The Southern Vision Alliance is a grassroots intermediary organization to support millennial leadership development, infrastructure, and base-building initiatives for social, racial, environmental, gender, and education justice in the U.S South. SVA member organizations include Youth Organizing Institute, Ignite NC, and #WeAreThis Queer Mobilization. They believe in building power from the grassroots up. As such, they are committed to building a strong, nimble, and dynamic youth and student movement invested in coordination and collaboration across issues, identities, and geographies while maintaining principled commitment to uplifting those most impacted by the urgent issues we face.
SVA commits to building the capacity and power of youth-led and youth-centered organizations and movements — knowing that often, young people, especially women, queer and trans youth, and youth of color, are not given the space and resources to facilitate change. SVA believes in creating multiple entry points, through trainings and the development of campaigns that seek to win concrete changes in our communities. They put their resources toward building the leadership and skills of youth fighting on the frontlines of various communities and invest in them for the long haul. They reject politics of disposability and develop strategies for collective access and community care, seeking to eliminate or reduce barriers to participation. SVA members use popular education pedagogy in their political education and skills-based trainings. They teach people’s history, conduct trainings around privilege and oppression, and teach critical analysis and concrete organizing skills. They prepare youth to organize in their own name and encourage multi-generational models of organizing.
RJF’s grant supports SVA to develop leaderful organizations that connect local campaigns and build power for queer and trans youth of color in North Carolina. They support local North Carolina campaigns built and led by SVA’s member organizations such as Youth Organizing Institute, Ignite NC, and the #WeAreThis Queer Mobilization. The grant also supports youth development institutes — particularly Ignite NC’s Fellowship Program and YOI’s Freedom Schools — and convenings of LGBTQ youth of color and their allies. At this time, campaigns include:
- Solutions Not Suspensions Campaign
- Gender inclusive public and private spaces, including bathrooms
- Black Lives Matters campaigns for police accountability
- Defend HBCUs Campaign