May 21, 2024 Member News

In This Issue: 


ROOTS Week 2014. Photographer unkown.

Present at ROOTS Week 2024! Applications Due Friday, June 7 by 11:59pm ET

ROOTS Week 2024 will take place Tuesday, August 13-Sunday, August 18, 2024 at Lutheridge Camp and Conference Center in Arden, NC. This year’s theme is Southern Soil: Sankofa Seeds. 

As we prepare to welcome folks back to Lutheridge, we seek proposals from members of the Alternate ROOTS community who would like to lead an art-making workshop, share original visual art, share works-in-progress or performances, present a pollinator keynote, or host a conversation. Submit a proposal HERE

Performance and Visual Art proposals will be prioritized, as will proposals submitted by ROOTS members. Please consider sharing your art with us for the best chance of proposal acceptance!

Presenters whose proposals are accepted will receive a $250 stipend and complimentary registration for ROOTS Week 2024.

Apply HERE. If you have any questions, or know someone who would like to apply that uses a non-Gmail account, please email or call: or 404-577-1079 x 306.


May Membership Mayhem 2024 PreView

Alternate ROOTS’ Membership Team invites ROOTS members to engage in May Membership Mayhem.

May Membership Mayhem: A Million and One Ways to Connect

The purpose of May Membership Mayhem is to reintroduce and solidify the role of the Membership Team within Alternate ROOTS, focusing on serving our members. This initiative aims to strengthen existing activities while introducing new programs with an energizing, social atmosphere. Simply put: May Membership Mayhem is here to promote connectivity, awareness, knowledge, and engagement among members.

Check out our events below and also listed HERE on the ROOTS Website – with a mix of old favorites and brand-spankin’ new initiatives, all aimed at keeping you connected, informed, and inspired!

Tuesday, May 21, 6pm ET: ExComm + Leadership Task Force Executive Search Listening Session All Alternate ROOTS members and staff are invited to participate in the upcoming ExComm + Leadership Task Force Executive Search Updates & Listening Sessions. Join the meeting HERE.

Thursday, May 23, 6:30pm ET: Membership Work Group Report Out + Party Time Virtual Meetup The ROOTS network spans across the south, and sometimes, travel is not feasible. We are launching a connecting and networking opportunity with ROOTS Virtual Meetups. We want to help create spaces to deepen our connections with each other and build new and vibrant relationships. Join us for this Virtual Meetup initiative. Register HERE.

King Shakur with Omari Fox’s artwork at ROOTSWeek 2023. Photo: Mel Cardona

Tuesday, May 28, 7:00pm ET: “Spitfire-side Chat” Virtual 20-year Reunion of the Hip-Hop Scholars Program! Kick off the 20th Anniversary celebration of Hip-Hop Scholars that will culminate at ROOTS Week. Release party for Curating JOY: InDeep with ROOTer King Shakur Magazine Publication! Register HERE.

Thursday, May 30, 6:30pm ET: Strategic Partnerships Review / Preview Part 2  The Strategic Partnerships Team will lead a second conversation about partnership programs, including feedback from the May 16 conversation and the Member-hosted Rhizomes dedicated to exploring that information. Register HERE.


Seeking: Volunteer Website Testers for Alternate ROOTS New Website

Alternate ROOTS is re-launching our website and we are seeking volunteers to get on a 45-minute call with our web designer, Christian from SoulCenter, to test new functions.

Would you like to help? No experience is required! Sign up HERE


Participants in ROOTS Weekend Rhizome: Berea, KY Sing Praise to the Hills, led by Hannah Burt, October 2023. Video: Nicole Garneau

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


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. 


Investment Strategies Workgroup Meeting: Thursday, May 30th at 2pm ET

Are you passionate about the righteous use of resources at Alternate ROOTS? The Investment Strategies Workgroup is centered on the $3 million grant ROOTS received from MacKenzie Scott in 2020. These funds are currently being held in a values-aligned investment account at Merrill Lynch. When the funds were received, a portion of the funds were allocated for projects like the ROOTS book and archives, but the majority of the funds are being held to allow the ROOTS membership to participate in deciding if and how they should be spent.

For the Zoom link, and if you are interested in participating in this workgroup please email



Alternate ROOTS Presents at the Hemispheric Institute of the Americas in Montreal, Canada, 2014. 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, June 4th at 5:30pm ET

Tuesday, July 2nd 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:


——————————————News From Members 


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

This June or 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

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.

Who: Ashley Wilkerson
What: Reverence: Poems and Meditations
When: Available Now
Where: Order HERE
More info:
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.

Who: Antenna
What: Communications Support Opportunity
When: ongoing
Where: virtual (Antenna is based in New Orleans, LA)
More info: FORM

Antenna is seeking a small or collaborative team organization that has an innovative approach to web, social media and PR that addresses equity and accessibility for a one-year contract to support Antenna’s external communications.

Who: Antenna
What: Antenna Seeking Board Member
When: rolling
Where: virtual (Antenna is based in New Orleans, LA)
More info: APPLY HERE

Antenna is seeking one national community member for a three year term. We are looking for people whose values align with that of the Antenna’s and who have an interested in supporting the creative community of the city of New Orleans, to serve the community interest by participating in Antenna board’s efforts to effectively pursue its mission; to develop policies and procedures to govern the organization, Supervise  the Executive Director position, monitor and support the overall sustainability and programmatic impact, and provide support to the Executive Director and team as requested.


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 17 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 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 & Financial Compliance
  • Budget Management
  • Providing Resources for Staff

Office Hours: Thursdays from 12 – 1pm ET
404-577-1079 #301
Email Us (

Cultural Organizing Team Office Hours

The Cultural Organizing Team (CO) 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 work groups 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 (

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 (

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 (


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.