Nan Orrock

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Nan Orrock

Nan Grogan Orrock (aka Nan Guerrero) is a Georgia State Senator. She is close to the Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America.

Orrock got her start in politics through the civil rights movement, when she stepped into the streets on Aug. 28, 1963 to join the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. She went on to work for the SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) in Atlanta and Mississippi, led a community civil rights project in Virginia’s Black Belt counties, helped launch an alternative newspaper and joined women’s empowerment efforts in Atlanta.[1]

I credit my lifelong activism and commitment to progressive social change to the profound influence of the Movement that re-educated this southern white girl and put my feet on the road toward freedom. I cherish the lessons I learned and continue to learn, and the comrades I have been privileged to fight alongside. worked for both SCEF and SSOC. They are alive and well and will submit their own biographies. My two sons, 25 and 19, are staunch opposers of privilege for the few and are active in anti- racist, peace, and environmental causes.

Orrock's first husband was Gene Guerrero who was a SNCC summer volunteer in Mississippi. Her second husband was Charlie Orrock.[2]


Senator Orrock received her B.A. in English from Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia.[3]

Metro Atlanta DSA endorsement meeting


Metro Atlanta DSA January General Meeting

Saturday, Jan. 25 2020

CWA Local 3204 Union Hall

279 Logan St, Atlanta, GA 30312

This month's speakers are lawmakers Nan Orrock, Renitta Shannon, & Park Cannon. We’re also voting on a bylaws reform package and 2 candidate endorsements: Nabilah Islam & Michael Owens. (Only members in good standing may vote; please join DSA or renew today.)

Debs Douglass dinner 2019

Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America November 10 2019.

At Paschal's Restaurant.


With Renitta Shannon, Khalid Kamau, Nan Orrock.

Civil rights activism

Orrock stepped into the Movement "when I stepped into the streets on Aug. 28, 1963 to join the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." She then organized students at Mary Washington College in Virginia to join anti- racist activities and actions through the YWCA. She worked at Atlanta SNCC headquarters in Summer, 1964 and staffed the Greenwood Miss. office during the August Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Atlantic City Challenge.

Back home in Virginia, Orrock and friends organized a statewide student conference at Hampton Institute and SNCC's Stanley Wise led them in forming Virginia Students Civil Rights Committee that worked in southside Virginia Black Belt counties building the movement. Stokely Carmichael's speech to a community rally in Farmville was a highlight event.

Orrock worked in these rural communities for 2 years as VSCRC build locally led organizations and registered voters in six counties, and built a couny-wide economic boycott to protest the tolerance of open Klan organizing, shootings, cross-burnings.

We mobilized people to go to a southwide conference at Old Gammon in Georgia that included SNCC and SSOC people and to hear Dr. King speak at a Petersburg rally.

Orrock was a campus traveler and staffer for Southern Student Organizing Committee in Virginia and Nashville 65-66, joined efforts to organize North Carolina textile workers, and later served on the SCEF Board.[2]

Later activism

Orrock actively participated in anti-war activities, workplace organizing, and joined the emerging women's liberation movement of the mid to late sixties. She was a co-founder of Atlanta's "Great Speckled Bird" underground newspaper in 1967.

She was executive director of the Fund for Southern Communities, funding social change work in Georgia and the Carolinas, from 1987-92.[2]


Orrock was "privileged to cut cane in Cuba" as part of the Venceremos Brigade in 1970.

American-Korean Friendship and Information Center

On Feb. 27, 1971, Nan Guerrero ,Vice-President, Advisory Board, Southern Conference Educational Fund, Atlanta, Georgia , was listed as an initiating sponsor of the American-Korean Friendship and Information Center. The Center, a front for the Communist Party USA, was established to promote the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea and Vietnam.[4]

Union activism

Orrock worked seventeen years for Nabisco and was active in the Bakery, Confectionery and Tobacco Worker’s International Union - working for "union democracy" .

National Fight Back Conference

Nan Orrock was a Georgia delegate to the October League's December 1975 "National Fight Back Conference" in Chicago.

Speaker at Working Families Party Launch Party for Stacey Abrams

Socialist Khalid Kamau stumps for Stacey Abrams in Georgia

On April 08 2018, the Working Families Party and Georgia "feminist" Aimee Castenell held an event[5] in support of Stacey Abrams. Speakers included Representative Renitta Shannon, Councilman Khalid Kamau and Senator Nan Orrock.

Georgia State University professor Alex Sayf Cummings, who describes himself as a "Libyan, trans, socialist" on Twitter posted a short video of the event.

From the Tweet:[6]

“I am a socialist.” Black Lives Matter activist and the first self-identified socialist to get elected in Georgia, khalid kamau, speaking for Gov candidate @StaceyAbrams at Manuel’s Tavern.
Working Families Party Launch Party for Stacey Abrams 4-8-2018 Facebook Event Screenshot

Celebrating at the 11th Annual Douglass-Debs Awards Dinner

(L to R): State Senator Nan Grogan Orrock, Lisa Smith, MADSA officer, Erin Parks, and Shelley Elise Berlin.

Nan Grogan Orrock attended Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America's "Celebrating at the 11th Annual Douglass-Debs Awards Dinner" in November 2017.[7]

Campaign for America's Future

In 1996 Nan Orrock, Women Legislator’s Lobby, Georgia House of Representatives was one of the original 130 founders of Campaign for America's Future.[8]

Georgia politics

Orrock has been a State Representative in the Georgia House of Representatives since 1987, representing inner-city Atlanta neighborhoods. She worked for ten years for passage of Georgia Hate Crimes Act, and continues to work on health, civil rights,civil liberties, workplace and union rights, and women's issues. She is a founding executive committee member of the National Labor Caucus, a national network of union-friendly state legislators.

