In the past weeks, our team has made great progress in our goals to increase outreach to rural communities. Just last week we met with the Native American Intertribal Counsel in Hoke County. We were invited into their community meeting area where they hold meetings, movie nights, and various other gatherings. We had the opportunity to explain what Democracy NC does and we also learned about the goals and initiatives of the Native American Intertribal Counsel. A small group of 6 community members gathered around a round table to engage in open dialog about the issues they see in their communities and the changes they would like to see occur to confront those issues. They talked about issues ranging from police brutality to restricted access to public assistance.
The progression of the conversation led to stories about family genealogy and hardships they experience as natives. One of the highlights of the meeting was when the Chief of the Counsel spoke of his personal conflict between who he identifies himself to be and who outsiders want him to be. His comments opened the door for conversation about the efforts there have been to gain rights for all people and the work that continues to be done to sustain those rights. As a whole, the members of the Intertribal Counsel were enthusiastic about learning about ways to engage their community in efforts to address some of their most pressing issues. Three of the six members expressed interest in attending our Pathways to Power Training in July and we were invited back to speak to a larger group and make some concrete plans about how Democracy NC can support some of their community initiatives.
This was our first meeting with the Tribal Counsel and I felt welcomed and comforted by smiling faces and southern hospitality. It excites me to know that people are very responsive to the efforts we make to provide resources for their communities. This experience reminded me that it is important to remember all communities and take advantage of the collaborative opportunities to address the issues that are most important to us all.
Khristian Curry – Fayetteville Team