BORDC/DDF field organizer George Friday joined scores of individual activists and groups gathered in Greenville, South Carolina for the second annual Carolinas Human Rights Organizing Conference (CHRONIC). slogans “Getting high on human rights” and “Human rights while there are humans left.”
The conference describes its mission as aiming “to take actions that assure an equitable and sustainable system which will meet the needs and affirm the basic humanity of all peoples” and recognizing “that everywhere many human needs are unmet and basic Human Rights are ignored.” CHRONIC is notable for the highly intersectional approach it takes in dealing with issues of social justice, pushing groups to not only identify but also act upon the connections between civic participation, racial injustice, environmental rights, and other issue areas that are often treated as insular. Although CHRONIC draws most of its attendance from the Carolinas and the larger southeast region, its focus on human rights is universally applicable.
BORDC/DDF’s Friday led a coalition-building workshop and led a discussion on overcoming oppression in groups. The conference saw presentations from approximately three dozen other grassroots activists representing organizations and groups such as the National Lawyers Guild, Black Lives Matter, Southerners On New Ground (SONG), Indigenous Environmental Network, Southern Workers Assembly, L.E.A.D. Center, and many more. The primary organizers and sponsors of the event were the locally-based Ubuntu Institute for Community Development and New South Network of War Resisters, which, in addition to pulling things together, also provided provocative signs and artwork for activists to display.
In addition to dozens of vendors’ booths, workshops, presentations, and panel discussions led by grassroots activist and human rights groups, CHRONIC also hosted several art displays, including a Drone Quilt in remembrance of human beings killed by drones,” and music performances Saturday night featuring former United States Marine Corps member Megaciph
After another fruitful year, CHRONIC continues to look forward and pursue its goal of generating solution-based ideas and encouraging actions “to reach traditional boundaries connecting horizontally with one another to grow and choose the actions we must take to assure that Human Rights are discussed, understood, implemented, and protected.”