What do you hope to accomplish?
The resolution and eradication of social injustices through the ongoing facilitation of grassroots collectives.
What makes you different from your competitors?
We are not charity driven, we are people powered. We set out to address the systemic injustices that drive the endless need for charity.
Who do you serve?
We are a center that acts as an incubator for training and collectivizing people around various issues of social injustice. We currently work in organizing the homeless and those affected by our criminal justice and incarceration systems.
What are the social problems that you are focused on?
We are currently focused on the homeless and those affected by the criminal justice and incarceration systems, ad Tenant’s Rights issues.
What are their causes?
The causes are varied, depending upon the issue. Homelessness is caused by a number of issues, but the systemic causes are often economic and marginalization, (criminal history, inadequate documentation, etc).
Incarceration injustices are driven by heavyhanded approaches to subdue and control inmates, disregard for personal wellbeing of the inmates, and a drive to reduce costs or make profits.
What is your history (as an organization or as individuals) of addressing these problems?
Our organization launched in 2009. We have been primarily working, both as an organization and as well as our executive director, in homelessness advocacy. It was at the start of 2015 that we shifted the genesis of our approach from pure advocacy to organizing and collectivizing on a grassroots level.
What makes you the best organization to address this problem?
Currently, we believe that we are the only organization in the East Tennessee region that is working in these areas of injustices from a collectivizing approach. We have built the trust of the community over the last 7 years as the individual/organization that focuses upon systemic issues rather than dispensing charity. We have the collaborative support from the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center in Memphis and the Nashville Peace and Justice Center. In this way, we are able to draw upon best practices, as well as join in state-wide initiatives.
Why is your strategy better than others?
Our strategy delivers the transference of decision making and power to the population experiencing injustices firsthand – the people who best know the issues.