July 1, 2024 Member News

ROOTS Week 2023, photo by Mel Cardona



In This Issue: 


ROOTS Week 2023, photo by Mel Cardona



  • Click HERE to register WITH on-campus lodging. (You WILL stay at Lutheridge.) 
  • Click HERE to register WITHOUT lodging. (You WON’T stay at Lutheridge.)

Whether you’re a seasoned ROOTS member or new to ROOTS, we welcome you with open hearts. Come join us as we sow the seeds of change together!

From Tuesday, August 13 – Sunday, August 18, 2024, at Lutheridge Conference Center, Arden, NC we’re gathering once again to create community, share our stories, and bask in the beauty of our collective resilience. Picture it: hundreds of voices singing in harmony, art filling the air, hugs exchanged, and discussions that light up the night.

This year’s theme, Southern Soil: Sankofa Seeds, calls us to honor our roots, reclaim our past, and nurture the seeds of change. ‘Sankofa’ is an Akan word from the Twi language of Ghana, meaning “Go Back and Get It.” The phrase is often accompanied by an image of a bird walking forward while looking back in the direction from which it has just come and holding an egg in its beak. The 2024 ROOTS Week theme celebrates who we are and where we’re going—a testament to our unwavering commitment to justice and liberation.

Questions or issues with registration? Email rootsweek@alternateroots.org or call

(404) 975-1856. 




2024-2025 ExComm Slate

Executive Committee Slate for 2024-2025

The Executive Committee, affectionately called “ExComm” is your elected body of representatives who make decisions on behalf of the full board of directors of Alternate ROOTS, which includes 200+ voting members. ExComm meets by video-call monthly throughout the year to address organizational needs, offer member feedback, and provide governance and strategic direction.

The nomination process for 2024-2025 began in November 2023 with the formation of a Nominating Committee and a careful and intentional process of crafting invitations, calling for nominations, and recruiting individuals. The Nominating Committee evaluated nominations and conducted interviews in order to arrive at this amazing slate of ROOTS members who are volunteering for additional leadership in ROOTS.

Chairperson – Keryl McCord (she/her) | Charlotte, NC
President – Sara Green (she/her) New Orleans, LA
Treasurer – Priscilla Smith (she/her) | Atlanta, GA
Secretary – Abigail Gomez (she/her/ella) Winchester, VA
At-large Member – Don Harrell (he/him) Winter Garden, FL
At-large Member – Corey Staten (he/him) Portsmouth, VA
At-large Member – Taylore Adams (she/her/they/them) Norfolk, VA
At-large Member – ShaLeigh Comeford (she/her) Rougemount, NC
At-large Member – Andre Love (he/him) – Norfolk, VA
At-large Member – Andrea Assaf (she/her) – Tampa, FL
At-large Member – Carolyn Sommers (she/her) – New Orleans, LA
At-large Member – Justice Von Maur (she/her) – Savannah, GA
At-large Member – Lauren Fitzgerald (she/her) – TN
At-large Member – Victoria Rae Moore (she/her) – Charleston, SC
At-large Member – Omari Fox – (he/him) – Savannah, Georgia

Online Voting opens mid-July, and there will be an in-person vote during ROOTS Week 2024. Keep an eye on your email for an announcement about online voting!


ROOTED Reflections: You Give Me Life! by Andre Love

As we gear up for ROOTS Week 2024, join us in revisiting some memorable ROOTS Weeks past through our “ROOTED Reflections” series. First up, we’re featuring Andre Love and his powerful reflections on community and resilience:

“As ROOTS members, we absorb our counterparts’ offerings, distribute the knowledge of the collective, provide storage of each conversation that acted as a nutrient to our community, and serve as an anchor for any friend that may feel like they are losing grip with the earth. We hold each other up, pour into each other, provide shelter, and love each other back to life. This weekend was the embodiment of nature’s perfect design. When we stop for a second, tap into source energy, remember that we are not in this alone, and connect, we will live forever in our collective truth. That Truth will ring when we become ancestors. Peace, Love, and ROOTS!”

  • Andre Love

Explore this narrative firsthand. Click HERE to read the full article!

The ROOTS Weekend Norfolk VA Family at Ocean View Beach during ROOTS Week Norfolk, August 2022. Photo by Robert Fields.


InDeep, Volume 2, Article 1: Curating Joy: An Artistic Odyssey Toward Healing with ROOTer King Shakur

“I am most excited about being a father and husband and helping people heal through the arts.” -King Shakur

InDeep is Alternate ROOTS’ magazine highlighting dope ROOTers and their dope work. InDeep explores the intersection of art, life, and community activism. In our first issue of 2024, we are thrilled to speak with ROOTS voting member and recent 2023 Partners In Action partner cohort member, King Shakur. King is the founder of Volunteering While Black and the Vice President of Partnerships, Programs, and Engagement for 2 Inspire Peace, a non-profit, art-inspired healing collective based in Dallas, TX. He is also the creator of the program He Gone Cry In The Car, an artistic exploration of Black Male pain through art, conversations, and commerce.

King describes himself as “a South Dallas kid with a passion for community, arts, food, and travel.” He is a poet, DJ, and professional recruiter. “I have been writing poetry since I was 12, and have been a DJ for the past seven years. I am most excited about being a father and husband and helping people heal through the arts.” Alternate ROOTS staffer Aimee McCoy chatted with King about his odyssey from artist to activist while he was in motion on the Dallas streets, on his daily father’s journey of after-school pick-up.

