Fundamentals of Organizing This two-part training is held quarterly and has an emphasis on building relationships grounded in mutual self-interest that balances an expansive sense of how a multiracial democracy should operate and a long-term vision for the world with the realities of building power in the world as it is today.

Organizers from North Carolina, Wisconsin, Iowa and Pennsylvania gathered at the Beloved Community Center in  Greensboro to chart the future of rural organizing at People’s Action, which leads the largest rural persuasion program in the country.

Organizers from Down Home North Carolina, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Pennsylvania Stands Up gathered with People’s Action director Sulma Arias and staff in Greensboro, North Carolina to chart a new rural strategy for the organization, which leads the largest rural persuasion program in the country.

The gathering was hosted at the Beloved Community Center. Greensboro has long been a center of the fight for civil rights – the 1960 sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro brought national attention to the movement. In 1969, the campus of the North Carolina A&T State University was occupied by the National Guard in a heavy-handed response to protest, and in 1979, members of the Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party shot and killed five marchers in Greensboro who were protesting the White supremacist groups.

The Center’s founders, Joyce and Rev. Nelson N. Johnson, shared some of this difficult history with Sulma and organizers like Dreama Caldwell from Down Home North Carolina, who know well the challenges of organizing in rural areas where disinformation and white supremacy are on the rise.

Together, the group compared notes and charted a shared course for People’s Action’s rural organizing work over the next two years. Priorities include working to elect people’s champions at every level of government, to break the grip corporate interests hold over many deep-Red state legislatures, and to help rural communities overcome differences and create a shared path forward for Black, brown and working-class white residents, and defeat the disinformation and hostility spread by modern-day white supremacists.

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