SouthStrong.org

Welcome to SouthStrong.org. We are a collection of Southern organizations and scholars seeking an equitable and people-first response to economic recovery in a post-pandemic South. Below is a statement of shared values for moving the South from crisis to equity.

Southern Organizations and Scholars Call for an Equity-Centered, People-First Response to COVID-19

In the last two months, the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the social and economic inequities shouldered by people of color and workers making low wages. Combating this public health threat and mitigating the economic fallout will require coordination among neighboring states and bolstering of public services. Given the South’s history of poor, limited worker protections and structural racism carried out by a host of discriminatory policies and practices, equitable and targeted access to these public resources must be a priority.

Today, policy organizations, grassroots movements and scholars are offering a shared vision for the region’s COVID-19 response.

Joint statement

We have agreed to work together on a shared approach to make policymakers and stakeholders aware of and accountable for the social and economic inequities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic—one that is based on respect, dignity, equity, and justice.

While each of us launches our own efforts to promote actionable responses to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have agreed to the following principles as we affirm our Southern values:

  • Health and Safety. Reaffirming the respect for health and life by guaranteeing reasonable safety at home, at work, and in public life.
  • Worker Rights. Reaffirming the dignity of all workers by ensuring a livable wage, paid leave, and the right to collective bargaining.
  • Quality Education and Childcare. Reaffirming equitable, quality education and childcare by guaranteeing that resources reach all children.
  • Just Disaster Response. Reaffirming just responses to communities impacted by disasters, both natural and human-caused.
  • Free and Fair Elections. Reaffirming the need to create and protect opportunities for all people to participate in elections and influence public policymaking.
  • Equitable Taxation. Reaffirming support for an economy that works for all, fueled by a revenue system that asks those who make the most to contribute the most.

COVID-19 does not adhere to local, state, or national boundaries. Communities must work together with government for a full picture of what’s happening on the ground and what improvements are needed. We understand the need for close coordination and collaboration to ensure that the response to COVID-19 is equitable, accountable, and transparent. 

