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AMP: Grassroots²

Chrystian Rodriguez of Third World Newsreel

“We often hear about networks and spaces for folks to be seen, but it's not about people becoming powerful leaders in their own right and on their own terms, which should always be the end goal.”

Mtume Gant, Independent Filmmaker

“The playwright kept adding stuff that was so fucked up to Black people, to people with disabilities. In Hollywood, I kept coming up against race and ethics so I was out. It didn't sit well with my vision of my existence. ”

Sacajawea Hall of Cooperation Jackson

“Our relationship to land is not limited to slave history and sharecropping history. We have to think about land in new ways and draw inspiration from the ways Black folks have interacted with land for self-determination and collective healing.”

Angelique Webster, Independent Filmmaker

“Nothing has really changed. It doesn't matter who is president--now it's just more prevalent and it's out there but it's always been there for our people. But the accessibility to see the work and more people doing the work of looking at things that we don't want to see make it more appealing. ”

Erin Shigaki of Purple Gate Design

“My grandparents' and community's silence and struggle around the Japanese American incarceration has always been a flashpoint for me to stand up against injustice against any people. ”

Raphael Mina Eisa of Deep Center

“I am not willing to throw away my community and say I wont engage them but I will challenge their anti-Blackness.”

Toni Hill of Northeast Mississippi Birthing Project

“I'm proud of our high energy and impact in the community. Our breastfeeding initiation rate – when we had paid staff – was 98 percent. Our numbers now are a little lower – we’re at 92% with only three of us volunteering. It helps me to know at the end of the year, this work has been worth it. ”

Babette Cromartie of Youth Organizing Institute

“It does not make sense to turn young people back to the environment that had them act out in the first place. Restorative justice and lowering suspensions help make schools safe for everyone especially marginalized students.”

Natasha Thomas-Jackson with NextGen America

“I’m interested in having brave conversations. Social justice involves our own personal and spiritual transformation as well as our work in the community.”

Jeronimo Saldana with Mijente

“Moving all of us from a place of hate for our selves and others to a place where we are connected and can show up for one another is my why.”

Micky Alexander of Southerners On New Ground

“Some organizations have this way of talking about queerness like it's an overarching thing...like you have no other identity and like nothing else is important. There are so many layers that get ignored.”

Khadim Niang with African Communities Together

“The positive is that this moment is bringing us together because we know that we are all target and this is happening to all of us. But that's not to say it hasn't been an absolute nightmare--protecting our members from the harsh and racist policies under Trump is an ongoing struggle.”

Kiana Jackson

“In the past year, I’ve slowly come to know that “resistance” to me means living my best life as a free intersectional Black woman in an America that values my corpse more than my life.”

Ashley Land with Community Coalition

“Big question I've been grappling with, knowing that without my organization I would not have had this understanding, what will it take for other people to feel that they matter enough to get engaged.”

Dee Mandiyan with YKR

“I want to give people the space and time to learn about this world, the machines at work in it, to learn about ourselves and how we can resist those machines from our places of origin.”

Rae Gomes with Central Brooklyn Food Coop

“For Black folks, given our history of pain and intentional removal from land, sovereignty over our own health and food are intrinsically tied to liberation.”

Ryann Holmes with bklyn boihood

“When worlds that don't always connect come together, that is when I feel most proud...like when I see an 80-year-old queer woman kicking it with a young cis male.”

Viviana Rennella with Windcall Institute

“Indigenous movements taught me about buen vivir: the imperative to live well and come into right relationships with each other and mother earth.”

Alan Luis Ramirez with Southerners on New Ground

“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. ”

Marbre Stahly-Butts with National Bail Out Collective

“The boldness and bravery of young Black organizers in Baltimore, Ferguson, New York and across the country emboldened me to fight harder and without fear or apology.”

Dolores Canales with The Bail Project

“We can change conditions, confinement – but then what? We live happily ever after in prison? The system is designed to keep creating mass incarceration. That’s why we have to start at the forefront – at the time of arrest.”

Iman Freeman with Baltimore Action Legal Team

“My grandmother never had the luxury to do nothing. That is how I came to understand privilege, culture clashing and crushing displacement.”

Muthi Reed with Scribe Video Center

“My response has been migration so I can be close to those who matter to me. I now structure my time around family and community because those are the political entities that I want to work for.”