Chris Kromm

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Chris Kromm

Chris Kromm is the Executive Director of the Institute for Southern Studies and the publisher of Southern Exposure. Before working at the Institute, Kromm was an organizer with the N.C. Student Rural Health Coalition. From 1992 to 1994, Kromm was Communications Director for the Student Environmental Action Coalition and editor of its monthly magazine, Threshold.[1]

He is associated with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Married to Melissa Price Kromm.

Always welcome were honored guests like...

The Pink House always welcome were honored guests like...

Matthew Dan Stewart, Sophia Sacks, Rashmi Airan, Jasme Kelly, Matt Schofield, Kendal McDevitt, Malcolm Aaron, Ericka Kurz (RIP 1993), Banu Ogan, Mark Chilton, Jerome Seaton, Gerald Bundy (who later invited Jay to come live at 401 Pritchard), Mike Gonzales, Kas DeCarvalho, Anne Michaud, Josh Bradt, Trevor Schoonmaker, Dave Deifell, Deepu Gowda, Pam Hartley, Mark Kleinschmidt, Preston Harrison Dunlop, John Svara, Erika Gantt, Jenn Hanner, Dave Kaplan, Pete Corson, Ed Chaney, Dina Dajani, Elizabeth Dryman, Donna Bell, Ruby Sinreich, David Biggs, Ali Webster, Jim Holm, Cherryl Aldave, Brandon Carr, Deollo Johnson, Chris Marthinson, Quince Marcum, Finis Dunaway, Caitlin Reed, Matt Stiegler, Jen Stander, Amy-Jae Rignola, Kimberly Dawn Pittman, Richard Hess, Melissa Hedt and Matt Hedt, Tim Ross, Thomas King, Tony Deifell, Marty Johnson, Arati Pandya, Mel Benner (RIP 2012), Chris Qualls, Anna Weinstein, Joan Petit, Uzoma Nwosu, Termain Kyles, Caroline Okun, Deb Boxill, Doug Ferguson, Philip Charles-Pierre, Terrence Garrison, Jimmy Bishara, John Bonitz, Shannon Scruggs, Chris Baumann, Eric Odell, Chris Kromm, Lindsay Bowen, Dana Terebelski, Greg Humphreys, Penny Bakatsias and Tina Bakatsias, Marc Sloop, Milton Artis (RIP 2009), Clay Boyer and Ted Boyer, Matt McMichaels and Susan McMichaels, Mike Jackson, Trevor Johnson, Charles Overbeck, Denise Matthewson, Jeremy Reiter, Myles Presler, Lee Richardson, Kelley Kirven, Eliza Root, and Joe Herzenberg (RIP 2007).[2]

War Times

In January 2002, a group of San Francisco leftists, mainly involved with STORM or Committees of Correspondence, founded a national anti-Iraq War newspaper[3] War Times.

Endorsers of the project included Chris Kromm, director, Institute for Southern Studies.

Voter registration rally

Part of the crowd on West Jones Street April 13, 2011, in Raleigh protesting at the General Assembly the Republican majority's plan to suppress votes through a new voter photo ID law.

Speakers included two college students who talked about the disproportionate impact on young voters whose existing photo IDs will probably not have their college addresses. Senior citizens who've given up their driving privileges and who do not have birth certificates spoke, along with a representative of the American Assoc. of Retired Persons. A homeless veteran spoke against the law, along with representatives of North Carolina Fair Share. Chris Kromm of the Institute for Southern Studies spoke as did several members of the General Assembly. Rep. Alma Adams asked rhetorically, "If you look like me, do you need a voter ID? Hell no!"

Rep. Larry Hall, one of the leaders of the opposition in the General Assembly, summed up the conclusion of many of the speakers ... that the supposed "need" for this proposed law only emerged after the Republicans took control of the General Assembly. "They want us to be stuck with them forever," Rep. Hall said, and the way to do that is to suppress the votes of groups not naturally aligned with the extreme conservative views of those now running the General Assembly.

