Ajamu Dillahunt

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Ajamu Dillahunt


Ajamu (Gordon) Dillahunt is a North Carolina activist. He is married to Rukiya Dillahunt, and is the father of Dara Dillahunt, and Ajamu Dillahunt, Jr.

American Postal Workers Union

Dillahunt served as President of the Raleigh Area Local of the American Postal Workers Union for 18 years, where he was also Director of Research and Education for the North Carolina Council of the APWU.[1]

FRSO connection

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Circa 1988 Freedom Road Socialist Organization compiled a "Nationality Contact" list. It comprised of people Freedom Road would like to work with or to recruit, mainly through racial issues.

The list included Gordon Dillahunt and Elaine Dillahunt of the Amilcar Cabral/Paul Robeson Collective, and their college age daughter Dara Dillahunt. Jack Holtzman was named as a suitable contact. .

Malcolm X conference

A conference, Malcolm X: Radical Tradition and a Legacy of Struggle was held in New York City, November 14 1990.

Black Workers Unity and Resistance to Economic Barbarism

Chairperson:

Panel:

Memorial March

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Those present at the February 1992 planning meeting for the Imperial Food Workers memorial March and Rally included Ashaki Binta and Cassandra Smith (co-chairs), Cornell Locklear, Angaza Laughinghouse, Jim Grant, Gini Webb, Marcia Dean.

National Outreach, Endorsements Coordinating and Co-sponsors committee:Ashaki Binta, Pamela Namdar, Cornell Locklear, Ajamu Dillahunt, Rev. Fred Taylor, Eileen Hansen.

African American Commission

In 1996, Ajamu Dillahunt was a member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization African American Commission.[3]

Black Radical Congress

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At the 1998 Black Radical Congress in Chicago, a panel was convened on "Organizing the South"

This panel will discuss the historic role of the Black South in the larger history of Black exploitation and the struggle for Black freedom.

Panelists were Ashaki Binta, Chokwe Lumumba, Ajamu Dillahunt, (coordinator) Gary Grant, Latosha Brown[4]

In March 1998 “Endorsers of the Call” to found a Black Radical Congress included Ajamu Dillahunt, a southern labor activist, North Carolina [5].

In 2000 Ajamu Dillahunt was the North Carolina Central-East contact for Black Radical Congress[6].

“Forging a Black Liberation Agenda for the 21st Century”

10th Anniversary Meeting of the Black Radical Congress, “Forging a Black Liberation Agenda for the 21st Century” Black Radical Congress, June 20-22, 2008, St. Louis, Missouri.

Endorsers for the Congress included Ajamu Black Workers for Justice.[7]

600 Local Activists Reclaim Dr. King's Radical Legacy

According to Will Jones, a graduate student at UNC and an activist with the Carolina Socialist Forum, Internationalist Books, and the North Carolina chapter of the Committees of Correspondence.

Chapel Hill - Six hundred people came out Monday, January 20, 1998 for a march and rally in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King's dedication to radical social change. The Chapel Hill/Carrboro NAACP, in coalition with more than thirty other organizations, organized this year's march to mark recent gains by the UNC Housekeepers Association and the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Black Public Works Association. According to long-time Chapel Hill activist Joe Straley, this was the largest such event the town had ever seen.

The size of the march reflected two months of dedicated coalition work. The NAACP, the BPWA, and the HKA worked with the Carolina Socialist Forum, the Coalition for Economic Justice, the Lesbian Avengers, the Feminist Alliance and other groups to build a coalition to plan the celebration. Organizers sent over 800 letters and flyers asking community and work place organizations, churches, and campus groups to spread the word and to join the march. They spoke before congregations, on the radio, and local cable access television, and passed out thousands of flyers advertising the event.

