An overwhelming display of solidarity at the People’s Convention in Detroit reminded us that physical gatherings are powerful.

“When we connect with members from groups all over the country, we realize that we are connected to a bigger movement,” said  James Haslam, RAD’s executive director. That movement, established by a collection of independent organizations, came together to support a more unified mission for change. 

Around 1700 participants of grassroots organizations like RAD gathered to advance progressive politics and bring real justice and democracy. Participants at the convention experienced workshops for grassroots and speeches from community leaders, including a video chat with presidential nominees Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Julian Castro. 

Other influential speakers also shared their stories. Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan reminded everyone that in many ways the labor and civil rights movement began in Detroit. It will be there that the fight for the Green New Deal and real democracy will continue.

But RAD and hundreds of other grassroots organizations are working to lead a new progressive movement in local communities around the country that will help bring national change.   

Haslam said, “The most important organizing we need in this country is in our own communities, but it’s exciting and important to meet those doing similar work in different communities all over the country.”