Rev. William J. Barber II of the NC NAACP thundered for all of us: "Tell it like it is! This is a voter-suppression, voter-intimidation law. But we won't go back! Too many have cried, too many have died for the right to vote!"[4]

"Organizing the South"

After the UAW’s bid to represent workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee was narrowly defeated last winter, mainstream pundits wrote off the AFL-CIO’s much-vaunted commitment “to develop a Southern organizing strategy.” But the obituaries are premature. Just days after the vote, panelists at a crowded forum in Durham, North Carolina October 2014 , rejected the pessimistic conclusion that organizing unions in the South remains futile and pointed to areas of potential growth. Their common message was that unions can win in the South through a variety of tactics, such as reaching out to new constituencies, cultivating and mobilizing community support, running innovative campaigns, recruiting and retaining public sector workers, and political action.

Chris Kromm, director of the Institute for Southern Studies, pointed out that the South has the lowest rates of union membership and the worst concentration of poverty in the United States

MaryBe McMillan, secretary-treasurer of the North Carolina AFL-CIO, believes that the changing demographics of the South, with people moving from elsewhere in the United States, along with substantial immigration from other countries, mean growth in segments of the population—particularly African Americans and Latinos—that are more likely to support unions. These trends represent an opportunity for labor and for the broader progressive movement.

Justin Flores, vice president of FLOC, noted that farm workers lack any protection under federal labor law, and many are also vulnerable as undocumented immigrants. Despite these challenges, FLOC was able to follow a successful strike against the Mt. Olive Pickle Company with a ground-breaking collective bargaining agreement between the union and the North Carolina Growers Association... Zaina Alsous, an organizer with NC Raise Up, discussed the ways that retail and fast-food workers have departed from the traditional union organizing script of seeking formal certification through National Labor Relations Board elections...In North Carolina, commented Angaza Laughinghouse, president of the North Carolina Public Service Workers Union, UE Local 150, collective bargaining agreements between unions and public employers are illegal, as are strikes by public service workers. Despite these obstacles, UE 150 has succeeded in organizing and winning improvements in wages and working conditions for its members. It has done so through rank-and-file workplace action, including wildcat strikes in some instances.[5]

Meeting Melissa

Institute for Southern Studies September 6, 2012:


Last shot from the Democracy Now set: Institute director Chris Kromm with Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC and Kevin Alexander Gray. Ms. Harris-Perry said she's a "big fan" of the Institute's work on Gulf Coast recovery and voting rights.

AFL-CIO panel on trade

December 1, 2014, the AFL-CIO convened a aanel about Pending Trade Deals as Free Trade “Charm Offensive” Comes to Charlotte

Panelists will highlight for public and press what pro-traders want to hide, Dec. 1 at 6:30 PM
The panel of policy makers, policy experts, business leaders, and workers will discuss whether trade deals lead to job creation and greater prosperity for our country or the devastation of our manufacturing sector, more offshoring of service-sector jobs and a growing trade deficit that leaves us more in debt to the rest of the world.

Who: Congresswoman Alma Adams; Celeste Drake, AFL-CIO trade policy expert; MaryBe McMillan, Secretary-Treasurer of the NC State AFL-CIO; Chris Kromm, Executive Director of the Institute for Southern Studies; Tony Hawkins with UAW Local 5285; Ed Kaleda with CWA 3603; Rick Malliris, retired CEO of KB Alloys (now known as AMG Aluminum).

Contacts: Jeremy Sprinkle, Communications Director, DeLane Adams, AFL-CIO Field Communications.[6]

South Carolina Raising Wages Summit

Institute for Southern Studies February 6, 2016 ·


Institute for Southern Studies Executive Director Chris Kromm spoke at the South Carolina Raising Wages Summit today in Charleston, along with Rep. James Clyburn and AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre.

Democracy Alliance


Weston Milliken, Maria Rodriguez Florida Immigrant Coalition, Chris Kromm Institute for Southern Studies, Mary Hooks Southerners On New Ground, Tamieka Atkins ProGeorgia, took part in a panel "The South's evolving progressive power" at the Democracy Alliance Spring 2018 conference.

The Nation

Kromm was an occasional author for The Nation.[7]

External links