Thursday, July 31, 2014

Jailed For Justice Tour: Day 3 Henry County

Day three saw us coming to Shiloh Baptist church in Henry County. Big thanks to Shiloh Baptist not only for hosting us but for all the great work they do for struggling families in the area. While we were there we witnessed dozens of families receiving free groceries, back to school supplies and warm meals.

Our crowd was a little smaller but extremely engaged and excited about building the moral movement that Henry County needs. Lorraine Fontana kicked off the tour by talking about her long path from a northern Yankee with a passion for justice, to a southerner willing to go to jail to repeal Georgia’s stand your ground law and again to pressure Governor Deal to expand Medicaid in Georgia. Ron Allen, who joined Lorraine on both trips to jail, also talked about why he was willing to spend a night in jail to shine a spot light on injustice. Neil Sardana, the son of Indian immigrants, never though he would be willing to go to jail, but he shared that his conscious wouldn’t allow him to stand on the sidelines while Governor Deal denied healthcare to 650k Georgians.

One of the most exciting things about our Henry County stop was the willingness of Henry County residents to start of Moral Monday group to begin building infrastructure for change that doesn’t exist there.

Henry County is described as a commuter community, which means folks spend a lot of time driving to and from Atlanta. One struggle folks often have in commuter communities is capacity. The time poverty associated with a daily long commute means less time to get involved in the community, less time to connect with neighbors. One of the problems described by folks is that there are a lot of small groups initiating important projects and talking about great idea, but not a space where folks can come together. Our hoping is that a Moral Monday like coalition to make that space available, that is one of our goals for this tour, to bring groups that could be wielding more power together.

Forward together, as we often say, means our destinies are connected. As at each stop before we ended with a call to join us on August 23rdfor a Moral March on Georgia.

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