June 18, 2024 Member News

 ROOTS Week 2018. Photo by Mel Cardona.


Member News: Register for ROOTS Week 2024!

In This Issue:


ROOTS Week 2018. Photo by mel cardona.

“GO BACK AND GET IT” Members-only Registration Now Open for ROOTS Week 2024! 


  • 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.)

ROOTS Week takes place Tuesday, August 13 – Sunday, August 18, 2024, at Lutheridge Conference Center in Arden, NC. ROOTS Week is a time for us to come together, connect, create, and stir up beautiful energy! This year, get ready to dive into our theme: Southern Soil: Sankofa Seeds. 

“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.

Sankofa is like a heartbeat echoing through our roots, reminding us to look back before we leap forward. Picture us like that Sankofa bird, honoring where we’ve been as we spread our wings towards a brighter tomorrow.

At ROOTS Week 2024:

We’ll belt out tunes together, our voices vibrating as one with nature. We’ll swap stories and celebrate each other’s art. We’ll lead discussions, soak up wisdom, and build bridges stretching from the past, to this moment, and onward!

As we wade through the madness of so many current atrocities worldwide, let’s find the joy in our hearts and the strength in our souls – together. Come to Lutheridge and let’s sow these seeds of change and watch them grow into a glorious tomorrow.

You are welcome back!Questions? Please email or call: rootsweek@alternateroots.org or 404-577-1079 x 306.


ROOTS Week 2017. 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

Email Us (membership@alternateroots.org)




Nanih Bvlbancha Indigenous earthworks project on the Lafitte Greenway, so-called New Orleans, May 2024. This project is an Intertribal collective stewarding the building of Nanih Bvlbancha as one of Prospect New Orleans’ Artists of Public Memory initiatives. For the latest info, follow them on IG: @NanihBvlbancha. Photo by Brandon Keller. 

Alternate ROOTS’ Indigenous Working Circle Seeks Participants

Alternate ROOTS’ Cultural Organizing Team is supporting the formation of an Indigenous Working Circle. This working circle will be a space where we amplify the art and organizing happening in Southern Indigenous communities. How that looks can be directed by us, and will take a fuller, more defined shape over time and collaboration. There will be an effort as well to establish an intentional Two-Spirit space for collaboration and support.

Please fill out THIS FORM if this working circle interests you! 

Resources for Two-Spirit People: Ida Aronson recently published a resource page on Bvlbancha Public Access. Ida Aronson is a citizen of the United Houma Nation (UHN), a member of the Houma Language Project and the Okla Hina Ikhish Holo network, and a founding member of the Bvlbancha Collective and Bvlbancha Public Access. Aronson is a multimedia artivist working across visual arts fields, lighting design and event production, and cultural crafts such as basket weaving. 


ROOTS Week 2017. 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 2nd 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 and ADVOCACY


As a part of Alternate ROOTS’s commitment to dismantle 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.

Go HERE for an ongoing list of Advocacy Opportunities & Resources:

If you have events, organizations, or opportunities you think other folks should know about, please submit them here. The list below is far from complete. Our Justice Advocacy Fellow will keep adding to it through independent research, but we know our members’ collective knowledge is an invaluable resource for keeping us all informed.


Participants in ROOTS Weekend Rhizome: Berea, KY from Alternate ROOTS on Vimeo.

WE KEEP US SAFE: Protecting our Community Gatherings Skillshare at ROOTS Weekend Rhizome: Berea, KY

How do artists and activists gather safely in Eastern Kentucky and other places?

This question was a generative starting point for the October 2023 ROOTS Rhizome Weekend in Berea, Kentucky, and it resonated particularly strongly for many folks who gathered in a room looking out onto the misty autumn foothills of Appalachia. The  entire reason we were in Berea for one day instead of at the Pine Mountain Settlement School in Harlan County for a full weekend was because of safety concerns for our people. You can learn more about the white/Christian supremacist intimidation experienced by our Southern arts and movement partners, Waymakers Collective (including many ROOTS members) in this article.

ROOTS Weekend: Harlan County was canceled in September 2023 because we were not able to find a safe and accessible meeting space in Kentucky for a large group on short notice.

As a group, we decided instead to focus on a one-day learning exchange about Community Safety as a way of actively engaging the genuine threats that are faced by artists and activists in the US South: especially BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA people. We were guided in this process by Malcolm Davis, 3rd Generation ROOTS member, and Berea resident, who was also present at Pine Mountain Settlement School during the Waymakers Gathering. To extend the learning, we are sharing some of the questions, practices, and strategies that are on our minds as we plan gatherings centering social and racial justice. 

