Chattanooga Organized for Action kicks off its second Justice School -- a six-week training program for community organizers -- on Saturday at the Chattanooga Public Library.
Eleven applicants have been selected to participate in the Justice School.
Still of Decatur, Tenn. is a volunteer at non-profit HIV clinic and has also worked in animal rights. Brittany is part of Cleveland For A No Kill City and Dixie Day Spay, a non-profit spay/neuter clinic.
William Nix of Chattanooga has a background in activism surrounding LGBT, environmental and mental health issues. William is part of Occupy Chattanooga, Spectrum and the Idle No More movement.
Chuck Mehan of Chattanooga was part of the city’s Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. Chuck has worked in several election campaigns, is a member of several civic organizations and is part of the Progressive Student Alliance at UTC.
Harriet Cotter of Chattanooga have been involved with MoveOn and several political campaigns. Involved in her neighborhood association, Harriet is also part of the Progressive Student Alliance at UTC.
Pam Thompson of Chattanooga is a teacher who has a long history of being involved in work on various issues through letter writing, telephoning, petitioning, canvassing, lobbying and talking with legislators. Pam is also active in her church and is an advocate for children and the elderly.
Katie Carpenter of Ooltewah is a volunteer at the Community Kitchen, active in her church, and mom to five children. Katie has been involved in some environmental activism and has a passion for food justice issues.
Matt Patrick of Scottsboro, Ala., has worked in political campaigns and directed a documentary film about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Matt has also worked on issues surrounding homelessness and works with people who are recovering from addiction.
Timothy “Tab” Alan Brown Jr. of Chattanooga is part of the carpenters’ union and was involved in the Occupy movement. Tab has been active in campaigns for change through leafleting, canvassing and letter writing.
Rebecca Howard of Cleveland has worked on issues of housing justice and animal rights. Rebecca is a veterinary technician at a non-profit spay/neuter clinic, is part of Cleveland for a No Kill City and is part of Occupy Chattanooga’s foreclosure defense working group.
John Michael Carrico of Cleveland has been involved in the Occupy Movement and the March Against Monsanto. John has worked with CrimethInc and is involved in permaculture and gardening work.
Felipe Lara of Chattanooga has been involved with Chattanooga Organized for Action and helped to organize parents against the closing of the North Chattanooga Head Start Center. Felipe has also volunteered at La Paz as a translator.
The goal of Justice School, which is centered in an anti-racist, feminist-thought framework, is to see participants complete the series of workshops with a functioning campaign working toward social justice advances in their communities. Students will collaborate together on campaigns of their own choosing that could range from addressing environmental issues, to reforming the criminal justice system, to women’s health rights.
The series of workshops will provide students with an understanding about the systems of oppression that keep society from creating a better world. Students will learn how to create campaigns for change, including setting goals, planning tactics and strategies, working with media and engaging with the political system. Students will also be able to articulate their own stories, values and reasons for working toward social justice.
Justice School will end with a community event during which participants will present their campaigns to the community.