The Praxis Project board of directors announced today that Makani Themba will transition from her role as founding executive director by the end of this year. The transition signals a new phase in Praxis’ evolution as a leading grassroots movement institution in support of organizing and change work on the local, regional and national level.
Like many of you, we at Praxis were saddened but not surprised by the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Walker for the murder of Michael Brown, Jr. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Brown family and to all who feel the tremendous grief and suffering of a loved one lost - and so senselessly.
During this election season, many of our partner organizations have been working hard to make sure that people of color, immigrants, and low income folks know about their right to vote and are registered in time. With confusing and misleading language on many of the important ballot initiatives around the country, community organizations have put together voter guides to show how each initiative impacts communities of color.
One day after South Carolina removed the Confederate flag off the state’s capitol, close to 300 freedom fighters from across the nation convened in Raleigh, NC at Shaw University to connect, plot and build a better movement. Also fresh in our memories was the image of Bree Newsome climbing the flag pole in South Carolina just a week before and stating to the press, “The southern heritage I embrace is the legacy of a people unbowed by racial oppression.”
The greatest public health threat and catastrophe of our time is climate change, and the South is at its epicenter. Rising oceans are taking coastal lands, destroying communities, cultures, and whole ways of life, while dramatically altered weather patterns are leaving inland areas in historic droughts.
The South’s rich history of “bottoms-up leadership”, while not covered by mainstream media during the Selma 50th Anniversary Jubilee, was worn on the chests of hundreds of marchers from the Southern Movement Assembly during the “Backwards March.” Hundreds of marchers wore yellow sashes with the words: We are the Peoples Movement, Leadership from the Bottom-up. The march’s purpose is to ‘go back, get it right and go forward with everyone who has been forgotten or left behind,’ according to Rev. Kenneth Glasgow who has been organizing the march since 2007.