Click here for more information for the Greensboro Justice Fellows Program.

Sunday, November 3 2013 marked the 34th anniversary of the deaths 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. 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.

The Greensboro Justice 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. For thirty years, the 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. 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 fund’s name.

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.

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.


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).

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

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.
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
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.