The day before the march, Carolina Socialist Forum began the celebration with a panel discussion entitled Civil Rights for the 1990s: A Call for Economic Justice. Dr. Gerald Horne, director of the Black Cultural Center, began the forum with an historical view of the relationship between racism and economic exploitation in the United States. Lesbian feminist activist Mab Segrest followed by pointing out the need for a global perspective on social inequality in the present period. Lizbeth Melendez, who is helping Guatemalan poultry workers organize a union in Morganton NC, concluded with a local view of the relationship between racial justice and the union movement. All three speakers stressed the centrality of economic justice in civil rights struggles for people of color, women, lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals, and other targets of discrimination.

The service culminated with a key note address by Ajamu Dillahunt of the Postal Workers' Union and Black Workers for Justice . A fitting end to a day celebrating the struggle for racial and economic justice, Dillahunt's speech stressed the importance of acknowledging Dr. King's increasing radicalism in the last years of his life.

Chapel Hill's growing movement for economic justice demonstrated how progressive coalitions could reclaim King's radical legacy. Dillahunt called the Housekeepers "Shining Stars" who had inspired public workers across North Carolina. The BPWA had demonstrated the awesome power that organized workers could wield in local political struggles. By supporting these movements, progressive activists in the Coalition for Economic Justice, the Black Student Movement, the Internationalist Bookstore, and other groups were forcing Chapel Hill to live up to its reputation as a progressive community.

Turning to national politics, Dillahunt defended the controversial decision to introduce Ebonics, or Black English, into the public school curriculum in Berkley, California. He chastised Jesse Jackson and other black leaders for denouncing the decision without knowing all the facts. For example, Jackson overlooked the fact that Berkeley's school board had only supported instructing teachers and parents to recognize and appreciate black speech patterns. Instead of checking the facts, he had denounced the motion for advocating the teaching of black English in place of standard English.

Dillahunt concluded by asking his audience to "keep the struggle in front of" them. Activist coalitions for economic justice can grow in all communities, and they should mimic Chapel Hill's movement by allowing workers to set the agendas. He criticized the Democratic and Republican Parties, and urged local activists to support the Labor Party, the Green Party, the New Party, or any other party dedicated to an agenda based on the needs of working people. Only by reclaiming King's commitment to radical social change, can a truly progressive movement continue to grow in Chapel Hill, and across North Carolina.[8]

Freedom Road magazine

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Special thanks for Freedom Road Socialist Organization's Freedom Road magazine Number 1, Spring 2001 went to Cameron Barron, Scott Braley, Ajamu Dillahunt, Bill Capowski, Mike Meiselman, Rajiv Rawat, Vicky Menjivar, Michelle Foy, Jon Liss, Chip Smith.

North Carolina Justice Center

In 2004 Dillahunt joined the North Carolina Justice Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is now the Outreach Coordinator for the organization.[9]

Institute for Southern Studies

Dillahunt serves as Board Co-chair for the Institute for Southern Studies.[10]

In 2011, the Board members of the Institute for Southern Studies included:[11]

Committees of Correspondence connection

In 1999 local and regional meetings members and friends of the Committees of Correspondence were "discussing the state of the left and social movements with an eye to the future of the organization".

In the Raleigh and Durham area, the local CoC held a forum on police brutality and the death penalty in May. Speakers were National Co-Chair Charlene Mitchell and Ajamu Dillahunt of the Black Workers for Justice[12].

Several members of the CofC and friends participated in a stimulating discussion of the issues followed by a membership meeting that discussed the objectives of the national convention

Black Workers for Justice

In 2006 Ajamu Dillahunt, sat on the National Coordinating Committee for Black Workers for Justice, in North Carolina[13].

He is a member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization[14].

Fayetteville peace rally

The Fayetteville rally for peace was held on March 19th 2005.

Speakers included;

MCs were Bridgette Burge, Peace LEAP (NC; and Bryan Proffitt, North Carolina Peace and Justice Coalition.[15]

Center for Labor Renewal

In 2009 Ajamu Dillahunt was listed as an endorser of the Center for Labor Renewal[16].

