AMP: Grassroots²

North Carolina

Alan Luis Ramirez with Southerners on New Ground

What do you do? I am the Bilingual Regional Organizer with Southerners on New Ground. I am on staff to provide capacity for SONG chapters and members to do the important organizing work for our movement! This means that I am a part of a team who connects organizers to political education resources and base-building tools. One of my missions is to build campaigns to End Money Bail in different cities across the South. Also, my role is to base build with monolingual Spanish speakers and strengthen our multilingual capacity.

Why do you do what you do? I do this work because I believe in building Southern power. I was brought up and mentored by immigrant parents, mentored by Southern leaders and understand the type of systemic racism we face in the South. I also think that it is important to be a part of a movement by Southern Queer people who are organizing against our flawed criminal justice system that puts people in cages. Personally, I do this work to defend my communities against ICE, police and State violence.

What motivated you to become an organizer/fighter of justice? The biggest motivator for me was my comrades and their organizing efforts that were intersectional, educational, politicizing and fulfilling! Organizing work is easily overshadowed and underfunded, but it was the dedicated organizers who plan amazing actions or campaigns that were fighting for causes I cared about and directly affected me or my people. It was young queer people who highlighted the systemic injustices in my environments and had the courage to speak out!

What are you most proud of? I am most proud of my community and the trust we have built to continue fighting this long battle. Although we expect changes now, SONG members have an understanding of being in this fight for the long run and can appreciate the people before us. I am blessed to be a part of such a strong community of organizers, artists, parents and queer people!

How do you want people to support you/the work you and SONG are doing? Especially if you have not been involved in organizing work before, you can really support our work by researching organizing opportunities where you live! We are always down to connect with other Southern queers interested in organizing! Become a SONG member and get involved by reading some material on your website, signing up to volunteer, or going to a meeting! AND if you’re out of the region or not interested in throwing down, you can become a monthly donor to help sustain the work towards Queer Liberation!

The ask: My most immediate ask is to donate to the bail out, so we can free as many Black mothers and caregivers from jails in the South, so they can be home in time for Mother’s Day! There are crews of organizers in seven different cities who are bailing out our people and highlighting the issue of the cash system, pre-trial detention, and the for-profit prison system. You can learn about them through our social media or the website and get involved if you’d like! This is an action to continue our current work of organizers and base-building in Southern cities to #EndMoneyBail.