"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any."
- Alice Walker, American novelist, poet, and activist
The Civil Rights Movement used sit-ins, freedom rides, marches, boycotts, voter registration drives and court cases to drive racial and economic justice in the United States. Many other movements, in this country and abroad, followed suit.
From voting rights, running for office, prison reform, and environmental issues, to immigration, gender equality and fairness in media – the need for organized activism today is greater than ever.
Some may say that this –the 21st century - is “not yo’ mama’s movement.” But we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone on before us.
So what are today’s organizing strategies? Who are the new activists, and where are the new front lines?
Legacy 21st presents six speakers, experts in their fields, who are using their platforms to organize. Some tactics are obvious, others more subtle. But they are all speaking truth to power and inspiring others to do the same.
Access to the online Summit sessions is free with a reservation. The interviews will air throughout October 2018.
The Legacy 21st summit is hosted by Isisara Bey, Artistic Director, March on Washington Film Festival.
Leah Greenberg | @leahgreenb
Leah Greenberg is a co-founder and co-Executive Director of Indivisible. She most recently served as Policy Director for the Tom Perriello for Governor of Virginia campaign. She previously managed human trafficking grants and programs as an Investments Manager for Humanity United, served as an Advisor to the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, and worked on Capitol Hill for Congressman Tom Perriello (D-VA). She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College and a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
In this interview…
Indivisible co-founder Leah Greenberg uses her years of experience as a congressional staffer to fuel progressive grassroots networks in every congressional district. In this interview she outlines the three things to consider when organizing a group, how to decide what issues to focus on, and ways that work to help people channel their passion and frustrations into direct action.
Interview available on October 22, 2018.
Majora Carter | @majoracarter
Majora Carter is a leading urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. The founder of Majora Carter Group, she is responsible for the creation & implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training & placement systems.
Her long list of awards and honorary degrees include accolades from groups as diverse as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, Goldman Sachs, as well as a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. She is a BusinessInsider.com Silicon Alley 100, one of Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, and her 2006 TED Talk was one of 6 to launch that groundbreaking site. Majora is a Board Member of the Andrew Goodman Foundation.
In this interview…
Majora Carter says, “You don’t have to move out of your neighborhood to live in a better one.” Her talent retention strategies for low-status communities serve to capture economic and social activity that leaves in search of lifestyle infrastructure that matches their aspirations, not their current circumstances.
Interview available on October 24, 2018.
Faiz Shakir | @fshakir
Faiz Shakir joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in January 2017. As National Political Director, he oversees the ACLU’s National Political Advocacy Department, which houses the organization’s Washington Legislative Office and State Advocacy and Policy departments. In his role, Shakir develops and implements strategies to advance the organization’s priorities at the federal and state levels. Prior to joining the ACLU, Shakir worked as one of the most senior advisers to former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.
A graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown University Law Center, he also spent seven years at the Center for American Progress, helping the organization establish its identity as the leading progressive think tank in the nation and was a founding member and editor-in-chief of ThinkProgress.org, one of the top political news websites in the United States.
In this interview…
Listen as the ACLU’s Faiz Shakir explains the six civil liberties his organization defends, shares his definition of civil disobedience, and outlines three critical issues: felon re-enfranchisement, redistricting reform and voter modernization that are the focus of the national grassroots organizing movement, Let People Vote.
Interview available on October 26, 2018.
Rokhaya Diallo | @rokhayadiallo
Rokhaya Diallo is a French journalist, writer, and award winning filmmaker widely recognized for her work which dismantles the barricades of racism and sexism through the promotion of equality and pluralism.
TV host and a pundit on several French and international networks, Rokhaya is also a contributor to several newspapers and magazines. She has also directed several documentaries including the award winning Steps To Liberty.
She co-founded the INDIVISIBLES, which awards through The “Y’A BON AWARDS” ceremony the “best” racist statements made by French public figures each year.
She is the author of several books, including a graphic novel. She has curated an exhibition in Paris inspired by the book “Afro!” she co-authored with the photographer Brigitte Sombié.
She has been the recipient of several awards including the Women in Digital Feminine Communication Award from #LabcomWomen in the Generosity category created by the channel TF1 and the distinction paying homage to her work in the Journalist of the Year category 2016. In 2017 she was the only French person invited to attend the inauguration of the Obama Foundation.
