Since the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, redistricting has been used to exclude the effective participation of African American voters and deny their ability to elect fair and accountable representation. Southern Echo Senior Organizer and Co-Founder Mike Sayer discusses Southern Echo's 20 years of success in supporting the development of accountable community organizations to lead on policy and increasing the ability of communities to elect representation that will fairly implement that policy.
Southern Echo is a leadership development, education and training organization working to develop effective accountable grassroots leadership in the African-American communities in rural Mississippi and the surrounding region through comprehensive training and technical assistance programs. Our work has carried Southern Echo staff into 12 additional states across the south and southwest. Southern Echo's underlying goal is to empower local communities through effective community organizing work, in order to create a process through which community people can build the broad-based organizations necessary to hold the political, economic, educational, and environmental systems accountable to the needs and interests of the African-American community.