Tragic Fire at the
In March of 2019 the Highlander Center lost its main office
building due to fire. Investigators found “White Power” graffiti spray painted
at the site. This is only the most recent of attacks against the historic
institution, known worldwide for its importance to racial and economic struggles for justice in the South. First established in 1932 as the Highlander Folk School on
Monteagle Mountain, Highlander quickly became a center of social movement
activism and education across the region with many connections to Chattanooga. When
the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) launched its labor organizing
campaign in the southern states, Highlander became a training center for union
members. Later, Highlander took on a larger role in the civil rights movement
and racial justice work, with notable leaders including Rosa Parks and Martin Luther
King Jr. attending trainings and receiving support. The Citizenship School
model used across the South to beat racist literacy tests was initially a
project created with activists through Highlander. To this day the Center remains
as both a training facility and reverent meeting space for organizers and
activists across the country.
CALEB respects the historic legacy and continuing importance
of this inspiring institution. That’s why we’re partnering with our sister
organizations NOAH and MICAH to help raise funds for the Highlander Center across
Tennessee through June 8th. Whether
$5, $10 or $50, your donation will help Highlander continue its work. As the Center noted in a press release after the fire:
"This is a time for building our power. Now is the time to be vigilant.
To love each other and support each other and to keep each other safe in
turbulent times. Now is not the time to dismiss how scary things are,
which makes it even more important to have concrete assessments of
concrete conditions, and sophisticated strategies to build a new world."
Please share this fundraiser, and like Highlander’s Facebook page to stay
For further reading on the fire and Highlander's legacy, see "Why the Highlander Attack Matters," by Robin D.G. Kelly and Makani Themba.