Highlander has recently hosted a number of university groups, including the Bonner Scholars from Carson-Newman College, who came to Highlander for their Day of Service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Bonner Scholars are part of a program through the Corella & Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, which provides around 1500 students at over 27 colleges and universities with scholarships in exchange for their commitment to community service and activism. Andre Canty, a member of Highlander’s Development and Communications Team, welcomed the 40 students and engaged them in our Living History discussion at the Workshop Center. The scholars then worked with Stephanie Mc Aninch, Operations Coordinator, and Johnny Bailey, Buildings and Grounds Manager, to clear out the garden and apple orchard.
Students from Emory & Henry College also came to Highlander for a day long workshop on Community Organizing. This group included students from a Race, Class, Gender & Sexuality class as well as students in a Community Organizing class. They were here to learn about Highlander’s history, with a particular interest in Civil Rights and organizing in the Appalachian region, as well as Highlander’s methodologies, including how to organize communities and how to situate local action within the broader movement for social justice. At the end of the day, they wrote and performed songs and skits about Highlander’s methodologies, which not only revealed all they’d learned that day but were so funny they left Stephanie in tears.