Our History

Founded in 1980 by Si Kahn, Grassroots Leadership has helped build the infrastructure for a progressive Southern movement. We've trained and supported the leaders, organizers, organizations, networks and coalitions that will make long-term positive change inevitable.

Over the past 30 years, we have helped organizations become stronger so that they can meet their own goals. We have created and supported new organizations to address community needs. We have also provided strategic space for Southern activists to work together on common issues and campaigns.

Grassroots Leadership's most valuable resource is its staff. Most of the staff members are "minority". They know from the experience of their own lives what life is really like for working people, for women, for lesbians and gay men, for African-Americans, for other people of color, for immigrants, for combinations of all these. But they have also built on the strengths of their upbringings, communities, experiences and beliefs to make something of themselves. So they don't just talk the talk, they've walked the walk. What they have to say doesn't make change sound easy, but it does make it seem possible.