You Got to Move
These short films highlight extraordinary stories of systemic change made by ordinary people. They are taken from the original 1985 film You Got to Move: Stories of Change in the South.
The stories they tell live now, and are relevant and useful today as people continue to build powerful movements.
Please feel free to add these links and short films to your own websites honoring Black history, women’s history & Southern/ Appalachian organizing, as well as current campaigns for racial, economic and environmental justice.
Please use this website as a resource to learn more and take action! Let us know if there are ways we can support you and/or if you’d like to organize a screening.
We Got to Move!
Banner Art: Romare Bearden (1911-1988) Of the Blues: Mecklenburg County, Saturday Night, 1974.
Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC New York, NY © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
They Say I’m Your Teacher
The Story of the Citizenship Schools
In 1957, when African Americans were still required to pass literacy exams to vote in South Carolina, a Charleston beautician, became the teacher of the first Citizenship Education School, and helped lay the foundation for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
What's Done to the Land Happens to the People
The Story of Becky Simpson
When floods caused by strip mining almost killed her family, a Harlan County, Ky. woman convinced her community that the strip mining companies "have damaged us and they owe us something."
I’m Standing With You Neighbor
The Story of Bumpass Cove Citizens Group
The members of a community group in East Tennessee become involved in shutting down a toxic waste dump in their community after years of being told it was "ordinary waste.”
We Have the Power, We Can Do It
The Story of Bill Saunders
The making of a grassroots leader on Johns Island, S.C., who helped to organize the people of Charleston in support of the Hospital Workers strike in 1969 and closed the city of Charleston for 100 days.
Recent ScreeningsYour community/organization can host one too!
- They Say I'm Your Teacher @ Savannah Film Festival (SCAD)
- YGTM Shorts (all four) virtual event @ Public Library of Hyattsville, MD
- We Are Fighting for Our Lives @ Louisville Int'l Film Festival
- I’m Standing with You Neighbor virtual event @ Sierra Club Virginia Chapter
- YGTM (full film) virtual event @ Middle Tennessee Jobs with Justice
- We Have the Power, We Can Do It virtual event @ United Association for Labor Eduction
About the Original Film
Lucy Massie Phenix's You Got to Move: Stories of Change in the South is about individuals who have dared to change the world for the better and Tennessee's world-renowned Highlander Folk School (now the Highlander Research and Education Center, the place that for nearly 90 years has empowered them to achieve this change.
Whether it was fighting for civil rights, labor justice, or stopping the ravaging of communities by strip mining and toxic waste dumping, these Highlander people have been active in some of the most significant movements in this country. Rich in the language and music of the South, You Got to Move is about people's discovery within themselves of the courage and ability to confront reality and change it. It is a film that champions organizing and makes you want to move!
Please use this website as a resource to learn more and take action!
Yesterday elections were held under difficult circumstances as the nation copes with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. We saw polling places closed or open late as many poll workers failed to show up— resulting in long lines of voters that violate the CDC social distancing guidelines. One state even shut down in-person voting within hours of the time polls were set to open.
This confusion does not give voters the confidence they need to safely participate in our elections. With many states yet to hold primaries, there is still time to make sure voters can safely cast their ballots.
LWV is working with states on their options to make voting more flexible for this primary season. We are calling on all states to expand no-excuse absentee voting and mail-in ballots, as well as in-person early voting opportunities for the duration of the 2020 election cycle. In light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, it is imperative for state election officials to address voters’ and poll workers’ fears by limiting the need to cast an in-person ballot and reducing long lines when voting in person.
We have seen elected officials in many states step up on behalf of voters, taking precautions for poll workers, partnering across the aisle, and calling for more flexibility in voting. These actions demonstrate our ability to come together as a country.
Our top priority must be the health and safety of the American people while simultaneously upholding the rights of all voters. With elections continuing to approach in the weeks ahead, we’re sharing the advice we shared with Arizona, Florida, and Illinois earlier this week to keep in mind as you go to the polls: Make an Election Day plan.
Confirm your polling place (some have closed or changed) and check your voting hours at VOTE411.org . We’ll be keeping VOTE411 up to date with any last-minute changes related to the virus that may impact election administration.
Vote at non-peak hours.
We are all familiar with crowds and long lines on Election Day. Limit your interaction with the public by planning to vote during non-peak hours, like the middle of the morning and afternoon.
Find out what's on your ballot & know before you go.
Shorten your time at the polls by doing your research in advance. Check out what candidates think about the issues and learn about ballot measures you might be voting on in advance at VOTE411.org .
Take extra precautions.
