In This Moment:
An Update from Project South





Greetings Project South Family!

Every day, in every corner of the world, marginalized people experience grave injustice. Persecution of Palestinians reveals Israeli police using the same brutality tactics Black and Brown folks endure in the U.S. Profit-driven health care is leaving poor folks from Argentina to Appalachia locked out of access to treatment, testing and vaccination amid a continuing coronavirus pandemic. Millions in communities in Tigray are being displaced by political violence while millions here also face displacement as an eviction crisis looms. 
Yet, even in the midst of the chaos, we must remember to look to our victories for motivation. We must be fueled by each small step toward our liberation, to counter the moments when change seems impossible. And we must always stand and work in solidarity with the people – whether next door, or oceans and miles away, we are all connected by our struggles and our progress. 

We are glad to have you as a part of the Project South family and we look forward to sharing more throughout 2021! Take a look back below at some of the wins we've been inspired by this summer.

In unity, in resistance, and in the spirit of collective work and responsibility,

Project South Staff Team


This Pride Month – and every day – Project South celebrates queer and trans folks and honors all whose lives and work revive our resistance.

We lift up folks like Pauli Murray, a quiet force behind the legal successes of the Civil Rights Movement who created paths for non-binary folks & was an early philosopher of what is now called intersectionality. Bayard Rustin, the architect of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Marsha P. Johnson, whose courage ignited the Stonewall Riots and opened doors through which Black trans and queer folks still walk. Like James Baldwin. Audre Lorde. Raquel Willis. Miss Major. Phill Wilson. And all the folks who dare to live out loud in the fight for liberation for us all. We are grateful.

Take a look at our June #Pride series below! Click the photo for a full bio about each person.

Pauli Murray, civil rights attorney, organizer, professor, Episcopal priest

Marsha P. Johnson, queer and trans rights activist, queen of drag, Stonewall veteran, STAR co-founder

Audre Lorde, writer, poet, womanist, librarian, activist, teacher

James Baldwin, novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, oracle

Bayard Rustin, organizer, strategist, nonviolent resistance philosopher

Raquel Willis, nonprofit media strategist, writer, speaker, trans rights activist

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, trans rights activist, Stonewall veteran, advocate for incarcerated folks


Phill Wilson, HIV/AIDS educator, activist, writer, founder of the Black AIDS Institute


Together, we #ShutDownIrwin. 

On Monday, June 28, we continued the fight to shut down all of Georgia's deadly detention centers and abolish ICE once and for all.

We testified on a global stage at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hearing, followed by a roundtable discussion (video below) with Wendy Dowe and Brenda Ramirez, both survivors of the atrocities at Irwin County Detention Center; Karina Jiménez, sister of Jean Carlos Jiménez-Jospeh, who suffered abuse and died by suicide after being illegally placed in solitary confinement at Stewart County Detention Center in 2017; Project South Staff Attorney Priyanka Bhatt, who has interviewed dozens of folks detained at Irwin and Stewart to document its human rights violations; Professor Sarah Paoletti, the Director of the Transnational Legal Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law; Setareh Ghandehari, Advocacy Director at the Detention Watch Network; Congressman Adriano Espaillat of New York; and Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia.

This came after Project South filed a complaint documenting human rights violations at Irwin in September 2020, and years of grassroots organizing. The courage of the immigrant women incarcerated there, a nurse whistleblower, and Georgia-based movement organizations exposed medical neglect and forced sterilizations.

During the hearing on June 28, commissioners declared that migrants had been subjected to torture at ICE prisons and called for reparations. 



Project South Organizer Bassey Etuk (pictured at the Demilitarize Atlanta 2 Palestine rally, June 12) spoke in solidarity with the Palestinian Youth Movement.

We demand divestment and the end of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE), a militarized training program where the brutal Israeli Defense Force trains Atlanta police in tactics that terrorize, violate, and kill our people.



Project South and the Hunger Coalition of Atlanta commemorated Juneteenth – the day in 1865, when enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas finally received news of the Emancipation Proclamation – with a day of remembrance and renewal. Our celebration – a tradition for more than 20 years at 9 Gammon –honored the land and the harvest that nourishes our people with tours of and picking from Umoja Garden; and celebrated community with group activities and a memorial for those we have lost over the past year. 