Orrock has been President of WiLL (Women Legislators Lobby), a national network of "progressive women state legislators who stand against excessive military spending and work to redirect those federal dollars to the greatly underfunded human services and environmental protection needs."

WiLL is a program of WAND, Women's Actions for New Directions, a national women's group on whose staff Orrock has served since 1997.[2]

DSA connections

Nan Orrock receives award from Richard Ray

On November 28, 2008, Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America held its second annual Douglass-Debs at the IBEW Hall.The event included the presentation of the Douglass-Debs award to Nan Grogan- Orrock by Richard Ray, Georgia State AFL-CIO, to Vincent Fort by Walter Andrews, President, Communication Workers of America 3204 and to Helen Butler by Charlie Flemming, President, Atlanta-North Georgia Labor Council AFL-CIO.[9]

On November 7 2009. Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America hosted its Third Annual Douglass-Debs Dinner at Paschal's Restaurant. State Senator Nan Orrock's memorial tribute honoring James Paschal was most timely and lent a sense of history to the evening. Her presentation to Judy Pierce, a cousin of James, highlighted the Paschal brothers’ and the restaurant's role in "nourishing" the civil rights movement. In the 60's, civil rights activists and leaders discussed, strategized and planned to go to jail at Paschal's.. [10]

2011 Douglass-Debs Dinner

Atl dinner-2011.jpg

Georgia House of Representatives/Senate

Senator Nan Orrock was elected to the Georgia Senate in 2006, following her service in the House of Representatives for two decades. During her tenure in the House, she was the first woman elected to hold the position of majority whip. She also served as the governor’s floor leader, a member of the Speakers Policy Committee and a committee chair.

Senator Orrock is vice-chair of the Interstate Cooperation Committee and serves on the Higher Education, Urban Affairs, Health and Human Services, Science and Technology and Agriculture and Consumer Affairs committees.

She is a founder of both the Georgia Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Working Families Caucus.


Nan Orrock is the president of Women Legislators’ Lobby, a national network of progressive women legislators who advocate for federal policies to reduce wasteful military spending and to improve the underfunded services to families, children, the disabled and the elderly.

Board service includes the Sapelo Foundation, the Center for Policy Alternatives, Institute of Energy and Environmental Research, the advisory council of SCLC/W.O.M.E.N, former executive director of the Fund for Southern Communities and membership of BCTWV.

Supported Progressive Health Care Reform

In late 2009, Nan Orrock was one of more than 1,000 state legislators to sign a letter entitled "State Legislators for Progressive Health Care Reform". The letter was a project of the Progressive States Network and was developed in consultation with national health care reform advocates, including the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Community Catalyst, Families USA, Herndon Alliance, National Women's Law Center, Northeast Action, SEIU, and Universal Health Care Action Network. The letter reads in part,[11]

"Failure to pass national comprehensive health reform now will further jeopardize state and local budgets, undermining public services like education, public safety, and transportation infrastructure... We, the undersigned, call on President Obama and the Congress to enact bold and comprehensive health care reform this year – based on these principles and a strong federal-state collaboration – and pledge our support as state legislators and allies in pursuit of guaranteed, high quality, affordable health care for all."

Progressive States Network

In 2010, Nan Orrock served on the Board of Directors for the Progressive States Network, an organization which seeks to "transform the political landscape by sparking progressive actions at the state level".[12]

Moral Monday education rally

On Feb. 17, 2014 Moral Monday GA, protested at the Georgia State Capitol, against the $7.6 billion reductions in Georgia's education budgets during the past 10 years. The rally was led by a group of educators, parents and teachers, and featured many diverse voices from those groups as well as Georgia NAACP President Rev. Francys Johnson and state senators Donzella James, Vincent Fort and Nan Orrock.[13]

WAND meeting

Massachusetts, May 11, 2015, It's Time Network President Jan Morgan and It's Time Network Director of Partnerships Eleanor LeCain attended an event with Women's Action for New Directions in Boston. Also attending were Senator Nan Orrock, President of Women Legislators Lobby and Congresswoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts.

Anti-Trump protest

According to Barbara Joye, January 30, 2017 started with a demonstration of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux protest against the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) that threatens a major water source and sacred sites. A crowd of about 500, including Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America members Dani Atlanta, Barbara Joye, Daniel Hanley and Reid Jenkins, marched from a rally at Piedmont Park to another at the North Ave. MARTA station. Sierra Club lobbyist Neill Herring reminded us that the Sabal Trail pipeline under construction through our state will take gas from fracking in Alabama to Florida so utilities can compete with solar energy.

Later, several thousand Atlantans massed and chanted for two hours in front of the south terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, protesting Trump's executive order excluding all refugees and banning citizens of seven Muslim countries from entering the U.S. Many MADSA members took part, dispersed among the crowd.

Congressmen John Lewis and Hank Johnson, State Sens. Vincent Fort and Nan Orrock, State Rep. Stacey Abrams, and Mayor Kasim Reed joined us - though Reed's statement that Atlanta is a "welcoming city" sparked cries from the crowd for a sanctuary city, as advocated by speaker Azadeh Shahshahani, spokesperson for GA-J20, the coalition which presented that demand to Reed's office on Jan. 20 (MADSA is a coalition member).[14]

Endorsing Stacey Abrams