Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter spent the weekend at our retreat, leading group discussions and spearheading the formation of a development committee.
The SC Progressive Network‘s annual fall retreat last weekend at beautiful Santee State Park was one of the best meetings we’ve had. Since our founding in 1996, we have been steadily building a movement for social justice, holding true to the “revolution of values” that Dr. King called for. Over the past two decades (and the years of grass roots organizing at GROW that preceded the Network) we have built and maintained a solid framework for the coalition. Now we’re putting muscle on it.
Our analysis, strategy and tactics are holding under fire and proving themselves sound. We are developing public policy, crafting and passing legislation, and winning targeted races. Our success is due to perseverance, principled work, and trust built over time. The retreat was a chance for us to take stock of where we are and to map a path forward, with immediate and longer-term plans.
One of our primary goals now is to educate allies to the reality that we cannot fix the systemic problems that plague us with the tools that created them. We have to build our base of power outside the existing structures. Our strategy recognizes that to make and sustain real change, we must remain disciplined and think long term. We have an unprecedented opportunity to take advantage of the crises ravaging the two-party system and the corruption crippling the state’s political elite.
The Network’s core programs – our Democracy project and Racial Justice project – have gained traction in recent months. Each has created toolkits with data that can be customized with local information to organize across South Carolina. The toolkits are in the process of being updated to reflect the latest work that has been done and refined at the retreat. When they are posted, we will send out links.
Finally, we want to congratulate and welcome aboard the four candidates elected to the executive committee: Sarah Keeling, Carole Singletary, Katie Shulz, and Shannon Herin. Nice to have more womenfolk at the helm. We also want to thank everyone who worked to make the retreat such a success, including Reps. Gilda Cobb-Hunter and Wendy Brawley, our New Legacy Project volunteers, and everyone else who made time to join us. It was a great weekend.
We will post a more detailed retreat summary soon with action items and ways for you to get involved, wherever you are in the state and whatever issue you want to take on.
See more retreat photos in our PHOTO ALBUM.