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In Alabama, Alabama Forward captured the unique history and experiences of southern community organizing in their original album titled Caregiver Road Trip.

June 24, 2022

Case Study

In Alabama, Alabama Forward captured the unique history and experiences of southern community organizing in their original album titled Caregiver Road Trip.

The Challenge

As Alabama sits on the frontlines of Supreme Court case #MilliganvMerrill, a challenge that will bring one of last voter protection tools of the Voting Rights Act into question, there is an urgent need to continue supporting civic engagement rates of nonwhite and Alabamians committed to expansive democracy.

The Approach

Alabama Forward recognized that they can build new and stronger relationships across communities when the invitation into community-organizing-centered music, visual art, and other creative content.

The Caregiver Road Trip musical project engaged artists from Alabama’s Shake the Field art collective and local artist Felt Five Thompson to collectively tell the story of personal and social experiences of people working within freedom movements, as well as the experiences of the community members those movements are aspiring to engage.

The album released in February 2022 provided a new cultural artwork to connect to communities, organize public engagement campaigns and volunteer opportunities.

Musical group the Felt Five Thompson performing the Caregiver Road Trip album live.

The musical group the Felt Five Thompson performs the Caregiver Road Trip album live at Alabama Forward’s community visioning event.

“So figuring out how to build new identity spaces for people in Alabama or from Alabama who have pro-democracy values, that’s something that we’re leaning into with music, with art, with organizing and with funding, with litigation when necessary, with really everything that we can to try to get more people involved in this conversation.”

– Evan Milligan, Executive Director of Alabama Forward

Conclusion

Culture has the power to shift hearts and minds. Alabama Forward’s community organizing and power-building strategies include music, art, and creative content that center the experiences of everyday people and the history of previous generations to convey what’s at stake.

Community members wearing yellow shirts with black text smile.

Alabama Forward community members smile for a group photo. Six of the seven people wear yellow shirts with black block text that reads, “Register. Mobilize. Vote. Repeat.”