A Trip to Greensboro, NC


I took the afternoon to drift from Chapel Hill to Greensboro, a city I have wanted to visit ever since I met Ed and Marnie, colleagues of mine who I really look up to. The pair founded the Fund for Democratic Communities over ten years ago, and have continued to kick ass and make the world a more equitable place ever since. 

As soon as I entered the door to their office, I met several others, all immersed in community work from resisting deportation to building community-owned grocery stores. They even told me a story about 12 people who were facing charges related to voting in 2016. Within minutes I felt like someone had pulled back the curtain on this seemingly quiet mill town. 

I took a backseat to Ed and Marnie as they toured me around Greensboro, past Dudley high school, which was pivotal in the Greensboro Uprising after the school refused to seat Claude Barnes, an advocate for Black Power, as the elected student President. They drove me past the Renaissance Community Food Co-op (above), past the Tobacco facilities Ed worked 30 years in, and he described what the Black Businesses corridors looked like before Urban Renewal. 

We ate lunch at the United House of Prayer, which served delicious soul food cafeteria style. We discussed our respective loan funds over fish and green beans- I was so grateful to have such excellent wisdom, and no- bullshit advice for my work back in Detroit. 

Greensboro, like Detroit, is a town with an industrial past and a future that is facing persistent gentrification. Being in Greensboro was a humbling wake-up for me. So often I forget of the work happening in other communities across the country- we don't hear of the 12 arrested or the Confederate statue being pulled to the ground by students. (Okay, I just saw this on NYT front page!) 

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