Movements need convergence to increase scale and impact. The U.S. Social Forum process and convergence has contributed to the growth of social movement power in the U.S.
Project South has worked with the National Planning Committee for the US Social Forum since 2005. In 2007, Project South served the anchor for the first US Social Forum held in Atlanta. For more background, check out our report about the 2007 U.S. Social Forum (PDF).
The second United States Social Forum took place in Detroit from June 22-June 26, 2010. Project South supported Detroit anchor organizations Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Centro Obrero, and SE Michigan Jobs with Justice.
Project South also played a role in organizing the South by Southwest People’s Freedom Caravan in 2007 and organized the Southern Movement Caravan in 2010. Our Southeast Organizer’s Guide to USSF 2010 (PDF) is still available for download.
Project South participated in the World Social Forum 2011 in Dakar Senegal, and is providing support to organize a U.S. delegation to the World Social Forum Free Palestine in Porto Allegre, Brasil in November 2012.
More USSF resources:
Peoples Movement Assemblies (PMA)
The USSF has endorsed the National Peoples Movement Assemblies (PMA) as an organizing process to build local and regional community governance and a strategy to prepare for the next USSF. The National Peoples Movement Assembly process developed as an integral part of the U.S. Social Forum process to create space for education, developing positions, and practicing alternative community governance. Project South currently co-coordinates the National Peoples Movement Assembly with Ruben Solis of the Universidad Sin Fronteras.
About Project South
Project South is a Southern-based leadership development organization that creates spaces for movement building. We work with communities pushed forward by the struggle– to strengthen leadership and to provide popular political and economic education for personal and social transformation. We build relationships with organizations and networks across the US and global South to inform our local work and to engage in bottom-up movement building for social and economic justice.
The world we are fighting for will evolve from the continuous struggle of liberated people. Cooperative, globally-interconnected communities protect, produce, distribute, and sustain the resources of the earth on the basis of need. Our society values the power of diversity and difference, which allows all humanity to develop to our fullest potential.
Project South uses four major strategies to build political, educational, and economic power at the grassroots of low-income communities:
Popular Education – The methodology of popular education that Project South practices is a participatory and base-building tool. By cultivating the indigenous knowledge of the region, people facing the worst economic conditions experience personal transformation and simultaneously sharpen their day-to-day collective strategies for action. Additionally, popular education increases the scope of groups’ abilities to develop long-term economic vision and short-term action campaigns.
Leadership Development – Project South develops entry points to develop both emerging and seasoned leadership through skills training, strategy development, and organizing practice. Our sessions prepare communities in rural and urban communities to engage and accomplish systems change. By providing direct support to and from generational peers in positions of leadership, we advance region-wide mobilization efforts and coordinated strategies across multiple issues.
Partnerships and Alliances – Project South has convened leaders and created intentional movement spaces as a central strategy for over two decades. Through leveraging our relationships across the region Project South has built large-scale convergences including the Southeast Social Forum in 2006 and the US Social Forum in 2007 bringing together movement forces acting across issues, differences, cultures, and geographies.
Organizing – At Project South organizing is the process of building power to take collective action. We address the root causes of poverty and racism through collectivizing the maximum participation of people most affected and need change. We develop new ideas and methods to increase our collective understanding of the “problem” and practices working together toward solutions.