Read more on the ROOTS Blog HERE 

ROOTS Weekend Rhizome: Berea KY participants, October 2023. Photo by Garrett Blaize



—————————-—————MEMBER OFFERINGS


Who: Carrie Brunk
What: Application Open for Ridgeway Transformative Leadership
When: Cohort: Fall 2024. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the cohort is full / apply by July 15, 2024 to ensure consideration.
Where: In-person at state parks throughout eastern Kentucky
More info: email cb@clearcreekcreative.net
Website: ridgewayleadership.net

Ridgeway is an immersive year-long cohort experience for leaders in Kentucky or Appalachia at any stage of life and across all sectors who are looking to “level up” in their personal, interpersonal, and network development. ROOTS family, artists and creatives are encouraged to apply & request subsidy. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the cohort is full: apply by July 15 to ensure consideration for the 2024-25 cohort beginning this fall. Application link, more info, photos & reflections from 75 past participants at ridgewayleadership.net.

Who: Malinda Lowery
What: 6th Annual Lumbee Film Festival
When: Saturday July 5, 2024 7:30pm ET
Where: Pembroke, NC during Lumbee Homecoming
More info: email dan@cucalorus.org or kim@kimpevia.org.
Website: https://lumbeefilmfestival.eventive.org/welcome
Instagram: @lumbeeland_film

Malinda Lowery is a ROOTS member who got a 2022 Artistic Assistance: Professional Development partnership grant for her film Lumbeeland which is premiering at the Lumbee Film Festival curated by Kim Pevia (also ROOTS member) as part of Cucalorus.  

Who: Kristen Cox
What: Summer Retreat Availability at Respite in the Round
When: July 2024
Where: 5680 Hobgood Road. Rougemont, NC 27572
More info: email respiteintheround@gmail.com
Website: Respite in the Round Amenities, Calendar, Book Here
Instagram: @respiteintheroundnc

This July, come take a dip in Cub Creek under old, hardwood trees in a rare forest of the Piedmont of North Carolina. Respite Roundhouse sleeps 6 – 8 plus more camping. Access to Chef’s Kitchen, extensive VHS collection, forest trail, two ponds, fire pit, and wood, 600 sq foot barn with table saw as maker space, and much more!

Who: carole frances lung
What: Radical Caftan Workshop
When: July 22-24, 10 am – 1 pm, EST
Where: Provincetown Art Association and Museum, 460 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657
More info: Email carolefranceslung66@gmail.com
Website: radicalcaftan.com

Join in making your very own Radical Caftan! A vision of change and radical break from the business-of-fashion-as-usual, the caftan can be worn by people of any gender, age, or size, and in any climate. The radical caftan rejects the discipline of the body by providing free movement and minimal restriction for the wearer. Using yardage, upcycled, and found materials, participants will learn basic caftan pattern drafting, sewing, and embellishment techniques. No sewing experience necessary and all levels welcome. We will complete the caftans just in time to parade them for P-town’s Wednesday Tea Dance. radicalcaftan.com

Who: Ashley Wilkerson
What: Reverence: Poems and Meditations
When: Available Now
Where: Order HERE
More info: artloveashley@gmail.com
Website: www.loveashleywilkerson.com
Instagram & Facebook: @loveashleywilkerson, @brotherbreathe, @reverencepoems

Reverence: Poems and Meditations – A powerful collection of poems and meditations about healing, love, and radical transformations. Photos by Carlos Vincent, Book Design Kijana Martin.

Excerpt from “Knuckles”

My eight-times-great-Granddaddy
Had knuckles the size of plums
From picking, plowing, and plotting.
He studied the language of the ocean
& taught himself how to meditate
Inside a floating casket.

Who: Higher Ground in Harlan
What: Higher Ground 10: Angels Unaware (Performance) and MAMAW Festival
When: Higher Ground 10: Angels Unaware Performances July 19, 20, 21 and 26, 27, 28. MAMAW Festival: Saturday, July 27
Where: Downtown Harlan, KY
More info: MAMAW on Facebook
Website: Higher Ground in Harlan
Instagram: @highergroundinharlan/

Mark your calendars to attend MAMAW Fest: Mountains of Appalachian Music Arts and Wellness Festival taking place all day, on July 27th, on the streets of downtown Harlan. A celebration of community care, the day will feature local artists, vendors, musicians, and healthcare providers and culminate in an evening performance of Angels Unaware, the 10th theater production of local arts collective, Higher Ground – written, performed, and created by local community members.


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 June 1, and it will be shared in the June 18 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.