Signatures

  1. ¡HICA! – Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama
  2. 350 New Orleans
  3. Aisha Nyandoro, Springboard To Opportunities
  4. Alabama Arise
  5. Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice
  6. Alabama Food Bank Association
  7. Alabama Institute for Social Justice
  8. Alicia Philipp, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
  9. Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, Highlander Research & Education Center
  10. Bambie Hayes-Brown, Georgia Advancing Communities Together, Inc.
  11. Bert Montgomery, University Baptist Church
  12. Brianna Bray, Roosevelt Institute Forge Fellow
  13. Cameron Arceneaux, Roosevelt Network at The University of Texas at Dallas
  14. Center for Community Progress
  15. Children First/Communities In Schools of Buncombe County
  16. Connor L Rupp, Roosevelt Network at New College of Florida
  17. Cypress Fund
  18. Deborah Scott, Georgia Stand-Up
  19. Deep Center
  20. Economic Policy Institute
  21. Equality North Carolina
  22. Ethan L. Bernstein, Roosevelt Network at Florida Gulf Coast University
  23. EveryBlackGirl, Inv
  24. Fair Count Inc
  25. Felecia Lucky, Black Belt Community Foundation
  26. Florida Policy Institute
  27. Georgia Budget and Policy Institute
  28. Imagine Water Works
  29. Isaac Keller, Roosevelt Network at Western Kentucky University
  30. James Chamberlain, Mississippi State University
  31. Jasmine King, Roosevelt Network
  32. Jay Hearn, Roosevelt Network at University of Tennesse
  33. Jazmine I. Benjamin, Alabama Scholars Strategy Network
  34. Jessica Myers Vosburgh, Adelante Alabama Worker Center
  35. Jessie Hock, Vanderbilt University
  36. Jill Chenoweth, United Way of Southwest Alabama
  37. Justin Maxson, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
  38. Justin Vest, Hometown Action
  39. Katherine Tait, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  40. Kentucky Center for Economic Policy
  41. LaToya Brannen, 9to5 National Association of Working Women – Georgia
  42. Liberation in a Generation
  43. Local Solutions Support Center
  44. Louisiana Budget Project
  45. Love Me Unlimited4life
  46. Marian Meyers, Georgia State University
  47. Mark Paul, New College of Florida
  48. Mississippi Votes
  49. NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina
  50. Nathan Kelly, Tennessee Scholars Strategy Network
  51. National Black Worker Center Project
  52. Navnit Mohan, Roosevelt Network
  53. NC Child
  54. NC Justice Center
  55. NC League of Conservation Voters
  56. Nick Delos Santos, Roosevelt at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  57. North Carolina Housing Coalition
  58. Odessa Kelly, Stand Up Nashville
  59. Pablo Pratt, Roosevelt Network at the University of Texas at Austin
  60. Reilly Morse, Mississippi Center for Justice
  61. Robert B Cooke, Southwest Georgia United Empowerment Zone, Inc.
  62. Roosevelt at UTD
  63. Rukia Rogers, The Highlander School
  64. Southern Center for Human Rights
  65. Southern Economic Advancement Project
  66. Susan Pavlin, Taproot
  67. Taine Duncan, University of Central Arkansas
  68. The Atlanta Women’s Foundation, Inc.
  69. The Black Commission
  70. The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis
  71. The Partnership for Working Families
  72. The Rev. Dr. Angela Shepherd, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church
  73. Thelma Adams Johnson, ACT! Albany Community Together Inc.
  74. Thessalia Merivaki, Mississippi State University
  75. Tonita McKnight, Albany Community Together, Inc.
  76. Tyjah Khan, Trans Power International
  77. United Way of Greater Atlanta
  78. Vangela M. Wade, Mississippi Center for Justice
  79. West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy
  80. Workplace Justice Project at Loyola Law Clinic
  81. Yampiere Lugo, Roosevelt Network at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  82. Zoe Ward, Roosevelt Network at University of Tennessee
  83. Rev. Dr. Jonathan C. Augustine, St. Joseph African Methodist Episcopal Church
  84. Tamara Bates, Rock AR Vote 
  85. Michèle Foster, University of Louisville 
  86. Andrea Abrams, Centre College
  87. Shelley Thomas, University of Louisville
  88. Enid Trucios-Haynes, Professor of Law
  89. Hope Policy Institute
  90. Eladio B. Bobadilla, Historian
  91. Virginia W. Harris, MPA, CIA, CGFM, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.
  92. Elizabeth Strom, University of South Florida
  93. Patricia Boyett, Women’s Resource Center, Loyola University New Orleans
  94. Melissa Merry, University of Louisville
  95. Catherine Fosl, University of Louisville Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research
  96. North Carolina Council of Churches
  97. Toxic Free NC
  98. Fiona Ritchey, New Orleans Abortion Fund
  99. Carolina Jews for Justice
  100. Brooke Adams, Reproductive Rights Coalition
  101. SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
  102. National Association of Social Workers – Florida
  103. Coalition for Health Care of NC
  104. National Association of Social Workers West Virginia Chapter
  105. National Rural Social Work Caucus
  106. DeAnna “Dia” Parker,  Athena’s Warehouse
  107. North Carolina AIDS Action Network
  108. URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity
  109. Ariana R. Levinson, SSN KY Member
  110. Alabama Possible
  111. Ayn W. Stehr, National Association of Social Workers – Louisiana Chapter
  112. Yellowhammer Fund
  113. WakeUP Wake County
  114. Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network
  115. Lift Louisiana
  116. Student Basic Needs Coalition
  117. Appalachian Voices
  118. National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
  119. Leah Austin, Ed.D, The Schott Foundation for Public Education 
  120. Working Films
  121. United for a Fair Economy
  122. NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia 
  123. Mandy Mahoney, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance
  124. Reform Georgia
  125. Women AdvaNCe
  126. Equality North Carolina
  127. Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice
  128. Christine Reeves Strigaro, The Sapelo Foundation
  129. Tzedek Social Justice Fund
  130. Lauren Sudeall, Georgia State University College of Law 
Scroll to Top