Teen Organizers in Birmingham Are Working to Build an Inclusive Movement

Source: Lizzie Shackney, Teen Vogue, May 30, 2018

….The March for Our Lives Birmingham student organizers knew that diverse leadership mattered, but they struggled to achieve suburban/urban equity within the structure of their group in the month leading up to the event. Their efforts were hindered by the fact that before the march, they say, they had only a limited connection to the city of Birmingham and the students who went to school there.

In order to understand the challenge of building a representative antigun violence movement in Birmingham, one must examine the state of segregation in Jefferson County. Today, high schools in suburban school districts such as Hoover, Mountain Brook, Trussville, and Vestavia Hills are majority white. Birmingham City Schools are 99 percent black. It’s likely that the barriers to inclusive, coalition-based organizing derive from systems set up long ago to prevent the recognition of shared interests and collective action…..