A Call to the Black Left

Back in June 2007 at the U.S. Social Forum, over 50 brothers and sisters gathered in Atlanta to discuss the state of the Black liberation movement and role of the Black Left. Most agreed that the Gulf Coast/Katrina disaster is a defining moment that requires that Black revolutionaries unite and work to build a National Black United Front. It’s initial focus being the development and support of a Gulf Coast Reconstruction Movement. This movement would be a part of a strategic flank of the wider National Black Liberation Movement.

We are inviting you to join this effort and would like to include your name on the Call as an official endorser and participant of a National Gathering of Black Leftist to be sent out to others inviting their participation. The Gathering will be held at the Sonja Hayes Stone Center for Black Culture and History on the UNC Campus in Chapel Hill, NC on May 30 – June 1, 2008. This became the Black Left Unity Network.

Endorsers included:

FRSO member

In 2009, Ajamu Dillahunt was a member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.[18].

United for a Fair Economy

As of Dec. 30, 2009, Ajamu Dillahunt was on the Board for United for a Fair Economy.[19]

Supporting mental health workers

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Mental health workers rally at the office of Adminstrative Hearings in Raleigh Sept. 20 2010, when Judge Beecher Gray ruled five Black workers were fired unfairly. Pictured from right, UE150 members Cornell Hendrick (Central Regional Hospital), Ernestine Smythe (CRH), Dorothy Williams (CRH), Suzanne Bailey (CRH), Bernell Terry (CRH), Ben Carroll (UNC) and community supporters Brigid Flaherty (Pushback Network), Ajamu Dillahunt (North Caroline Justice Center) and Dani Martinez-Moore (North Caroline Justice Center).

Black Liberation Theoreticians

Circa 2012, a Black Left Unity Directory;

Ashaki Binta/NC, William Darity /NC, Ajamu Dillahunt /NC, Joyce Johnson /NC, Nelson Johnson /NC, Joseph Jordan, Julianne Malveaux / NC, Shafeah M'Balia, Naeema Muhammad /NC, Saladin Muhammad /NC, Mark Anthony Neal /NC, Ed Whitfield /NC, Leah Wise / NC.[20]

"Third Reconstruction?"

August 2, 2013 Bob Wing published an article in Counterpunch, on organizing in the South "Rightwing Neo-Secession or a Third Reconstruction?"

Special thanks to my lifelong colleagues Max Elbaum and Linda Burnham and to Jon Liss, Lynn Koh, Carl Davidson, Ajamu Dillahunt, Raymond Eurquhart and Bill Fletcher, Jr. for their comments, critiques and suggestions.

Black Left Unity December 2013

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Group portrait at the conclusion of the December 21, 2013 Black Left Unity Network meeting. Seated, left to right: Ajamu Dillahunt, Saladin Muhammad, Abdul Alkalimat, Ashaki Binta, Kathy Knight. Standing, left to right: Roger Newell, J. R. Fleming, T. Menelik Van Der Meer, Dennis Orton, Kia Van Der Meer, Sam Anderson, Shafeah M'Balia, Rose Brewer, Anthony Monteiro, Toussaint Losier, Rukiya Dillahunt, Taliba Obu, Jonathan Stith, Carl Redwood, Tdka Kilimanjaro, Jamal Oliver, Akinjele Umoja.

"Progressive" leaders in North Carolina

In August Dr. Jack Rasmus invited guests from the "grass roots fight for democracy in North Carolina, where democratic and civil rights have come under intensifying attacks from its Republican governor and conservative state legislators". Continuing the theme of recent Alternative Visions radio shows on the growing assault on democratic and civil rights in the US and abroad,

Dr. Rasmus interviewed three "well known and highly respected community activists who have been deeply involved in the 'moral mondays' protests and other movements in that state. Jack welcomes Reverend Nelson Johnson, Ajamu Dillahunt, and Zach Robinson--all three located in different parts of the state and together involved in the fight to defend democratic, civil and labor rights in a state where recent attacks on democratic, civil and labor rights have been the most intense. What happens in North Carolina is a harbinger of things to come."

