June Share the Plate: Highlander Research and Education Center
Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, TN, has trained generations of organizers in the labor, civil rights, and other movements working for social justice and human dignity. (Rosa Parks received training at Highlander in 1955 not long before refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus.) Highlander is a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in Appalachia and the South. Through popular education, participatory research, and cultural work, they help to create spaces where people gain knowledge, hope and courage, expanding their ideas of what is possible. They 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.
Highlander is a place where leaders, networks, and movement strands come together to interact, build friendships, craft joint strategy and develop the tools and mechanisms needed to advance a multi-racial, intergenerational movement for social and economic justice in our region. Highlander’s work – convening workshops; scouting for emerging leadership and political action; ‘relationship-building’; connecting across difference; documentation; cultural engagement – marks, shapes and forms the trajectory of political action by helping to create a shared understanding of the work to be done by supporting and connecting actual and potential doers of that work.