We are so excited to launch our new People’s Solidarity Hub in Durham, NC, unapologetically bright and vibrant like the movement and the people that make it up.
Southern Vision Alliance’s work emerged in 2010 amid severe economic collapses as community groups began to mobilize in response to the crisis and other attacks being brought against our people. The Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements made clear to activists that there were few spaces in the city of Durham for folks to gather, work, and build community together. Our founders knew that change was necessary to fill the gap, and they got to work to co-create the Durham Solidarity Center.
Fast forward to 2020, and SVA purchased a building for a newly reimagined collaborations hub, the People’s Solidarity Hub in Durham, NC – the first of several planned Solidarity & Resistance Hubs throughout the US Southeast. We’re getting so excited about all the future events and movements that PSH will host in Durham and beyond!
We recently sat down with the Coordinator of Solidarity and Resistance Hubs, Jen Skees, so that she could give us the latest and greatest information on all the exciting things happening in Durham soon!
How would you describe PSH to a brand new resident of Durham?
PSH is a physical convener – a space for activists and organizers to come together and build power and relationships. It’s the space so many Durham organizers have been longing for – an accessible building right off of a bus stop with multi-purpose rooms for popular education workshops, film screenings, political education events, mutual aid efforts, signs, and art-making – you name it.
Not only is PSH a physical space, but PSH also hosts a radical lit library with books from the beloved Internationalist Books as well as a People’s Lending Library that lends out essential assets like speakers, bullhorns, tables, and tents to organizations and activists for social actions and events.
As we open our doors this Spring, the hope is that PSH will serve as a political home and incubator, always moving towards collective liberation.
What kinds of events do you envision hosting in the space?
PSH hosts events and programs depending on what you as the community want to see in the space. We exist to buoy and support projects and organizations that need a physical space to host their meetings and newest innovations. PSH encourages programming that emphasizes the bold voices, creativity, and leadership of frontline communities.
Here are some examples of the activities you can organize or attend!:
- Political Education Offerings
- Leadership Development Trainings
- Fundraising and Development Trainings
- Organizing Trainings
- Staff Retreats
- Film Screenings
- Book Talks
- Game Nights
- Dance Parties
- Shared Potlucks & Relational Space
- Art Shows & Production
- Children/Youth Activities
- Know Your Rights Workshops
- De-escalation Workshops
- Movement Resiliency Events
- Accessible Comms Trainings
- Mutual Aid & Rapid Response
Who is PSH open to collaborating with?
PSH collaborates with a wide-range of social justice partners throughout the Triangle and beyond. We make the space available for individuals and organizations to use on an accessible sliding scale. We prioritize people of color, immigrants, women-led groups, LGBTQ+, poor and working class communities.
PSH works with budding and long-time community organizers to amplify neighborhood issues such as tenants’ protections, prison and police abolition, immigrant rights, food justice, gentrification and displacement, as well as broader global issues such as climate justice and Internet freedom.
We are intentionally pushing back against white supremacist attitudes and behaviors that can permeate a space. We welcome community that is values-aligned with our collective mission and vision.
How can the public support PSH, in-person or from home?
There are so many great ways to support PSH. All of your suggestions and ideas have been a massive part of shaping the space. Please keep them coming! Here are a few other ways to support us as we grow:
- Become a monthly sustainer
- Please donate to our PSH Outdoor Campus Fund (we’re dreaming up a outdoor venue)
- Follow us on social media on Facebook and Instagram
- Reach out to book our space for meetings, events or other happenings
- Let us know what you need us to add to the lending library and reach out to use the tables, chairs, speakers, bullhorns, radios etc that we have at the ready for your upcoming action
- Donate to the lending library so that we can keep our assets up to date and offer these items freely to projects
- Reach out to be a volunteer starting in May!
- Let us know how you want to use the space – all of your encouragement and suggestions are deeply appreciated!
What else do you want the public to know about PSH that they may not learn from the website?
Our PSH advisory council and staff are an enchanting bunch with a solid mix of introversion and extroversion. There’s so much juiciness within this group – ranging from expertise and geeking out over free comms, to radical artivism, grassroots community organizing, civil rights attorney-ing, best practices to keep our people safe during social actions and politicized somatics to keep our community resourced ….it’s a little overwhelming in the best kind of way. We need it all. Can’t wait to welcome your unique brilliance to the fold!