Commentary:  A Democracy North Carolina summer brings grassroots experience

Commentary:  A Democracy North Carolina summer brings grassroots experience
July 09
00:00 2015

In above photo: From (L-R) are Vashti Hinton, Keith Chappelle and Amanda Billips. (Submitted photo)

By Vashti Hinton, Keith Chappelle and Amanda Billips

This summer, Linda Sutton, a proud native of Winston-Salem, N.C. and known freedom fighter, is working with three brilliant college students in the Piedmont Triad area.
Her goal is to expose us to the world of full-time organizing and all that it entails, and how to work together with various people in the Triad.
From phone banking to canvassing downtown, we have been able to do it all.
As interns for Democracy North Carolina, a nonprofit and non-partisan organization, we have focused on civic engagement, research and advocacy.  
While this summer may be the busiest summer of them all because of the federal court hearing on North Carolina’s voter suppression laws [scheduled for July 13], we are truly enjoying ourselves.
We have met with elected officials, community leaders, and many members of their community. Each day presents something new, and the foundation is being laid for us to continue community organizing after the internship comes to an end. 

“This summer has been extremely busy, but I have learned and am still learning how valuable grassroots organizing is. People don’t understand what it takes to be at the very root of it all, doing all the dirty work because you believe in a better tomorrow.”
– Vashti Hinton

“It is at the heart of the community where change emerges. This is something I learned from studying history and political science, but I have been able to experience this firsthand through my internship. If you want to bring about change for the better, it is imperative that you have the active support of your community.” 
– Keith Chappelle

“We really do not realize what things entail until you are actually doing the hands-on, grassroots work yourself. You cannot complain about how things are if you are not engaged yourself. I urge you to get involved immediately, for if you don’t, as my supervisor often reminds us, ‘for evil flourishes when good people do nothing’. Our democracy depends on your participation.”
– Amanda Billips 

For more information, contact Linda Sutton at 336-870-2168.

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