Backbone is honored to present two opportunities for learning more deeply about issues: eviction free zones and housing as a human right (Friday) and protecting the places we call home from capitalist extraction – whether by King Coal or (fill in the blank) that threatening your town (next Thursday).
Steve Meacham is a world-class change agent and veteran community organizer, working with City Life/Vida Urbana in Boston.
CL/VU does cutting edge work to guarantee the human right of housing.
Backbone Campaign has a long history of collaborating with City Life/Vida Urbana, and we are thrilled and honored to host Steve. Join the Conversation to hear his thoughts and strategic organizing advice for establishing Eviction Free Zones across the country, in a moment when the threat of losing shelter is looming over a huge portion of the US population.
Hard Road of Hope is an award-winning documentary that tells the story of West Virginians. Once the home to the rise and reign of King Coal, West Virginia is now in the crosshairs of a transition of power: from coal to gas. In the midst of this ecologically violent shift, communities are being ripped apart physically, economically and emotionally. The third poorest state in the nation, Paul Corbit Brown, president of Keepers of the Mountain explains the situation. “People here feel very isolated, they feel very forgotten. They feel very neglected, abandoned, abused – and hungry. For more than just food.” It’s no surprise then that West Virginia is ranked number one in the opioid crisis. It’s not surprising that forgotten folks have latched on to the lies and propaganda peddled by the likes of Trump.
What is surprising, however, is how much we could learn from West Virginia. Known by many, even inside the state, as a throwaway resource colony filled with nothing but hillbillies and poisoned streams and coal ash, these hills and hollers have a lot to show us about people power, resilience, beauty and indeed, ourselves. More than a microcosm of corporate malfeasance, bad policies and extremist propaganda, West Virginia is home to a radical working class history and the hard work of hoping for and building a better future.
Purposefully buried and now being dug up and amplified by grassroots activists, this history speaks to the power of the working class coming together – across cultural, race and religious dividing lines to organize together for basic human rights. From the sweeping and majestic hills of Southern Appalachia to the methane-streaked highways of the fracking corridor; from the decapitated peaks to the winding holler roads, this is a story most don’t ever hear: a story truly of, for and by the people.
“Hard Road of Hope” amplifies the voices of these forgotten and proud rednecks – the ones carrying the torch from the first rednecks who tied on red bandanas and marched for their basic human rights. It seeks to hold a mirror up to all sacrifice zones, to the isolated folks in pain across the nation. This is an American story, an American history – and for the future of all the people who call this place home, this is the path we must all walk if we want to thrive, and indeed, survive.
After the live stream of the film, Director Eleanor Goldfield will speak and answer questions.
You will not want to miss this inspiring and informative evening.
* Thank YOU for supporting the Backbone Campaign located in Vashon, WA. Backbone Campaign is registered with Washington State’s Charities Program as required by law and additional information is available by calling 800-332-4483 or visiting www.sos.wa.gov/charities.