The 10th Southern Human Rights Organizers Conference (SHROC) was held in Savannah December 12-14 at the International Longshoremen Association on Lathrop Ave. Human rights organizers, social justice activists, students, youth, faith leaders, workers and union leaders gathered for the 3 day conference.
Founded by Jaribu Hill, the Goal of SHROC is to bring together human rights organizers to discuss common issues and develop more effective strategies for building a human rights movement in the Deep South. SHROC serves as an important link between U. S. Southern human rights struggles and those in the Global South. The primary goal is to develop innovative and practical methods of organizing across the region. Another important objective is to strengthen the capacity of civil rights and social justice organizations in the Deep South. This would enable these organizations to expand their programmatic work beyond civil rights and social justice campaigns to more effectively address international human rights issues.
The reality of globalization demands that the U.S. southern human rights struggle connects with struggles in other parts of the world. Through SHROC, activists and organizers will work together across the region to build an anti-racism movement that adheres to a human rights framework in its struggle toward justice.
“We chose Savannah as the site for SHROC X because it is the birthplace of many human rights and social justice struggles. The legacies of worker-led resistance, solidarity and victory are deeply rooted in Savannah!!! From the 21st Century fight back actions led by Savannah’s “Port” workers to the historic and victorious workers’ rights campaigns led by longshoremen and other labor activists over decades in Savannah, this is a place that is steeped in a history of resistance and solidarity,” said Hill. “As we meet, we will remember Savannah native, Troy Davis, an innocent man who was executed by the state. Despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence, Troy Davis was put to death. We will honor Troy Davis and all those who have fallen victim to the “Killing Machine.” We will declare once again that we are all: Troy Davis,” continued Hill.
Several workshops and discussions were held during the conference including Plenary I: South to South—Solidarity in Action Building a Southern Human Rights Movement and Plenary IIL The Fight for Gender Justice. Among the speakers were Tommy Stokes, President ILA Local 1414, Ledra Sullivan-Russell and Kim Davis (sister of Troy Davis). A reception honoring local human rights and social justice activists and martyrs was held.