Episode 52: Movement Building in the South: At 90, Legendary Highlander Center Looks Back & Forward

October 27, 2022

This year marks the 90th anniversary of our longtime ally and current partner, the Highlander Research and Education Center, the storied school that’s helped nurture the Black freedom struggle and other social movements across the south. For this month’s episode of the Activist Files, co-executive directors Ash-Lee Henderson and Allyn Maxfield-Steele chat with Emily Early and Jessica Vosburgh from our Southern Regional Office about Highlander’s singular role as a training ground and meeting spot – the place where Rosa Parks took a workshop, Martin Luther King spoke, and John Lewis had his first integrated meal. Ash-Lee and Allyn discuss the centrality of the Black Freedom movement to other liberation movements, stress the importance of joy, storytelling, and cross-racial solidarity in movement-building, and celebrate the resilience and love that have enabled them to withstand repeated attacks from white supremacists. But Highlander’s 90th year, they say, is an occasion for looking ahead, for envisioning and planning to build a new world, one grounded in sharing and interdependence. The dire state of the country – “for some of us, fascism is already here” – makes this task all the more urgent, they say. 


Red-baiting poster of Martin Luther King at Highlander
Highlander and Citizenship Schools
SNCC Legacy Project
Highlander petition opposing nomination to National Registry of Historic Places
Q & A with Norma Wong

Podcast Transcript PDF