Photo Credit: Brigitte Sombié
In this interview…
Paris-born journalist, documentary filmmaker, author and television host Rokhaya Diallo describes her painful introduction to activism in her native country, the parallels between the American and French Civil Rights Movements, and how gender and race form a nexus of intersectional inequality at the heart of her organizing work.
Interview available on October 29, 2018.
Farai Chideya | @farai
Farai Chideya is a reporter, political and cultural analyst, and educator, currently working at the Ford Foundation. Over the years she has worked in print, television, radio, and digital media, covered every Presidential election since 1996, and traveled to 28 countries and 49 states to report, learn, and explore.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, she is a fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, studying newsroom diversity and editorial protocols during the 2016 election. She covered the 2016 election for FiveThirtyEight.com, with a special focus on demographics and the American voter, and was a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute from 2012-2016. A 1990 graduate of Harvard University, she was also a spring 2012 fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. She and the teams she has worked with have won awards including a National Education Reporting Award, a North Star News Prize, and a special award from the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association for coverage of AIDS. She has also worked in both the for- and non-profit technology industry as a content strategist.
In this interview…
Farai Chideya, multimedia journalist, political analyst, author and now foundation officer gives us her take on the challenges facing media today in fostering a rational, fact-based national dialogue; how people in other countries use journalism in their struggles against inequality; and emerging trends in journalism and social media that will impact social justice movements in the future.
Interview available on October 31, 2018.
L. Joy Williams | @ljoywilliams
L. Joy Williams is a national political strategist, media thought leader, public speaker, and social justice advocate.
She is a trusted strategic adviser to elected leaders and organizations across the country and is sought after by various media outlets for her expertise in politics, civic engagement, and social justice. L. Joy is the Founder and Principal of New York-based consulting firm LJW Strategies, President of the Brooklyn NAACP, National Board Member of PAC+ and founding Chairman of Higher Heights for America, the organization leading the charge in supporting women candidates nationwide.
She is the current President of Brooklyn NAACP having previously served as the 1st Vice President and an At-Large Board member. She is the youngest adult branch President in the state of New York and one of a handful of branch presidents under the age of 45 in the country. L. Joy leads a generationally diverse all-volunteer branch which works tirelessly to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights for all in Brooklyn.
In this interview…
In this interview, indefatigable community activist L. Joy Williams parallels the organizing methods of the Civil Rights era with contemporary movements. With the surge of women seeking elected office nationwide, she lists the critical questions everyone should ask themselves before running for office, and explains how any movement should balance its strategizing tactics for maximum effectiveness.
Interview available on November 2, 2018.
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?"
-Martin Luther King, Jr,
Why Has MOWFF Produced Legacy 21st?
We heard it all the time.
After every event at last summer’s March on Washington Film Festival, audience members said, “I never knew that,” and asked, “Why wasn’t I taught that?” It drove home the fact that the history of the Civil Rights Movement continues to be inaccurately told or woefully forgotten.
Marshaling the outrage, courage and drive of the nation into direct action against injustice and inequality was something in which the Movement excelled. But 50 years after the death of Dr. King, as the forces of racism and sexism are again on the rise, many in our country are falling into despair and inaction.
We cannot afford to do that.
So in the face of these mounting challenges to the social fabric of our country, we are using this Festival platform to resurrect, raise awareness and propagate the successful tactics of the Movement.
These tactics are all part of organizing. They include marching, demonstrating, grass roots coordinating, volunteering, voting, phone canvassing, town halls, running for elected office, waging court cases, targeted boycotting, petitioning, civil disobedience…along with today's hash tags, tweets, posts and podcasts.
These organizing approaches are being effectively and creatively employed by the advocates and activists in this summit, and by many others across the country and around the world.
Organizing succeeds one "woke" person at a time. Legacy 21st uses online technology to demonstrate how contemporary movements replicate the methods of the past in a way that is easily accessible to masses of people. It is our way of honoring to the rich legacy of struggle bequeathed to us as we chart our course to the future.
So join us for Legacy 21st and tell your family and friends that the modern front lines of social justice also include our computer screens.
Robert Raben Samantha Abrams Isisara Bey
Founding Chairman Executive Director Artistic Director