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Assembly 2006 Sessions

Black/Brown Relations

Rev Atanacio Gaona,
Iglasia Alfa y Omega

Rev Harvey Williams, Jr.,
Union Holiness House of Deliverance,
author of From Pusher to Preacher

Two days before the Assembly, a front page story appeared in the New York Times about race relations in the same geographical area, where several farmworkers had been killed the previous year and a hate crime was suspected. The article noted the unusual friendship between two nearby preachers, one African-American and one Latino. We invited these two men to speak with us. RDLN Leaders Jack Guillebeaux and Tirso Moreno and our host Charles Sherrod helped this dialogue move forward. Our Leaders expressed the opinion that RDLN has an important model for good relationships across cultural lines and can share our lessons with other groups and communities.

Earnest Johnson

Where Credit is Due

Assembly attendees watched a video "Where Credit is Due," about community credit unions, featuring the work of RDLN graduate Earnest Johnson, former credit union specialist at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. The video showed how this financial instrument emerged from the Civil Rights Movement in the South and currently helps protect people against predatory lending. Mr. Johnson, who in 1999 was inducted into the Credit Union Hall of Fame by the Cooperative League of America and received a Lifetime Achievement award from the National Credit Union Foundation, worked tirelessly over many years to assist small community credit unions come into being, maintain their records, and survive. (Resources)

Recognition by Ralph Paige

"Without being touched by the Rural Leadership Network, I doubt if we could survive through the many crises that we’ve gone through."

Ralph Paige is executive Director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, a regional advocacy and technical assistance organization working primarily with small African-American farmers in the South.

Ralph Paige
RDLN has had a long cooperative relationship with FSC/LAF. John Zippert, Director of Program Operations, based in Epes, Alabama, and Copublisher and Editor of the Greene County Democrat, is a founding Board member. Shirley Sherrod, lead staff for the Federation and the Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative, is a graduate of our program and Vice Chair of our Board. Mr. Paige shown addressing Assembly

Assembly 2006
Site Visits
Youth Participation
Education Session

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