May 172017
 
The Choice Should be Ours: Fair Maps for a Fair Democracy

Gerrymandering:  Because, why should voters choose their representatives, when representatives can choose the voters? Imagine North Carolina as a puzzle. Jagged lines are drawn across the map, spreading across counties like greedy fingers and into neighborhoods like silent snakes. North Carolina, and many states across the country, has these oddly shaped voting districts that end up making impossible puzzles of themselves. In most states, politicians have control over how they draw the maps that separate voters into districts. This essentially means that they have control over who votes for them, they draw maps that make it virtually impossible to lose, and they strengthen or weaken the power of specific groups of people. This process is [Read More]

Mar 202017
 
Vocal and Visible - A Call to Action on Racism

“The first task of whites in these struggles is to be vocal and visible.” -Anne Braden Growing up as a white woman in the south, the passive racism that I witnessed and participated in was and continues to be wrong. I want to change that practice and one step for me is writing a blog about how I handled a situation poorly and what I will do in the future to hold myself and other white people accountable. Throughout college I would routinely return to Charlotte from Asheville, where I grew up, to visit my parents. Usually, I would be roped into a reunion of friends from high school around a bonfire or in someone’s [Read More]

Nov 212016
 
The Joy of Organizing Along the Road to Justice

It is a powerful time to be doing election work. When we ride out to the communities, there is a merging of fear and excitement. We round the unpaved roads through the Blue Ridge Mountains, rural Appalachia full of reminders that there was once a thriving industry here. We pull up to the mobile home park, or brick duplexes, or cluster of apartments, and the memories play out. I think of the grandmother who brought me in the home, fed me, asked me about my family while registering her sons to vote and holding her grandchildren. I think about the man who warned us to not go to the yellow house, “because he always answers [Read More]

Sep 202016
 
How do we sustain HOPE in times of crisis?

It’s really hard to have a positive outlook or hope with all that’s happening in the world today: political chaos, hate, violence, environmental disaster, and a list much too long to write here.  And worse, it seems that people are feeding off all this hatred and chaos and it continues to grow, taking over everything else, like a vine that consumes and strangles a tree’s life.  Sometimes it gets so discouraging, that I, like many others I know, just want to bury my head in the sand like an ostrich. I could ignore it and pretend it isn’t happening.  I can dream about moving out of the country if things get worse.  Many people are [Read More]

Jun 142016
 
Spirit in Action's Summer 2016 Newsletter

Click here to read the entire Summer 2016 Newsletter. Dear Friends, North Carolina has been in the national news a lot lately. Passing the nation’s worst voter suppression law, it eliminated same-day voter registration, cut a full week of early voting, barred voters from casting a ballot outside their home precinct, ended straight-ticket voting, and scrapped a program to pre-register high school students who would turn 18 by Election Day. It also included the nation’s strictest voter ID requirement. Here’s how the law affected me in the last primary election. Before I could vote, the poll monitor required me to hand over my ID. He scrutinized it with great care and at great length. Then [Read More]