Polling stations are reportedly stocking up on hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, but voters should bring their own when possible. Wearing plastic gloves or covering your hands when touching communal surfaces can cut down on exposure. Use your own pen when filling out paper ballots and incorporate social distancing (at least six feet apart) when waiting in lines.
Check current voting options.
Voters with upcoming primary elections who want to limit their exposure to crowds should request an absentee ballot now. Visit VOTE411.org and click on your state to find the rules for your state.
No matter how you vote, we want to ensure everyone has the information they need to participate in our elections and to do so safely.
Senior Director of Mission Impact, League of Women Voters
We promote fair elections in Georgia and around the country, encourage voter participation in elections, and educate voters about elections and their voting rights. Fair Fight brings awareness to the public on election reform, advocates for election reform at all levels, and engages in other voter education programs and communications.
Voter suppression of voters of color and young voters is a scourge our country faces in states across the nation. Georgia’s 2018 elections shown a bright light on the issue with elections that were rife with mismanagement, irregularities, unbelievably long lines and more, exposing both recent and also decades-long actions and inactions by the state to thwart the right to vote.
Georgians and Americans are fighting back. Fair Fight Action engages in voter mobilization and education activities and advocates for progressive issues; in addition Fair Fight Action has mounted significant programs to combat voter suppression in Georgia and nationally.
Fair Fight PAC has initiated programs to support voter protection programs at state parties around the country and is engaging in partnerships to support and elect pro voting rights, progressive leaders.
We are rooted in a moral analysis based on our deepest religious and constitutional values that demand justice for all. Moral revival is necessary to save the heart and soul of our democracy.
We are committed to lifting up and deepening the leadership of those most affected by systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and ecological devastation and to building unity across lines of division.
We believe in the dismantling of unjust criminalization systems that exploit poor communities and communities of color and the transformation of the “War Economy” into a “Peace Economy” that values all humanity.
We believe that equal protection under the law is non-negotiable.
We believe that people should not live in or die from poverty in the richest nation ever to exist. Blaming the poor and claiming that the United States does not have an abundance of resources to overcome poverty are false narratives used to perpetuate economic exploitation, exclusion, and deep inequality.
We recognize the centrality of systemic racism in maintaining economic oppression must be named, detailed and exposed empirically, morally and spiritually. Poverty and economic inequality cannot be understood apart from a society built on white supremacy.
Whereas the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism blames poor and oppressed people for our poverty and oppression, our deepest religious and constitutional values insist that the primary moral issues of our day must be how our society treats the poor, those on the margins, women, LGBTQIA2S+ folks, workers, immigrants, the disabled and the sick; equal protection under the law; and the desire for peace, love and harmony within and among nations.
We will build up the power of people and state-based movements to serve as a vehicle for a powerful moral movement in the country and to transform the political, economic and moral structures of our society. We recognize the need to organize at the state and local level—many of the most regressive policies are being passed at the state level, and these policies will have long and lasting effect, past even executive orders. The movement is not from above but below.
We will do our work in a non-partisan way—no elected officials or candidates get the stage or serve on the State Organizing Committee of the Campaign. This is not about left and right, Democrat or Republican but about right and wrong.
We uphold the need to do a season of sustained moral direct action as a way to break through the tweets and shift the moral narrative. We are demonstrating the power of people coming together across issues and geography and putting our bodies on the line to the issues that are affecting us all.
The Campaign and all its Participants and Endorsers embrace nonviolence. Violent tactics or actions will not be tolerated.
Voting rights are under attack nationwide as states pass voter suppression laws. These laws lead to significant burdens for eligible voters trying to exercise their most fundamental constitutional right. Since 2008, states across the country have passed measures to make it harder for Americans—particularly black people, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities—to exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot. These measures include cuts to early voting, voter ID laws, and purges of voter rolls.
The ACLU is engaged in advocacy and litigation across the country to get rid of these harmful voter suppression measures once and for all.
Why it matters
Voting rights are under attack. In recent years, politicians in dozens of states have erected intentional barriers to our right to vote, including forcing discriminatory voter ID and proof-of-citizenship restrictions on eligible voters, reducing polling place hours in communities of color, cutting early voting opportunities and illegally purging voters from the rolls.
WHAT WE'RE DOING
We are at the forefront of the most important federal and state voting rights cases around the country. We actively oppose discriminatory voter photo ID laws, fight against attacks against the voter registration process, and hold lawmakers accountable when they try to institute last-minute Election Day barriers. We work year-round to combat voter suppression through advocacy, grassroots organizing, legal action and public education. Our efforts have resulted in the protection of voting rights and ballot access for millions of Americans.
