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Fostering New Leaders

Turn South: Southern Women for Change supports and empowers women and girls as local leaders organizing to improve their lives and the lives of their families and community members.

The south is one of the poorest regions of the U.S., with more than 15 per cent of the population in AL, TN, NC, GA, and SC under the poverty line.  Many in rural communities suffer from a lack of access to adequate healthcare, education, and housingFive of the top ten worst states for child poverty are in the South: GA, SC, AL, TN, and MS.  The South has the greatest income inequality, large gender wage gaps, and very low minimum wages.  Voting rights are under siege, affecting community members’ ability to affect change at the polls.

Women and girls, especially women and girls of color, are most disproportionately impacted by poverty – they know it, they live it, they are the best equipped to identify strategies and solutions to end it.  But poverty creates barriers for vulnerable women to influence decision-making that directly impacts them, their families, and their neighbors.

Turn South supports and fosters new women leaders in rural communities by growing awareness of how securing human rights protections can address poverty and its’ enablers: inequality and discrimination and by supporting their efforts to act and organize for change.

Program partners participate in an intensive human rights leadership program that: Introduces human rights in the U.S. context - Shares successful models for how communities utilize human rights to address poverty - Produces new ideas that explore the link between human rights and poverty – Introduces effective organizing strategies - Encourages and supports the emergence of new alliances for action to hold policy makers accountable - Grows understanding of shared and unique experiences and histories among diverse, poor communities across race, class, and generations, inclusive of African American, immigrant, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ, and white women and girls perspectives.

Through the leadership program, Turn South supports women’s efforts to affect positive and lasting change in their local communities.