  • Ajamu Dillahunt is a founder of the Black Workers for Justice, which has resisted job offshoring and safety & health problems in that state for decades. He is a past president of the Postal Workers Union, a member of the Raleigh, North Carolina Central Labor Council, and a statewide coordinator for the Moral Mondays and other coalition protests.

Ear to the Ground Project

Ear to the Ground Project;

We would like to express our deep respect and appreciation for everyone who took the time to talk with us, and the organizations that generously hosted us during our travels. Interviews were confidential, but the following people have agreed to have their names listed for this publication:

Most of those listed were connected to Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Ajamu Dillahunt was among those on the list. [22]

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance Coordinating Committee

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance Coordinating Committee, as of 2015;[23]

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance 10th anniversary

10 years ago in San Antonio, grassroots leaders from communities of color, indigenous peoples and low-income communities across the US voted to launch a new alliance to connect US-based grassroots organizing to international social movements. And so, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance was born!

In 2015, we are coming full circle to San Antonio for our 10th Anniversary Kick-Off Event!

Join us for an intergenerational panel of activists in dialogue about activism and the resurgence of street mobilization in the global justice movement, from the early 2000s to 2015.

Moderated by Ajamu Dillahunt of Black Workers for Justice

Speakers:

Comrades

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Jon Levine is with Bill Fletcher, Jr. and 28 others - Richie Chevat, Francy Caprino, Ellie Gitelman Bagli, Mindy Gershon, Ajamu Dillahunt, Steve Backman, Dennis O'Neil, Martha Cameron, Glen Ford, Stan Goff, Sean Crimmins, Nat Turner Bender, Dave Blalock, James Carey, Larry Hamm, Sally Davidow, Bert Barao, Joe Fine, Bella August, Richard Cammarieri, Jeff Crosby, Sidney Brown, Carol Fine, Charles Bagli, Willa Cofield, Carmen Berkley.

September 14, 2016:

Thanks to Alfreda Coachman Daniels for sharing this 40 year old historic photo from a 1976 anti-busing rally in Boston. Shaun King, from whom Ms. Daniels shared this blast-from-the-past photo, commented "The American flag may represent freedom to you but it meant something else to this man."[25]

MLK Day event

Monday 18 January 2016, 1415 Elm St, Knoxville organized by : United Campus Workers.

Join us for our annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration to honor his work for economic, racial, and social justice and to commit to carrying on this work on our campuses, in our state, and in our country! Now as much as ever before, MLK’s dream is a powerful vision that can guide our fight to put the people first! Guest speaker Ajamu Dillahunt from North Carolina.

Those indicating willingness to support or attend the event on the Wherevent page included Rae Jones, Anne Smith, David Dalton, Bob Hutton, Ben Allen, Jordan Welsh, Eleazar Ortiz, William Isom, Stan Johnson, Tom Smith, Jay Butler, Karly Safar, Alex Fields, Katie Myers, Elizabeth Wright, Janet Miles, Sally Buice, Elizabeth Armstrong, Cassie Watters, Michelle Christian, Lee Dunham Sessions, Naomia J. Fountain-Holloway, Jim Sessions, Maurice L. Clark, Sr., Saint Thomas LeDoux, Melanie Barron, Michelle Gore.[26]

Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing

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Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing, was a nationwide conference call organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday October 30, 2016.

What's the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we're fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.

Those invited, on Facebook included Ajamu Dillahunt.[27]

Black Ideological Struggle Webinar

Black Ideological Struggle: Radical, Liberal, Conservative Public · Hosted by Sendolo Diaminah and Cazembe Jackson

Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 8:30 PM

Created for Black August Practice Group

Join Sendolo Diaminah for a conversation about why Black radicals can and must learn how to effectively engage liberal and conservative ideologies among our people.
September 2, 2017. Hey family! Here is the final recording from the Black August webinars! Sendolo Diaminah took lots of patience and creativity breaking down Black Ideological Struggle for us.[28]

Those saying they would attend, on Facebook included Ajamu Dillahunt.

