Requests for Proposals

Highlander’s Mission
Highlander serves as a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in Appalachia and the South. We work with people fighting for justice, equality and sustainability, supporting their efforts to take collective action to shape their own destiny. Through popular education, participatory research, and cultural work, we help create spaces — at our center and in local communities — where people gain knowledge, hope and courage, expanding their ideas of what is possible. We develop leadership and help create and support strong, democratic organizations that work for justice, equality and sustainability in their own communities and that join with others to build broad movements for social, economic and restorative environmental change.

Overview of Function of Position

Highlander will contract a Documentation Team to follow the orientation, residencies, institute and evaluation phases of the Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project. This team shall use creative documentation practices to demonstrate the strategic use of art and culture to move progressive policies and practices with marginalized communities by shadowing three Cultural Organizers and key Highlander staff as they engage in learning exchanges with the placement communities. These activities shall take place in the U.S. South and Appalachia.

Requests for Proposals

Highlander nurtures the skills of authentic grassroots leadership and helps to build the capacity of marginalized communities across the South. We believe in the power of communities and their ability to identify and address the challenges they face. We also believe in the power of art and culture as tools to dramatize injustice, to visualize freedom and justice for all, and to actualize that vision. Over the course of the next few months, we will match three Cultural Organizers with communities that will result in four-week residencies to support local organizers in the development of cultural tools to help take their current issue campaign to another level.

We are actively soliciting proposals from a Documentation Team with experience in film and photography, and superior interview skills. Preference will be given to those 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, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Applicants must be available to start no later than October 1, 2012.

The goals of the Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Residency Project and partnerships include:

To Apply

The Documentation Team should submit a proposal with three letters of reference including


Please let us know the following about you:

  1. Your name, company name, postal address, phone number(s) and email address.
  2. Please send résumés and bios or company profile with client list demonstrating your documentation and production experience including project planning, logistics, budgetary management, and leading a team in multiple locations. (The Zilphia Horton Project will take place in at least three different states across the region.) Be sure to highlight any of your active connections to and previous experiences engaged in social justice and community organizing.
  3. Describe how this project could impact your portfolio. (Please note that Highlander will retain all rights to the documentary and footage.)
  4. What would be exciting and challenging about partnering with Highlander on this project over the next ten months?
  5. On what social or economic justice issues do you tend to work? How comfortable would you be working beyond those issues?

Proposal Process

Highlander’s Education Team screens proposals and presents a slate to our Community Partners. The Community Partners decide with whom they shall collaborate as a Cultural Organizer. Proposals must be emailed or received in the Highlander office by September 28, 2012 at 12:00pm EST for consideration. Only complete applications including the following will be considered:

Applications will be received any one of the following ways:


Marquez Rhyne
Zilphia Horton Project
1959 Highlander Way, New Market, TN 37820

Fax – 865-933-3424, ATTN: Marquez Rhyne, Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project

E-mail –

Proposed Selection Process and Timeline

September 2012            Cultural Organizer Selected/Notified
October 2012                 Orientation @ Highlander (1 week)
October 2012 – February 2013    Residencies (Actual dates TBD with max. 28 days in Residence)
March 2013                     Evaluation @ Highlander

If you have any additional questions regarding the Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project in general, the budget and logistics, or this request for proposals specifically, then please contact Marquez Rhyne 865.935.4402.