TRANSFORMATIVE ORGANIZING & GRASSROOTS LEADERSHIP FOR REAL POLITICAL POWER.
MISSION AND WORK
Racial Justice Action Center (RJAC)'s mission is to engage in transformative organizing to build the grassroots leadership, power, and capacity of marginalized communities to win political, economic, and social transformation in the Atlanta Metro Area. We engage in intensive leadership development, campaign-based organizing, strategic policy advocacy, and movement building (framed by our political and historical context) in order to advance a collective vision of a radically restructured society, where justice exists for all people.
Our primary work has been to support & incubate our grassroots projects, Women on the Rise and the Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative, investing in their membership & the campaigns they wage. We also previously incubated the Atlanta/ Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative. RJAC has been proud to serve as a "doula" for such amazing formations, all of which have since spun off into their own independent organizations. RJAC also co-led the Communities Over Cages: Close the Jail ATL Campaign with Women on the Rise and continues to work with the Reimagine Atlanta City Detention Center Taskforce, serving on the Advisory Committee and continuing the work to fully implement campaign goals.
We will be taking 2020 to reflect on the last 7 years of organizing and document our powerful work.
We envision a transformed society where justice and liberation exist for all people. We envision a society where women and families are safe from all forms of violence, where a bold and vibrant democracy flourishes, and where our communities are truly interdependent. We believe that, given this country’s history of slavery, convict leasing, chain gangs, and mass incarceration, societal transformation requires an end to the criminalization of our communities, particularly throughout the American South. We believe that an end to criminalization requires concrete policy changes end the reliance on prisons, detention centers and police as a way of addressing underlying social problems. Instead, we want state resources to focus on policies and programs that truly make us safe - high quality education, adequate health care, affordable housing, and living wage jobs. We believe that strong community organizing – including deep leadership development and savvy campaigns -- is the most powerful strategy our communities have to achieve this vision. We believe the key to building a broad and powerful membership base is carrying out sharp policy campaigns to win concrete changes that improve the lives of our membership, while simultaneously cultivating and developing the leadership brought forward by such campaigns. We also believe uniting the “new majority” – forging powerful and deep connections between Black and Latino residents as well as other residents of color and progressive whites to build real political power.
RJAC’s model of organizing emphasizes deep leadership development to facilitate transformation on an individual, community and societal level. This approach is being developed by seasoned organizers who have identified the strengths and weaknesses of traditional social justice organizing and are working to create a model that is more effective, sustainable, democratic and is led by poor and working class people of color. We are working very hard to build a people-centered organization that deeply understands the role of healing, trauma, and oppression (internalized and externalized) in our communities and organizations and which seeks to practice what it preaches in terms of democracy, transparency, and building a culture of empowerment.