2022 has been an amazing year for the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth, and Reconciliation. In honor of Kwanzaa, and because it is so close to the core mission of our organization, we wanted to share a year in review for 2022 through the lens of the Kwanzaa Principles. We didn’t want to bury you in amazing news, so we summarize some of the key points and share links to where you can learn more. If you are interested in any of the items listed below, contact us and find out how you can get involved!
This principle is focused on striving for and maintaining unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
Building the Team
The SCNTR has done a lot to address the issues of unity both out in the community and within the organization. The SCNTR team has grown over the last year to include new staff and energy into the work. We are excited to welcome on the new staff and look forward to the larger community getting a chance to learn more about them!
Here is an updated org chart for the SCNTR so you can see exactly how everything works together!
A Commitment to Racial Equity
Another way the SCNTR has put a specific focus on unity is by offering the Beyond Divide and Conquer: Unite and Build Racial Equity Training. Offering multiple opportunities for engagement, this year the SCNTR had people from Canada, Malaysia, Jamaica, and all across the Nation participate in the virtual gatherings.
In fact, our pieces of training became so popular, we needed more capacity and created a Training of the Trainers? If you haven’t already, make sure you are involved in the next training!
This principle challenges us to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Ujima (collective work and responsibility)
This is the principle focused on building and maintaining our community together and making our community’s problems our problems in order to solve them together.
MLK Youth Day
MLK Youth Day was coordinated in partnership between the SCNTR, The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity incorporated, The Black Belt Community Foundation, the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation initiative, and other local organizations and individuals. Due to COVID-19 the event was shifted to a virtual platform and the celebration was held on a Facebook Live starting at 12:30pm CST. The program features ways youth can get involved around the community and messages from our leaders and elected officials.
The SCNTR partnered with the Black Futures Lab in 2022 to support the Black Census. The goal of the census is to capture a more accurate picture of who we are as Black people and what we care about. The Black Census asks Black communities what we see as the key issues in our communities and asks us about what we think needs to be done to address those issues, so that our lives can change for the better.
Ujamaa (cooperative economics)
This principle is to encourage us to build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
The Local Farm Cooperative, a project that was incubated and launched by the SCNTR as a part of building economic equity, received continued support and partnership with the SCNTR. An exciting new program was launched during the summer that offered a youth leadership internship for local high school youth. Participants were taught principles of nonviolence, cooperative economics, history, and farming techniques to cultivate food. Two of them also participated in an intergenerational panel discussion for one of our partner’s retreats that was awesome and also became member-owners at co-op!
Wealth Building Wednesdays continue on FB Live and WBFZ. Check it out every Wednesday and this Interview!
As a part of our sustainable tourism work, the tourism Roundtable that we started continues to move forward. Check some of the work out on MSNBC in January as a part of National Day of Racial Healing!
This principle is all about how we make our collective vocation, building and developing our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
One of the partnerships we are very proud of is between Wallace Community College Selma’s (WCCS) Workforce Development program and the Violence Intervention Program at the SCNTR. Through this partnership, clients at the SCNTR will have the opportunity to enroll in workforce development courses at WCCS as a way to move into providing a more positive and productive benefit to the community. We believe the best way to stop a bullet is with purpose!
This principle instructs us to do always as much as we can to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Did you know that restorative justice uses what we have in common (like values) to ensure that everyone has what they need? That’s creativity! We led 12 Restorative Justice training and many more circles. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information! Check this Selma RJ Video out to see us at work!
Do you know about the Alternative Break Program offered by the SCNTR? In 2022 the SCNTR hosted groups from around the country to come and learn from the people of Selma. While they are in town groups participate in training, engage in community service and beautification activities, and spend time talking and sharing stories with the living legends of the voting rights movement. Are you a part of a group that would like to come to Selma?
This is the principle that emphasizes the full belief, with all our hearts, in our people and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
At the core of the SCNTR, and everything we do, are the principles and practice of Kingian Nonviolence. There are six key principles in the training with number six being the philosophy that “the universe is on the side of justice”. This is to suggest that no matter how dark a situation may be, no matter how unfair a reality may seem, the universe will balance and find justice. This is the principle of faith, determination, and righteousness.
This year, the SCNTR offered a variety of ways for people to participate in nonviolence training from virtual portals to in-person gatherings. Our next one is February 27- March 3 right before the Bridge Crossing Jubilee. Join Dr. Bernard LaFayette and his team!
Make sure you are subscribed to the SCNTR newsletter and stay up to date on all of the great ways that you can get involved!
Happy Holidays and Happy Kwanzaa!