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The following message was received by Activist/Performer/Trainer Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign in Washington State about his time in Biloxi.
...Friends, I just returned from Biloxi and Gulfport Mississippi and I am SO excited about it that I am composing this before finally getting some sleep. It was precious! The hospitality of our hosts and the opportunity to work with so many wonderfully intelligent and talented youth, emerging activists and community elders was joyful and enriching. We are honored by Steps Coalition's willingness to include us in their strategy and message development.
Please allow images: Image linked to TV coverage of 6-13-11 press conference
A major outcome of this Artful Activism training is yesterday's press conference. It was the lead story on the evening news! AND - it played on public radio and ran in the Sun Herald.
it was an extremely strong - and strategically timed in response to last Thursday's announcement that HUD had released the last Katrina recovery Community Development Block Grant funds to build Haley Barbour's pet port.
This port is being touted as a jobs project, but instead of creating 20 jobs per million dollars (a HUD benchmark), this under-achieving project creates 1 job per million dollars. AND - It endangers one of the very communities it was supposed to help.
In a community that has been beaten down by natural and man made disasters - including centuries old disaster disaster of institutional racism, we decided that a "Dare to Dream" theme connected current events to the courage of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. might be helpful to everyone. Chris Lutter-and I began the Artful Activism training and imagery build on Thursday, June 9 with a group of forty youth and counselors.
On Friday, we were joined by USuncut.org co-founders Steve Johnson and Carl Gibson who on hearing of the opportunity to collaborate in Mississippi, drove 12 hours from Louisville, KY. We held a 4 hour intensive on Strategy and creative tactics followed by a delicious dinner and talent share. Then we worked for two days straight pulling everything together for the press conference.
The result was stunning. PLEASE check out the great media coverage of yesterday's press conference in Gulfport. Backbone Campaign's artful activism approach is obvious, as is its effect on the participants and the audience.
Watch WLOX 13 TV coverage Watch Now.
Mississippi Public Broadcasting Listen Now
Read the excellent Sun Herald article HERE:
Beautiful Sun Herald Slideshow
We look forward to having a Steps Coalition delegation at our LocalizeThis! Artful Activism and Community Organizing Camp August 14-21. Your generous contributions will allow us to offer sponsorships to these and other allies.
A special Thank you to Steps Coalition's wonderful executive director Roberta Avila who worked with her staff to make sure we had everything we needed and our time was well utilized.
Thank YOU to our Lumbar Club, Nathan Cummings Foundation and all of you who support our work in whatever way you can.
In Collaboration and Gratitude,
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