Fifty Years Strong
Honor the Past • Celebrate the Present • Commit to the Future
This year we celebrate 50 years of community organizing
in our local neighborhoods and communities,
making change at local, state, and federal levels, and planning for
In January 1972, a group of working class rabble rousers in East Tennessee, frustrated by the coal industry's abuse of land and people, formalized their commitment to each other under the banner, "Save Our Cumberland Mountains", and on May 25, 1972, the State of Tennessee recognized SOCM as a non-profit organization.
Fifty years later, we find ourselves looking to our past for inspiration and lessons learned, as we continue building the road towards a Tennessee that works for everyone, not just a few.
In this spirit, we are launching a year-long fundraising effort to celebrate 50 years of community power-building and to raise an additional $100k to help us begin the next 50 years on strong footing. Building on the powerful work that our members are doing, your donation this year funds five key areas:
- To expand our base-building and grassroots campaign work through a strategic deep canvassing program
- To hire another full time staff person to support and expand our ongoing work
- To launch an Organizing Fellowship program to train up a new generation of organizers
- To establish an SOCM Organizing Curriculum to train every SOCM member in core organizing principles relevant to their community
- To grow our SOCM Future Fund to secure help SOCM's future for the next fifty years
“People like you help people like me go on, go on . . .
And I hope that when my time is almost gone,
they’ll say that people like me helped people like you go on, go on.”
– "People Like You" by Si Kahn, from the SOCM songbook