2016 Program: General
In 1962, Atlanta’s Mayor Ivan Allen erected a barrier on Peyton Road to prevent black ATLiens from moving into an all-white subdivision of Cascade Heights. Civil rights organizations protested the city’s “Berlin Wall,” challenging the city’s motto of “too busy to hate.” A year later, the barrier was ruled unconstitutional and taken down; but the story of a divided city continues to haunt Atlanta.
Rooted in rich civil rights history, Atlanta is often referred to as a “tale of two cities” by community and civic leaders. Home to the Sweet Auburn District, once known as the “richest Negro street in the world,” Atlanta is home to iconic black leaders John Lewis, Andrew Young and Martin Luther King, Jr. Yet, the city now leads metropolitan cities when it comes to income inequality and lack of social mobility. A child born into poverty will likely die poor, with only a four percent chance of moving into the middle class.
From the perspective of grassroots and civil rights activists, Atlanta: A Tale of Two Cities, weaves together past and present Atlanta, focusing on the city’s complex narrative while holding respect for the intricate history. This guided bus tour celebrates the heroes of Atlanta from the 60’s era to present-day community leaders and organizations. With stops in Atlanta’s diverse neighborhoods, including immigrant-rich areas, and historically black neighborhoods; the tour will discuss the challenges Atlanta faces in conjunction with race. When it comes to issues ranging from gentrification, preservation of black history, immigration status and gender identity to education, poverty and criminal reform, race is seeped into the cultural and political outcomes and solutions.
- Southerners on New Ground (SONG) is a regional Queer Liberation organization, it is home for LGBTQ liberation across all lines of race, class, abilities, age, culture, gender, and sexuality in the South. They build, sustain, and connect a southern regional base of LBGTQ people in order to transform the region through strategic projects and campaigns developed in response to the current conditions in our communities. SONG builds this movement through leadership development, intersectional analysis, and organizing.
- SisterSong is a Southern based, national membership organization. It works to strengthen and amplify the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color to achieve reproductive justice by eradicating reproductive oppression and securing human rights.
- Plaza Fiesta In collaboration with Athena's Warehouse, students from Cross Keys High School use art and language to explore cultural identity. With a student body nearing 90 percent Hispanic, students are often fraught with uncertainty about how their race and legal status impact their futures.What does it mean to be Hispanic, documented or undocumented, during a time in which national and local rhetoric is unkind to immigrants? Conceptualized by students, the exhibit will be on display at Plaza Fiesta,opening in conjunction with the Facing Race Bus Tour and running through the weekend.
- African-American Panoramic Experience (APEX) Museum centered in the heart of the historic Sweet Auburn District once the “richest negro street in the world”, works to accurately interpret and present history from an African-American perspective in order to help all American and International visitors better understand and appreciate the contributions of African-Americans to America as well as the world.
- Charis Bookstore and more is the South's oldest independent feminist bookstore. Celebrating 40 years of feminism and independent voices!
- Racial Justice Action Center is less than one year old but has already successfully launched Women on the Rise (a grassroots organizing project for formerly incarcerated women and women with records), a Transformative Organizing Institute (a leadership development and somatic training series), and the Solutions Not Punishment (SNaP) Coalition campaign to win implementation of a local diversion program for people arrested for street level sex work that provides substance abuse, mental health and job training support to those in need.
In order to join the Bus Tour you must purchase a ticket in advance. The bus tour is an additional activity organized in conjunction with Facing Race Conference and not included in your registration fee.
Your ticket includes: Pick up and drop off at the Hilton Downtown Atlanta; the curated and guided bus tour; and lunch provided by a local restaurant.
We The People: Atlanta Remembered, Reimagined & rEvolutionized
Creative Director: Monica Raye Simpson
DJ: masud "mikeflo" asante
Band: Musiki Scales and the Common Ground Collective
Drumming Group: Jayusori: Freedom Sound
Vocalists: Che Rene, madam cj, Love Shanti Om
Dance Company: Black Rosez
African Dance and Drumming Company: Djole Kele
Emcee: camil williams
Poet: Qiana Cutts
Musician: Ken J
Voguer: Mickyel Bradford
Doors open at 6:30.
It has been more than three years since #BlackLivesMatter became a rallying cry for a movement. While centering black communities and resistance, #BlackLivesMatter galvanized not only black organizers, it challenged people of all races to consider, "Whose side are you on?" Despite reactionary claims of divisiveness, communities of many races replied, "We're on the FREEDOM side!" Representatives from #AsiansforBlackLives and Familia, among others, will discuss struggles actions, challenges and opportunities from the multiracial movements that have emerged.
Founder of #BlackLivesMatter
Zon Moua, Freedom, Inc.
Judith LeBlanc, Native Organizers Alliance
Isa Noyola, Transgender Law Center
Chris Crass, Author, Educator, Parent
Performance by: Colored Girls Hustle
DJ: Natty Boom
We are gathering just two days after the most contentious election season in decades. Both major parties showed their deep splinters, Trumpism became the new normal and all the politicians were forced to deal with issues that communities of color raised to national prominence. In this closing plenary, leaders will speak to the challenges of governance before us, and how the racial justice movement can position ourselves to make the most of the next four years.