- August 28, 2017
Post submitted by James K Rector, HRC Arkansas Field Organizer
More than 3,000 activists, advocates, grassroots organizers and organizational and labor leaders gathered together in August at the 2017 Netroots Nation Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Project One America Field Organizers from Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas were proud to be in attendance.
During the conference, HRC hosted a panel discussion titled “Y’all Means All: Fighting for LGBTQ Rights in the South.” Panelists included Quentin Bell, Executive Director of the Knights & Orchids Society Inc., Britney Nesbit, Southern Equality Fund Coordinator, Simone Bell, former Georgia House of Representatives member and currently the Southern Regional Director for Lambda Legal, and Ben Needham, Director of Project One America for HRC, with moderator Nick Morrow, HRC Southern States Press Secretary. The panel discussed how they work in the South to create policies, change hearts and minds, and create institutional change from the pulpit to the workplace.
Other topics for the workshops, panels and keynote addresses were as varied as the individuals in attendance and covered the range of work that is happening within communities of color, immigrants rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, the intersections of religion and social justice and so much more. Keynote speakers included Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams, Rep. Barbara Lee, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Ben Jealous, Al Gore, Mustafa Ali and Dolores Huerta
It was also that very weekend where so many in the movement were networking and sharing skills that the tragedy of Charlottesville happened. It was empowering to be at the conference with so many individuals fighting for social justice in America. At the conclusion of the conference’s closing plenary, participants gathered across the street from the hotel in a small park. With signs, chants, love and hope the group was led through the streets of Atlanta to the State Capitol by civil rights icon Deloras Huerta. Once at the Capitol, remarks were made by several conference attendees and participants pledged to take action and host hard conversations about racism and the division from the current administration in their hometowns.
If you would like to get involved in the fight for full equality in Arkansas text RESIST to 30644.