Activists and organizers from across the South do some actual jamming as part of the Southern Jam. Photo by Abeni El-Amin

In March, Highlander hosted the Southern Jam in collaboration with the Emerging ChangeMakers NetworkYES!, Grassroots Democracy, and Southern Partners Fund. The Jam brought together 30 activists, organizers, leaders, and thinkers ages 20 to 43 from across the South to strategize about the best ways to work together for progressive change in the region. The gathering centered around relating to each other differently, building new models, creating new policies, and striving for change on multiple levels: personal, interpersonal, and systemic.

The mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, neighbors, and children at the Jam acknowledged the many different paths toward creating a new South, and focused on finding ways to support each other regionally in the local work which is at the heart of building stronger communities. As they move forward into the next phase of this ongoing “think-act tank,” participants will develop skills and common resources, take their local work to a larger scale, plan future Jams across the region, and stay connected through learning exchanges, forums, and monthly calls.