Thank You For Joining Us At Highlander's 91st Homecoming Sept. 16, 2023
Video by Down the Street Media
We are grateful for everyone who was able to join us at our 91st Homecoming celebration Sept. 16, “Foundations for the Future” and for everyone who has supported our work, strengthening Highlander’s foundation to help the radical visions of grassroots organizers become reality across our region and beyond.
We had a great day at Homecoming, full of meaningful discussions, amazing workshops, delicious food, healing practices, dancing, laughing, and building new connections and relationships. Many of our attendees at Homecoming this year were visiting Highlander for the first time and we were excited to welcome folks who were eager to share and join in the life-saving, movement-building work of our broader community. We were also grateful to rejoin and connect with old friends, comrades, partners, board members, and former staff members who have built with us and sustained us over many years. Thank you all.
We hope you will engage with these resources from the day’s workshops in you case you missed it or would like to revisit some of the excellent political education and organizing strategies shared at Homecoming. We will follow up with more resources and updates as we continue to reflect and move the lessons from the day into our work moving forward.
Highlander 101 and Methodologies
- Learn more about Highlander’s legacy with this introductory video sharing our history
- Dive into Highlander’s methodologies with these excellent graphics detailing the principles and practices we apply in our work
- Learn about our current work with our latest Program Update on Highlander’s home page
Bodily Autonomy as Praxis
We Outnumber Them: Practical Steps for Fighting Fascism
- Access the Powerpoint from the workshop with amazing facilitators Shawn Fischer and Hilary Moore
“King Coal” film screening and discussion
Additional Resources from Homecoming
Photos by Seed Lynn
Thank You for Joining Us at Highlander's 90th Homecoming!
Thank you for envisioning a new world with us at Highlander’s 90th Homecoming! We are so appreciative of everyone who joined us in person and online, across the globe and across generations, who made this amazing weekend possible. Thank you for being in community with us.
We’re still synthesizing and processing all the visionary wisdom that was shared over our three days together, but we want to invite you to contribute to our collective learning and action steps coming out of the weekend. Did you build new relationships, connect with badass organizers, have an aha moment, or gain new insights that will shift conditions for your community? We want to hear about it! Email us with your notes, stories, lessons, photos, videos, artwork and more to inform our collective future story!
In the meantime, check out some of the highlights from our time together below.
Homecoming is supported in part by grant funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Highlander’s 90th Homecoming celebration “There’s a New World Coming” encouraged us to engage our radical imagination to envision the future world we are building together.
Highlander program participants, staff, and movement family share their future stories in this powerful collection of possibilities.
Kate Morales created this beautiful visual of the weekend’s conversations through community collective storytelling. Fannie Lou Hamer is centered under a North Star, commemorating Regina Taylor’s play “A Seat at the Table” that was performed in a reading Friday night, part of an homage to the many Black women who made Highlander what it is and whose stories were lifted up throughout the weekend.
Kate shared with us that “the two trees anchor each side, with branches reaching out to acknowledge the ones we immediately touch and the ones who are farther away, recognizing we don’t have to be in direct community with everyone to be in community with everyone.”
Like the trees, we have branches in our lungs, torsos, arms, and hands, and we don’t belong in cages and boxes and jails.”
The kids on the hill saw the process and asked Kate to add a rainbow – an hour later, a real rainbow appeared in the sky, centering our manifestation skills. “Write it down, make it beautiful, speak it out, and look at it until it becomes true.” – Kate
Learn More About Our Theme: "There's A New World Coming"
Watch this video to hear the exciting conversation digging deeper into our theme and the song that inspired it. Highlander Co-Executive Director Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson joins the phenomenal Toshi Reagon, a cultural organizer, singer, composer, musician, and producer who is building her own legacy that carries forward and expands on her mother’s work and music, most recently in her opera adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower.
Homecoming is our favorite weekend of the year at Highlander – every September we bring together hundreds of movement family from around the globe who join for fellowship, learning and strategizing, singing and dancing, and deepening relationships over a meal, a beautiful view of the mountains, or in the quiet moments the Hill provides.
We all leave Homecoming reenergized and recommitted to our work back home, knowing that we are in solidarity and community with a global network of freedom fighters working on the frontlines for transformative social change.