RECLAIM OUR VOTE is a volunteer-driven, nonpartisan voter outreach campaign organized by the Center for Common Ground of Virginia. With the help of the NAACP, Black Voters Matter, DemLabs, Mi Familia Vota and other major organizations, we're contacting voters of color in key voter suppression states - by phone, mail, texting, and door-to-door, through billboards and radio ads, to ask voters of color to check their registration status, re-register, and vote.
She the People is creating a politics we have not yet seen. We believe in a politics grounded in love, justice, and belonging. Our aim is to inspire the hearts and minds of everyday people, and turn non-voters into voters. We invite women of color to come together in person and online to tell our stories, host our people, and build community. Our network will continue to grow and live well beyond any one election and ensure that women of color will never be taken for granted again in elections.
At Spread the Vote, we work every day to ensure that people have what they need to vote. 77% of the people we work with have never voted before and 100% of our clients cannot vote without us.
The national, nonpartisan Election Protection coalition works year-round to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have that vote count. Made up of more than 100 local, state and national partners, Election Protection uses a wide range of tools and activities to protect, advance and defend the right to vote.
Election Protection provides Americans from coast to coast with comprehensive information and assistance at all stages of voting – from registration, to absentee and early voting, to casting a vote at the polls, to overcoming obstacles to their participation. Election Protection helps voters make sure their vote is counted through a number of resources, including:
- A suite of voter helplines administered by coalition members:
- Voter protection field programs: legal – managed by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and grassroots managed by Common Cause
- Digital outreach tools: including 866ourvote.org, @866ourVote, and facebook.com/866OurVote
Throughout the election cycle, our volunteers provide voter information, document problems they encounter when voting and work with partners and volunteers on the ground to identify and remove barriers to voting. Election Protection focuses on the voter – not on the political horse race – and provides guidance, information and help to any American, regardless of his or her voting choices.
Our democracy is under attack. It’s not just foreign interference in our elections: Politicians here in America are attacking our right to vote. Politicians are trying to pick their voters instead of voters picking their politicians. We can’t let that happen.
LET AMERICA VOTE IS LEADING THE FIGHT FOR VOTING RIGHTS.
Extreme voter suppression laws that disproportionately impact people based on their race or ethnicity, gender, age, or income are popping up all over the country at an alarming pace. If we don’t fight back, more and more Americans will become disenfranchised and lose their voice in our democracy.
Over the past decade, momentum on voting rights has gone dangerously in the wrong direction. We started Let America Vote to fight back against proposals across the country that make it harder for eligible voters to exercise their constitutional right to cast a ballot. Whether it’s extreme identification requirements, questionable purges of voters from the rolls, voter intimidation, new and extreme voter registration processes, or anything that makes voting harder, Let America Vote is there to lead the fight against it. We advocate for pro-voter policies that make the process more reasonable. Through online and grassroots organizing, an aggressive earned media strategy, and advertising campaigns, Let America Vote plays a crucial role among the existing network of organizations fighting for voting rights.
Since we launched in February 2017, we have contacted over 1 million voters and more 700,000 people have signed up to join our cause. We’ve helped 110 voting rights champions win elections – from state legislators to statewide elected officials – beating anti-voter politicians across the country.
Those of us that believe in preserving the right to vote must start winning the political argument. When politicians make it hard to vote, we make it hard for them to get re-elected. That is the mission of Let America Vote.
The national, nonpartisan Election Protection coalition works year-round to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to vote and have that vote count. Made up of more than 100 local, state and national partners, Election Protection uses a wide range of tools and activities to protect, advance and defend the right to vote. Election Protection provides Americans from coast to coast with comprehensive information and assistance at all stages of voting – from registration, to absentee and early voting, to casting a vote at the polls, to overcoming obstacles to their participation. Election Protection helps voters make sure their vote is counted through a number of resources, including: A suite of voter helplines, Voter Protection field programs across the country, and digital outreach tools. Throughout the election cycle we’re working tirelessly to protect the vote.
Common Cause has decades of experience with protecting voters under difficult circumstances — natural disasters, computer failures, and everything in between.
So, while we’ve never seen anything like this pandemic, I’m confident we’ll be able to find the best solutions to protect public health and maintain voter access.
This means establishing or expanding vote-by-mail in every state where it’s viable for the November elections. And everywhere else, we’ll do everything possible to expand participation — early voting, online registration, and additional voting accommodations.
The truth is, Common Cause’s work to protect voters in 2020 has grown more necessary in the past few weeks. That’s why we’re counting on you, if you’re able, to step up with the resources to make it possible. I hope you will do what you can to help today.
Whether it's supporting a candidate, fighting to pass legislation, or working to change our culture, MoveOn members are committed to an inclusive and progressive future. We envision a world marked by equality, sustainability, justice, and love. And we mobilize together to achieve it.