What will it take to win successful economic justice campaigns in the South? With many families facing chronically low wages and economic insecurity, an understanding and attention to the political economy of the South can help funders and field organizations develop successful intervention strategies.
The New Southern Strategies: Employment, Workers’ Rights and the Prospects for Regional Resurgence report assesses economic indicators affecting quality of life in the South and examines corporate strategies that are driving these changes. It presents some of the efforts underway in the region to improve the quality of economic opportunity through labor organizing and strengthening workers’ rights, focusing on the southern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Funders for a Just Economy, a program of Neighborhood Funders Group, released the report in October 2017 with a webinar featuring the author and advocates from the South. They shared highlights from the report, examined how the history of systemic racism has maintained corporate power and limited efforts to improve workers' rights, and discussed how recent unionization efforts in Tennessee and Mississippi impact the outlook for future organizing nationwide.
Slides from the webinar are available below. To learn more or request the recording of the webinar, please contact Manisha Vaze, Senior Program Manager of Funders for a Just Economy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Nik Theodore, Report Author – University of Illinois, Chicago
- Chris Kromm – Institute for Southern Studies
- LaTosha Brown – Grantmakers for Southern Progress
- Ryan Schlegel – National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
- Nsombi Lambright - One Voice, Mississippi
Sponsored by NFG's Funders for a Just Economy, Grantmakers for Southern Progress, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and the Institute for Southern Studies. Report funded by the Ford Foundation.