Grassroots Organizing Archive

McElroy House Story Plants

This was first published in ABOUT the River Valley magazine in partnership with the McElroy House. It’s been a while since we posted here on the BDJ, mostly due to the growing work of the McElroy House. The McElroy House and the Boiled Down Juice share a close relationship; The Boiled Down Juice is an idea
Category: ABOUT the River Valley

Hearths of Courage: Growing Beloved Communities

A few weeks ago near Harrison, Arkansas the KKK hosted a week long training camp. Open to ages sixteen and up, the camp attracted people from around the nation and sought to build “a mighty army” to fight against “racial genocide” and bring about “racial redemption.” This is the same KKK who purchased the large
Category: Arkansas

Friday Video: Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project

This week’s Friday Video highlights the work of Highlander Research and Education Center’s Zilphia Horton Cultural Organizing Project. This program brings together cultural organizers from around the south to learn from other grassroots organizations and develop strategies for their home communities. Drawing from local cultures, participants gain skills to help them better advocate for community
Category: Arkansas

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

In the last column I discussed the recent publication Muzzled Oxen: Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope in 1920s Arkansas. I promised a series of columns on that book, and I’ll be picking back up with those in the following weeks. But this week I’d like to call attention to a film that will be available
Category: African American History

Working Girl Blues and Coal Tattoos: Women in Labor Unions in the 1970s

Written by contributor Audra Butler, this post is taken from a larger essay on women’s involvement in the American labor movement of the 1970s. “Though most of us think of the urban and pink collar organization during that decade,” writes Butler, “Appalachian women also organized and fought for better jobs and higher wages.”  She provides this
Category: Folklife

Why I’ll Be Marching: Alex Handfinger on Southerners United for Dignity and Reform

On October 12th Arkansans will come together to march for immigration reform. Organized by the Southeast Immigrants Rights Network in partnership with Arkansas United Community Coalition, and coinciding with a two-day conference to be held at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, two simultaneous marches will take place across the city beginning at 3:00 pm—one
Category: Arkansas

Don’t Forget About Arkansas: March for Immigration Reform in Dardanelle, Arkansas

  A few weeks ago the Arkansas United Community Coalition Held a rally in Dardanelle, Arkansas calling for immigrant reform. They picked the small town of Dardanelle because it’s home to congressman Tom Cotton, the Republican who’s running against Senator Pryor in the upcoming state senate race. Rallies are relatively common in places like Little
Category: Arkansas

Get Involved: Gleaning in Central Arkansas

A few weeks ago we posted about opportunities for gleaning for foodbanks in central Arkansas.  After an initial meeting, small-scale growers and volunteers are coming together to organize a network to produce and harvest locally-grown food for area foodbanks.  In most cases gleaning is something down on large-scale farms. But it can be done on small-scale farms
Category: Arkansas

Medgar Evers, Mississippi Martyr.

The Seed and the Story is a weekly column exploring folklife, oral history, and community in central Arkansas, particularly the Yell County area where the column originates. The column is published in the Post Dispatch and is syndicated in the Courier. You can read previous columns here.  In 1963 civil right activist and NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers
Category: African American

Stories and Movement from Arkansas and Beyond: Blogging for Human Rights Day, Partnership with the Ella Baker Center

Earlier this month the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights put out a call for writers, site administrators, and bloggers around the nation to come together on Monday December 10th, Human Rights Day, for an event they titled “Blogging for Human Rights Day — a one day blog carnival to shed light on human rights abuses and
Category: Arkansas