In Solidarity Against HB2: Why ROOTS Isn’t Boycotting North Carolina

Photo taken by Elainiel Baldwin at an HB2 Action on March 24. To view the full album, click here. 

This spring, we have seen legislation rise up in our region and across our country, that allows the state and citizens to discriminate against our Trans, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Queer siblings. Alternate ROOTS is opposed to these hateful laws – laws like North Carolina’s HB2 and Mississippi’s HB1523. We as a community of TLGBQ folks and their allies are in full solidarity with all those who are resisting this movement to diminish the lives of TLGBQ people in the South and beyond.

Across the nation, municipalities, states, companies, organizations, and individuals have called for a boycott of states that enact this type of legislation. For ROOTS – an organization committed to the South and our community – boycotting is not a simple option. This is our region, this is our home; our members are fighting these struggles at the grassroots level, in their personal and public lives, individually and alongside broad coalitions, such as the Southern People’s Initiatives(i). If we were to boycott North Carolina – where our annual ROOTS Week is held – this act would hurt the people and communities most negatively impacted by the bill. It wouldn’t hurt the governor, lawmakers, or the powerful entities that are working to spread this type of legislation across our region and country.

Instead, we will bring the full force of ourselves, our values, our artistry, our organizing, our commitment to eliminating all forms of oppression everywhere, to the mountains of North Carolina in August. We will draw power and purpose from this collective celebration of our 40th anniversary, and build ourselves up for the next 40. We hope you will join us there.

ROOTS Week is sold out, but you can join the waitlist here. Our 40th Anniversary ROOTS Reunion – which takes place within ROOTS Week, on August 12-13 – still has space available; register for ROOTS Reunion here.


(i): The Southern Peoples Initiatives springs out of the Southern Movement Assembly: a broad based coalition of which Alternate ROOTS is an anchor organization. Through the Southern People’s Initiative, “organizations are coordinating across borders and beyond single issues to demand justice and to build a better world” believing that “it will take a people’s movement to dismantle injustice and build a new economy, a true democracy, and protected communities.” One of the three initiatives is Protect & Defend Initiative to End State Violence. This initiative speaks directly to the oppression made legal in laws like NC-HB2 and MS-1523, positions TLGBTQ discrimination within a broad framework of state sponsored violence, and calls for a coordinated effort to reduce and eventually eliminate state violence in all its forms. To learn more about the Southern People’s Initiatives visit


Alternate ROOTS supports the creation and presentation of original art that is rooted in communities of place, tradition or spirit. We are a group of artists and cultural organizers based in the South creating a better world together. As Alternate ROOTS, we call for social and economic justice and are working to dismantle all forms of oppression—everywhere.