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Lessons Learned from the Farmville Detention Center Campaign

This fall, we received notification that construction of Farmville's for-profit immigrant jail was set to begin - over a year behind schedule and scaled-down in size from the original plan. The past few months since receiving that news have been a time of intense reflection for us. The result of this process is a 24-page case study of the campaign that offers a detailed analysis of what we accomplished, what we struggled with and what lessons we take with us as we carry on. We offer this to all who worked in the campaign with profound gratitude for the energy, skill and passion that you brought to bear. And we offer it to other groups struggling with similar issues in hopes that this experience can help in other places as well.

The People United has been selected by The Defenders as one of this year's Community Defenders of the Year in recognition of the Farmville Campaign. The award will be presented at their annual dinner early in the new year. Details tba.

Virginia's Popular Education Center

South of Charlottesville, on a 25 acre farm is a beautifully restored 1800's farmhouse. It sits on 25 acres along Cove Creek in Nelson County. Inspired by The Highlander Center, it is offered both as a space where social movements in our region can work towards their dreams and as a place of retreat and renewal for those working to make those dreams a reality. Potential activities include youth retreat, interpreting for social justice workshops, hands-on permaculture workshops, anti-racism training, festivals, celebrations . . .  What will you use it for?

Activists, organizers and educators from around the region are invited to join us the weekend of July 9th - 11th for  Popular Education Conference and to help shape the role that the center can play in all of our work. Save the Date and check back here for details.

sue mayday
Subjectively Speaking
     A regular column written by Sue Frankel-Streit, organizer with The People United, mother of three, independent journalist, builder and performer of radical puppet theater and member of The Little Flower Catholic Worker Farm in Louisa County.

Organizing Based on Longing and Desire

Maybe it's a conspiracy. Though Southerners on New Ground (SONG) has been around over 15 years, and I have been in the South all my life, I'd never heard of SONG until I decided to participate in an organizing workshop organized by some friends in Richmond. I've been a bit disillusioned with organizing lately, and a bit burnt out on resistance, not to mention a bit traumatized in my personal life. I think that's why I felt the spirit tugging at me to spend three days learning about an organizing method created and used by some members the long-oppressed and incredibly resilient Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (GLBTQ) community. The goal of the weekend: To provide local activists the tools for intersectional analysis political education, and broad-based organizing based on longing and desire. . . . Read More