Learn more with our Juneteenth timeline that traces our people's historic and ongoing resistance to enslavement, police, and militarization in the legacy of the Black Radical Tradition.

"The Federal Government has just now caught up to our people's long-standing recognition of our Emancipation Day, and they are not to be glorified or vindicated by this decision. This decision is the outcome of movement work ... We support the Federal recognition because we know who fought for and made it possible. We support this national holiday because it is part of our larger struggle to recognize the global impact of a transatlantic slave trade that continues to deny Black people basic human rights and continues to result in the majority of our people living in poverty and economic precarity."


Black Radio Project Spotlight 

"The Blues is the root, everything else is the fruit."

That's the philosophy behind the Jus' Blues Foundation's years of gathering, said Allen Johnson. "Our events tell the history of our music – the real history, our own way."

The foundation is the vision of Charles Mitchell, a longtime songwriter, artist manager, record label owner, publisher and more, who founded Jus' Blues in 1995. Johnson co-produces the foundation's annual conference and awards with Mitchell and the Jus' Blues team.

The foundation works to celebrate and preserve Blues heritage through cultural arts, events, and recognition of Blues artists who continue to expand the sounds and style of the traditional genre.

Project South is honored to partner with the foundation for its annual "Blues Got a Soul" Technology Conference Aug. 28, which provides historical Blues education to youth and performing artists throughout the U.S. and around the world; and its 21st annual Jus' Blues Music Awards, "Night of the Living Legends," on Aug. 29.

"There wasn't always space for us, so we created our own," Johnson said. "We give awards to Black artists. We celebrate the musicians that the mainstream won't even recognize, but we also know we don't need their recognition."

This year's honorees include Sugar Pie DeSanto, Mary Lane, Leon Blue, Thornetta Davis and Cyreio, among others whose award categories range from Lifetime Legend to Blues Radio Personality, with many awards named after greats like Bobby Blue Bland, Millie Jackson, and Little Milton. The conference presenters share ways to better promote, protect, market, sell and get music heard in today’s digital world, according to Johnson. The youth programs also provide scholarships for students seeking further music education, and pairs them with mentors from the business.

The Jus' Blues Foundation is a living ode to the survival of Black music styles – with the Blues birthing many others – and the survival of our people. As the new theme for the conference goes, Johnson said, "From Timbuktu to today, the Blues will never die."

For more information, to attend the virtual events, or to donate, click the flier or button below!


Here are a few other highlights from 2021 so far!

>>> Launched and cultivated the Public Health Movement Advisory Council. A council of medical practitioners, educators, organizers, and scientists meets weekly and provides a deep level of scaffolding for community organizing and public health protocols in a time of disinformation.

>>> With Crescent City Media Group & the Civic Action Center, we completed the first full Southern Pre-Redistricting Lab led by and for Black organizers, city council members, and county officials across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

>>> Completed Black Futures Matter: Civic Life, Health, and Equity, a free seven-month certificate course, with over 80 grassroots community leaders, taught by university professors and movement scholars. This experience was a partnership between Project South, Southern Echo and Tufts University Department of Race, Colonialism and Democracy.

>>> Launched the Repair the Harm Project and provided movement-informed emotional support to survivors of Irwin County Detention Center in over five countries within the healing justice framework.

>>> Research & learning project in collaboration with a professor and student from Trinity College to produce a popular education toolkit and share the history of our neighborhoods and organizational work connected to our global partnerships.



>>> Continued negotiations with the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta to transfer the title and deed of 9 Gammon Mutual Aid Liberation Center and land back to the community as part of a long term, place-making, and community development racial justice and equity project.

>>> Continued to support the Umoja Garden and food distribution efforts of the Hunger Coalition of Atlanta with hundreds of food deliveries and educational materials to economically impacted community members.

>>> Participated in the Southern Movement Assembly's People's First 100 Days which included a rapid response to the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol with a Southern Movement Mass Meeting on January 9, weekly organizing calls, and a successful #SouthernPeoplesPower weekend on April 9-11. The weekend saw 38 coordinated actions across 11 states, including our car caravan to mark historical sites in South Atlanta that remember the 1906 race massacre and celebrate the resistance of the Black community of Brownsville where Project South has been located for over 25 years.

Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty & Genocide
9 Gammon Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30315 | (404) 622-0602 |


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