Southern Echo's Online Brochure
Develop Grassroots Leadership
Southern Echo is a leadership development, education and training organization working to develop grassroots leadership across Mississippi and the Southern region.
The primary objective is to enable communities to make the political, economic, environmental and education systems, accountable to the needs and interests of the African American community.
Southern Echo emphasizes the importance of building strong community organization, through effective community organizing work, as the essential means through which to advance the fundamental goal of empowering the community.
Southern Echo's Inter-Generational Model
A special emphasis for Southern Echo is the active inclusion of the young people in the community in this process on the same basis as adults. The young people have the fewest ties to the past, the least fear, and have the potential for creating a broad vision of a fair and just society.
The young people are the present, as well as the future, and their effective participation is essential if the struggle to empower the African American community in Mississippi is to be successful.
Fighting Racism through Empowerment
Only when the African American community in Mississippi, and other parts of the South, is empowered and able to make the system accountable to the needs and interests of the community, can the community begin to fight racism effectively. Southern Echo works through its training and technical assistance programs to provide the information which community people need to develop the skills to become effective community organizers, enable people in their respective communities to assume leadership roles, and work together for the empowerment of the African American community.
Truthtelling and Overcoming Fear
Truthtelling is central to the empowerment process. In the training sessions and in the community, community people develop the willingness and skill to overcome their fear and tell it like it is. When people confront the real problems which communities face, including who the gatekeepers are that hold back the community, it becomes possible to build a solid foundation within the community to fight for change.
Every community person has to deal with the fear which that person carries within as the result of generations of subjugation to the terror imposed on African Americans by the dominant white society. Learning to overcome that fear is an essential part of the Southern Echo training process.
Southern Echo Program of Work
Southern Echo's work from 1990 through July, 2000 has carried its staff into 65 of Mississippi's 82 counties. During this time Southern Echo staff has prepared and conducted 43 residential training schools, more than 625 workshops, and more than 2,300 community meetings, regarding a wide range of substantive issues which local communities have defined as important to them. Southern Echo staff has written and published 29 separate Training Manuals on community organizing; legislative, county and municipal redistricting; environmental racism and fighting the location of waste dumps in residential communities; creating a quality public education system; conflict resolution; Get-Out-The-Vote; non-profit board practices and procedures; and the Mississippi legislative process.
Southern Echo has learned from its work that the underlying needs in each community are basically the same. Long-time activists and community leaders know how to mobilize the African American community around a specific crisis. But activists and leaders are frustrated that they do not know how to engage in the long-term community organizing which changes the basic power relationships within the African-American community and between the African American and white communities. In response, Southern Echo has made the development of a cadre of skilled community organizers a primary goal of its work.
Expansion of program into southeast region
Southern Echo has expanded its training and technical assistance program into the southeastern region in response to requests from grassroots community organizations. Staff from community organizations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas have attended training sessions prepared and conducted by Southern Echo staff, either in Mississippi or where the grassroots organizations are located. Echo has made a commitment to become part of the fabric of southeast regional resources available to grassroots community groups.
Southern Echo, Inc | PO Box 9306 | Jackson, MS 39286
| (601)-982-6400, Fax
601-982-2636 | E-Mail:
Copyright © 2001-2005
Southern Echo, Inc.