We had boots on the ground in several states, both in terms of registering new voters and also getting people out to vote. The states were Alabama, South Carolina, California, and parts of Georgia. In many cases, we partnered with other community organizations and with churches and schools. We had a public service announcement that ran on radio stations throughout the country. Unfortunately, in South Carolina, some of the stations had to pull the spot during the several days they were covering Hurricane Matthew.
Joseph Ruggeiro (Rugsy) and his team did a very good job in northern California. He and his team worked in five counties, registering people to vote. They held community meetings and went to public events, encouraging people to register. Rugsy has been working on various projects since the Reunion. Initially, he tried to work with SCLC, but then he turned to SCOPE50 for support. Not only was Rugsy trying to register people, but he was trying to educate people about the Civil Rights Movement, and about SCOPE in particular. He encouraged them to look at the Movement and see what they could learn in order to organize around today's issues. Rugsy did this in a number of ways. He gave out books to people in the communities where they worked, as well as SCOPE50 t-shirts, flyers and other information that we were able to help them with. He did, and is doing, a wonderful job.
SCOPE 50 Facebook Page
A Facebook page for SCOPE 50 was created last week, and we encourage you to "like" the page. (Don't get our page confused with the SCOPE Project page.) We are seeking volunteers to help manage the page so that it will have active, interesting posts. We can post information, not only on the history of SCOPE and on the people who were involved in SCOPE and the Movement in general, but we can also post updates on what people are doing today in various communities across the country. Anyone willing to help manage the page should contact John Reynolds at JohnR99773@aol.com.
We are hoping to publish an e-book about SCOPE. So we are calling upon you to send us material about your story with SCOPE – what you did, where you worked, and if you have revisited where you worked. In the meantime, as we collect information, we will be adding it to the SCOPE50 website. Send your material to Jo Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jo will be editing the submissions, and making sure they are ready for publishing.
The SCOPE50 t-shirts are still available and can be ordered from me. The price is $15.00. Let me know how many shirts you want, and the sizes. Your check should be made out to SCOPE50 and mailed to 773 Spinnaker Beachhouse, Seabrook Island, SC 29455. This is just another way that we can earn a little money.
Donations to SCOPE 50
Since "the fight is not over," SCOPE50 will accept any donations that people wish to make, no matter how small. Don't forget, since we are a 501(c) non-profit organiza-tion, your donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Checks should be made out to SCOPE50 and mailed to the address listed above.
That is the question we must answer. Dr. King put it another way: "Where do we go from here?" The election did not go the way most of us may have wished, and many of us were shocked and in despair. Now we are wondering what lies ahead. But the issue is not about us at this point. It is about our grandchildren. It's about what kind of world they will grow up in. What will we leave them?
So what's next? We may have to stand and fight for what we had already gained. We may have to protect what we won, the strides that we made in women's issues, the right to vote, the right to be free. Jo Freeman mentioned in a piece she wrote the day after the election that she may have to go back to the streets. And that may be a possibility for all of us. So we need to ready ourselves for such an event. Poverty is real today. We have so many children going hungry. There's a need to fight for them. Dr. King's vision of the Poor People's Campaign had to do with children going hungry. We have to make sure that those programs that we struggled for are not dismantled. We don't know what will happen tomorrow, but we do know what happened years ago: what we fought for, and how we helped to make life better for people. We made many strides towards the "beloved community" but it has not been achieved yet. As I mentioned at the Reunion, we are not too old or too young to effect change. So I would like to hear from you about what you think SCOPE50 should be doing in the coming new year, and what kind of partnerships we should develop.
I mentioned earlier that our concern was about our grandchildren. Recently, a local pastor in Charleston shared a poem as a prayer for our children and ourselves. Following are excerpts from that poem:
Dear sons and daughters,
who wake into the world
we have broken so badly,
we see you today, blinking out of bed, into this dark dawn of hate speech and bigotry, the irreligion of our politics,
And we say to you as you climb from the covers that we are sorry for what we have done, all we have allowed to happen around you.
And the only prayer we can offer is to rise with you and speak in a different voice, a surer cadence. To stand with our backs up against the prevailing wind and say to you,
That we won't let them take what is yours, but we will rise, take your hand, and walk together until miles from here, years from now, we might sleep again in peace.