Amandla Training

Sendolo Diaminah February 1 2018

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Hey Black organizers & those who love us: BOLD has re-opened our application period for Amandla, our organizer training program. We have just a few more slots we wanted to make available, so now is your chance if you missed the deadline!

Alicia Garza, Ajamu Dillahunt, Aaron Gamal, Whitney Maxey, Hashim Benford, Ociele Hawkins, Bryan Proffitt, Bennett D. Carpenter, Courtney Sebring, Cazembe Murphy Jackson, Reece Chenault, Charlene Carruthers, Chanelle Croxton, D’atra Jackson, Dove Kent, Fresco Steez DeLaflyy, Maria C. Fernandez, Aiden Riley Graham, Kaji Reyes, Laila Nur, Theo Luebke, Maria Poblet, N’Tanya Lee, Taliba O Njeri, Orisanmi Burton, Quinton Harper, Roberto Tijerina, Mary Hooks, Serena Sebring, Adaku Utah, Vanessa Moses, Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, Thomas Wayne Walker, Jayanni Elizabeth, Jayda Rasberry, Amber Evans, Dara Cooper, Yotam Marom.

Chip Smith Memorial

Guests at Chip Smith's March 2018 memorial service included Dave Austin, Bridgette Burge, Bryan Proffitt, Saladin Muhammad, Ajamu Dillahunt, Rukiya Dillahunt, Susan Perry Cole (Racial Justice Group), Marcus Thomas (Racial Justice Group), Susan Ayers (PFlag), Don Cavalini, Lois Anderson, Charlie Orrock, State Senator Angela Bryant "a comrade of Chip's", a letter from Marvin Winstead, and a messages Meizhu Lui, Michelle Foy, Bill Fletcher, Jr. as Freedom Road Socialist Organization members.

Ajamu Dillahunt represented the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

References

  1. United for a Fair Economy website: Board
  2. http://www.brothermalcolm.net/sections/malcolm/old/workshop.html
  3. [Forward Motion, Winter 96/97]
  4. [THE BLACK SCHOLAR VOLUME 28, NO. 3/4, page 45]
  5. http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/524.html
  6. BRC Today Vol 1,Issue 4 p 11
  7. Info Exchange, 10th Anniversary Meeting of the Black Radical Congress, June 20-22, 2008
  8. The Prism, 600 Local Activists Reclaim Dr. King's Radical Legacy by Will Jones
  9. United for a Fair Economy website: Board
  10. United for a Fair Economy website: Board
  11. Institute for Southern Studies "Board of Directors," Accessed: December 2011
  12. Corresponder: Vol. 8 No. 3 June/August, 1999
  13. http://freedomroad.org/content/view/386/244/lang,en/
  14. http://www.assatashakur.org/forum/open-forum/28573-call-black-left-unity-30-may-1-june-chapel-hill-nc.html
  15. ]http://www.grassrootspeace.org/fayetteville_rally_1.html Rally Against War - Fayetteville, NC - March 19, 2005]
  16. http://www.centerforlaborrenewal.org/?P=EN
  17. BlackLeftUnity › Black Left Meerting A Call to the Black Left
  18. http://www.revolutionarywork.org/?q=content/breakout-sessions-and-optional-opportunities-english
  19. United for a Fair Economy website: Board
  20. Black Liberation Theoreticians A Black Left Unity Directory
  21. alternativevisions, Alternative Visions - ‘Moral Mondays’ & the North Carolina Fight for Democracy - 08/28/13 Aug 28th, 2013
  22. Ear to the Ground, About, accessed Nov. 12, 2015
  23. Global Justice Alliance CC
  24. Antonio peace Center, Internationalism January 23
  25. [1]
  26. [http://www.wherevent.com/detail/United-Campus-Workers-Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Day-Celebration Wherevent, Monday 18 January 2016, 1415 Elm St, Knoxville organized by : United Campus Workers
  27. FB Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing Went 109
  28. [2]
Black Radical Congress