On Sunday, January 15th more than 60 Detroit area women and girl activists and advocates representing a variety of causes and racial ethnic groups, gathered to celebrate the historic role of women in the fight for peace and justice. Hosted by the Building Movement Project Detroit and the M.L.K. Day 2012 Committee, the event honored five women members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Council (SNCC) with family ties rooted in Detroit. Sharing personal stories documented in the book “Hands on the Freedom Plow”, younger women and next generation activists were transported back to the pre- Civil Rights days of terror and oppression as experienced by African Americans, especially those who were caught in the exploitative share cropping system. The women spoke of the courage and vision of many of those community members who braved retaliation and the threat of death simply to register and vote.
One of the highlights of the gathering was the symbolic passing of the torch from the Women of SNCC generation to those present- encouraging participants to develop their own vision for change and to embrace the principles of cross generational movement building strategies in all that they do.
The Building Movement Project works to strengthen the role of US nonprofit organizations as sites of democratic practice and to advance ways nonprofits can significantly contribute to building movement for progressive social change. The MLK Day 2012 Committee is a near decade old organization of volunteers who, with members of Central United Methodist Church, host a series of events annually in honor of the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King.
Pictured Above, from left to right:
Dorothy Dewberry Aldridge (SNCC member), Marilyn Lowen (SNCC Member), Martha Prescod Norman Noonan (SNCC member), Gwen Patton (SNCC member), Lila Cabbil (former director of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Center for Self Development) Gwen Winston (longtime activist and BMP partner); Linda Campbell (BMP Project Team Member) and Dr. Gloria House (SNCC Member)