Storm clouds may be gathering, but the folks at the South Carolina Progressive Network see an opportunity to build a broad base of support for social and political change at the local and state levels here in the South. I spoke with activists Becci Robbins, Nathaniel Simmons-Thorne, and SaBrina Jeffcoat about the hard work ahead and the decades SCProNet has spent making real change happen.
The organization formed twenty years ago at historic Penn Center that brought together concerned folks, politicians, and activists from around the state, including Brett Bursey, Becci Robbins, Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, and Rep. Joe Neal. Since then, the network has been a thorn in the side of those state leaders who hinder inclusive democracy and lack transparency. The network created a database tracking campaign contributions here in South Carolina (something the state refused to fund), they’ve worked to make law enforcement accountable for racial profiling, and, most recently, they helped ensure Furman University students’ right to vote. They also brought academics and organizers together to form the Modjeska Simkins School, a freedom school dedicated to a Howard Zinn-type vision of a People’s History of South Carolina along with a curriculum to teach the nuts and bolts of organizing. And, that’s not all. Listen up to learn more.