2 Pages


Defending democracy itself
WithChip Berlet, Bill Fletcher

In 1964 the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. reframed a message first spread by the movement to abolish slavery in the United States in the mid-1800s. King told people that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”. Reverend King, Rosa Parks, and many other activists in the Civil Rights Movement were trained at the Highlander Education and Research Center. Founded in 1932 in the segregated South, the Highlander campus is now located in the southern state of Tennessee. Highlander teaches activists theories of radical liberation from cultural, political, and economic systems of oppression. In September 2017 the Center celebrated its 85th anniversary at its rural campus. In March 2019 Highlander’s library and archive building was firebombed and burnt to the ground by White supremacists, who left their symbols behind as a warning.