Ella Baker Tour and Retreat

Purpose of Ella Baker Tour & Retreat
To commemorate and reinvigorate the influence of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) by enlisting students and young activists to organize events for a multicultural, intergenerational dialogue. At the 75th anniversary of Highlander Research and Education Center (in 2007), a gathering of SNCC veterans and young activists embraced the idea of the Ella Baker-SNCC Tour and Retreat.

About the Tour
Young activists between the ages of 16 and 35 spoke on their organizing projects and their aims to participate in movements for social change. Events featured music and songs from the civil rights era and original creations by young activists and poets. Audience participants will sung “Ella’s Song” and “We Shall Overcome” at each event.

Ella Baker Tour, East Tennessee State University, February 18, 2008

Ella Baker Tour, East Tennessee State University, February 18, 2008

Tour Participants
Civil Rights Movement Vets
Sandra Adickes
Sam Anderson
Joan Browning
Isaac Coleman
Guy & Candie Carawan
Connie Curry
Theresa El-Amin
Bob Fullilove
Ira Grupper
Nellie Hester
Matt Jones
Nana Nantambu
Chuck Neblett
Efia Nwangaza
Gwen Patton
Al Pertilla
Constancia Dinky Romilly
Muriel Tillinghast
Annie Pearl Townsend-Avery
Bob Zellner

Campus Organizers
Ash-Lee Henderson (East Tennessee State University)
Jared Story (East Tennessee State University)
Nikki Jones (North Carolina State University)
Wende Nichols (North Carolina State University)
Tom Leventhal  (North Carolina State University)
Harry Phillips (Central Piedmont Community College)
Nate Franco (Hunter College)
Nnenna Okeke (Rutgers University)
Sara Mersha (Brown University)
Emily Taylor (Brown University)
Ashley Dozier (Winthrop University)
Chimi Boyd (North Carolina Central University)
Renee Brown (North Carolina Central University)
Mike Munger (Duke University)
Juanita Scott (University of Louisville)
Bryan Proffit (Hillside High School)
Ray Plaza (Virgina Tech)
Kia Caldwell (UNC Chapel Hill)

About the Retreat
The May 20-27, 2008 retreat brought together youth and veteran organizers of the tour for a series of intergenerational sessions at a beach location in North Carolina. Invitations to attend the retreat were extended to other civil rights veterans, cultural organizers and young activists. Co-mentoring was encouraged as an acknowledgment that social justice activists of any age, gender, race and class have something to contribute. It was a time to write, read and rejuvenate.

A special effort was made to provide space for low-income youth and low-income civil rights vets.

Photos from the retreat can be found here.

Who was Ella Baker?
Ella Baker (1903-1986) was an NAACP organizer who is credited with mentoring students who formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960.