includes the following:

  • A      Statement of Interest and Intent (please see above)
  • B      Nominator Reference Statements (Reference statements can be sent      separately as long as they meet the deadline.)

Applications may be::

Mailed to Greensboro Justice Fund Fellowships at the Highlander Center, c/o Matt Griffin,
1959 Highlander Way, New Market, TN 37820

Faxed to 865-933-3424

E-mailed to matt@highlandercenter.org

SELECTION PROCESS AND TIMELINE

A small committee of representatives of the Highlander Center, Greensboro Justice Fund and the previous classes will select the five fellows. Phone interviews may be conducted with the finalists.

Timeline:
December 9, 2013                  Applications due by 11:59 p.m. EST

January 6, 2014                      Notification of selected fellows

February 7 – 9, 2014              First workshop at Highlander

May 27 – 31, 2014                 Wild & Wacky, Witty & Wonderful Workshop Work Week

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César Cauce was a Cuban immigrant who graduated magna cum laude from Duke University. He was a leader in the long struggle for a union for Duke Hospital Workers and organized community support for Durham chicken plant workers on strike against intolerable working conditions and low wages

Dr. Mike Nathan had been an anti-war and civil rights student activist at Duke University and had become a “people’s physician” as chief pediatrician at Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, NC. He was a leader in a movement to send aid to liberation fighters in then-apartheid Zimbabwe and protested maltreatment of hospital workers at Durham County General Hospital.

William Sampson was a student anti-war activist and president of his college student body. He studied theology at Harvard Divinity School and medicine at the University of Virginia. He left medicine to work and organize in a Greensboro Cone textile mill where he built the union and was a shoo-in for president of the local.

Sandra Smith was President of the student body at Greensboro’s Bennett College and an activist on behalf of African-American students. As leader of a union organizing drive at a Greensboro Cone Mill textile plant, she battled sexual harassment, low wages and unhealthy working conditions.

Dr. James Michael Waller had lent his expertise in medicine to poor people in need. He had trained at the Lincoln Hospital Collective in New York City, had flown to Wounded Knee to aid American Indian Movement activists under siege from the FBI, and had organized Black lung screenings in North Carolina textile mills. He left medicine to work and organize in a rural Cone Mills textile plant where he had led a successful strike and had been elected president of this union.

 

 

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