Click HERE to read the full article, including photos.


ROOTS Week 2019. Photo by Mel Cardona

Coming Soon! New ROOTS Membership Benefits & Responsibilities

Membership Workgroup seeks feedback on the updated ROOTS Membership criteria, responsibilities, and benefits, to be unveiled in the July 15 Member News. The membership workgroup has been working closely with the Membership Team since September 2023 to develop an improved way of doing ROOTS membership. ROOTS membership impacts individuals and the organization as a whole. They’ve taken feedback and suggestions from members and designed a new and improved membership structure. Keep an eye out for the July 15 Member News for a full list of updated member benefits, criteria, & responsibilities.

Here’s a sneak peek:

  • New benefit: Robust Member Profiles and Member Portal on new Alternate ROOTS website
  • New benefit: Members will be eligible for subsidies to travel and participate in one Face-to-Face ExComm meeting per year as at-large board members
  • New responsibility: all General Members must attend New Member Orientation before they can enjoy the benefits of ROOTS membership

Questions? Email membership@alternateroots.org or call (404) 577-1079 EXT. 302


ROOTS Week 2019. Photo by mel cardona.

Upcoming ExComm Meetings 

ALL members of Alternate ROOTS are invited to attend meetings of the Executive Committee and participate in governance! ExComm meetings are on the first Tuesdays of the month.

Upcoming dates:

Tuesday, July 2 at 5:30pm ET

Tuesday, August 6 at 5:30pm ET

The current Zoom link is listed below:

Join Zoom Meeting HERE
Meeting ID: 862 8928 5127
Passcode: 198730

If you have any issues accessing the Zoom meeting, please e-mail Marina at: marina@alternateroots.org.


——————————————Arts & Advocacy


Opportunities for Activism & Advocacy!

As a part of Alternate ROOTS’s commitment to dismantling all forms of oppression, we collaborate with our membership to provide a running list of advocacy and activism opportunities and resources at the local, state, regional, and national levels.

Access the ongoing list of Advocacy Opportunities & Resources HERE.

These resources have been gathered by Brooks Emanuel, our new Justice Advocacy Fellow. Brooks is here to connect you with crucial organizing, activism, and advocacy opportunities. Help him keep our community informed by sharing events, advocacy opportunities, and critical developments in your area. Check out this awesome video about his work on Alternate ROOTS’ Instagram!


Plug Your Events on Social & Member News!

The Alternate ROOTS Community wants to support your events. Here is how to get the word out through our channels:

Member News Email: To share your announcement in the Member News, please fill out this form by the first day of the month. Submit news by August 1, and it will be shared in the July 19 Member News.

Alternate ROOTS Facebook Group: If you want to share something on a shorter time frame, please join the private ROOTS members Facebook group where you can share your news with over 500 ROOTers in real time

Alternate ROOTS Instagram Repost:

  1. Send a Direct Message (DM) with your graphic (JPG) to @alternateroots on Instagram. 
  2. Please include your name as it appears in your membership profile.
  3. We will add your graphic to our stories, and tag your Instagram handle.
  4. Please give the Communications Team 2-5 business days to post.
  5. Feel free to tag us in posts or stories, however if you want to be included in  @alternateroots (on Instagram) stories you must DM us.


——————————————Office Hours at ROOTS 


Operations Team Office Hours

The Operations Team provides the resources that staff members and teams need to perform their duties, and ensure that our organization is complying with legal and financial requirements on our road to fulfilling our mission. We are responsible for:

  • Human Resources
  • Legal & Finance Compliance
  • Budget Management
  • Providing Resources for Staff

Office Hours: Thursdays from 12 – 1pm ET
404-577-1079 #301
Email Us (marina@alternateroots.org)

Cultural Organizing Team Office Hours

The Cultural Organizing Team maintains in-person and virtual relationships with existing members and partner organizations across 14 states by hosting ROOTS Week, ROOTS Weekends, Porch Sits, Coffee Pop-Ups, Phone Calls, Emails, and Zoom Sessions.

  • CO Team sits on the Governance Council of Southern Movement Assembly, is a lead partner in the Southern Power Fund, a partner organization of the Intercultural Leadership Institute, and represents ROOTS’ in the field via ROOTS’ Justice Advocacy Fellow who serves as a pipeline to the organizing efforts of our members.
  • We manage year-round programming for the Intercultural Leadership Institute and support member-led workgroups across various stages of development (e.g. YOOTS, UpROOTing Ableism, Gender Equity, Indigenous Working Circle, Heal/Teal, etc.)

Office Hours: Mondays from 11:30am – 1:30pm ET
(404) 975-1856
Email Us (programming@alternateroots.org)

Membership Team Office Hours

During office hours, the Membership team can be reached by phone to answer any questions and assist with any membership matters.

Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday: 11am – 2pm ET
(404) 577-1079 EXT. 302
Email Us (membership@alternateroots.org)

Communications Team Office Hours

Want to reach out to a Communications staff person?

Office Hours: Thursday: 9am – 11am ET
(404) 577-1079 EXT. 303
Email Us (communications@alternateroots.org)


Have news you want to share with your fellow ROOTS members? Fill out this form! 






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.