This is a brief introduction to how and why this MLK Global has come about.
MLK Global is led by Dionne Gravesande and Deborah Burton (UK) and Yolande Cadore (USA).
DIONNE GRAVESANDE and DEBORAH BURTON worked together over a 6 year period (2003-09) at UK development and campaigning agency Christian Aid.
Together, they worked on projects that took our core campaigns (Trade Justice, Climate Justice and Tax Justice) to churches (including Black Majority Churches) as well as the wider public. These projects included high profile work such as the Channel 4 TV documentary The Great African Scandal; acclaimed cinema doc Black Gold and high profile campaigning work on the IMF and World Bank with Danny Glover and Abderrhamane Sissako’s film BAMAKO. Deborah left Christian Aid in 2009 to found Tipping Point North South and Dionne became one of TPNS’s 9 management committee members.
Dionne connected with our colleague Yolande Cadore through their shared campaign work for Drug Policy Reform.
YOLANDE CADORE has spent the last fifteen years working with grassroots organizations in New York City and nationally. Early in her career, she worked with the Working Families Party as one of their Brooklyn canvassers and later with the nationally known grassroots organizing and advocacy group ACORN as an organizer. Subsequent to her time at ACORN, she spent four years as the Lead Organizer at New York State Tenants and Neighbors, a statewide housing organization. Recognizing the correlation between degraded environments, including poor quality housing and poor health, led Yolande to WE ACT for Environmental Justice where she was the Director of Community Organizing for six years. As Director, she developed the organization’s outreach and advocacy campaigns. Additionally, she served as the National Field Director at The Praxis Project. Yolande understands the idiosyncrasies of disenfranchised and marginalized communities and believes that the strategic alignment of individuals and organizations is an important catalyst to effecting long term social change. From 2010 to 2015 she was the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Drug Policy Alliance. She has also consulted for several organizations including the Open Society Foundations and Moveon.org. Yolande holds an undergraduate degree in Urban Policy and Advocacy, a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Columbia Business School–Institute for Not-for-Profit Management and is currently a graduate student at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University.
JAMYE WOOTEN is the founder of KINETICS and publishing editor of KineticsLive.com, an information ministry that integrates theological reflection and practice, and uses dialogue as a catalyst for social change. He is a trusted adviser and consultant to many of the world’s most influential faith-based and non-profit organizations. On the forefront of digital strategy, he has been invited consecutively to speak at SXSW, the world’s largest interactive festival. Wooten is the creator of the #BlackChurchSyllabus and founder of FaithintheCity.org, a monthly gathering where faith and public life meet in Baltimore. Jamye has organized and documented social movements from across the United States, United Kingdom and Africa. He is the former program director of the Collective Banking Group, Inc. (CBG), a Christian ministry that draws together leaders from the faith, business, and public service sectors to develop and enhance economic empowerment strategies for the African American community.
Background to #MLKGlobal
In 2013 Deborah was commissioned to make a short film about the campaigning history of UK agency Christian Aid in collaboration with Dionne. At the heart of that film was the story that, during the 1960s, Christian Aid and the WCC had raised funds to support the work of Dr King and Delta Ministry – its director at the time, Janet Lacey, visiting the projects and reporting back to the WCC, a strong advocate and supporter of Dr King from the 1950s onwards. During the 1960s, Christian Aid also provided PR support to Dr King on his few trips to London.
It was during the research for this short film that we learned about the Poor People’s Campaign and the Economic Bill of Rights and how Dr King had moved to a much more radical critique of power – that of why and how capitalism itself had to be challenged.
The Economic Bill of Rights of 1968 had resonance for Dionne and Deborah’s past and present international campaigning work on structural issues such as debt, trade, tax, climate and the so called ‘war on drugs’. We began to see if it was possible to adapt the Bill for today and to internationalise it by bringing together networks within nations and across nations, secular and non-secular under Dr. King’s vision and the Economic Bill of Rights developed by the Committee of 100. This idea very much resonated with Yolande’s work and since mid-2016 we have been developing the project together.
ABOUT TIPPING POINT NORTH SOUTH
Tipping Point North South is a London based ‘for the benefit of society’ co-operative and is non-profit. We support a small number of cinema documentary films; we have our own standalone single issue campaigns and we co-produces events on critical issues of our day (project list below.)
First Projects Slate 2010-2015
Cinema Documentary Films
- Open Bethlehem: Director Leila Sansour Palestine /UK (released)
TPFF Co-Producer http://www.tippingpointfilmfund.com/site/projects/open-bethlehem/
- We Are Many: Dir Amir Amirani (released)
TPFF Exec Producer http://www.tippingpointfilmfund.com/site/projects/we-are-many/
- The Power of Us (developed by TPFF)
A cinema doc about the power and possibility of co-operation. A teaser to indicate issue
- Make Apartheid History shorts to promote a new campaign linking Palestine with civil rights and anti-apartheid movements http://makeapartheidhistory.org/video-gallery/
- Bethlehem Unwrapped: 13 min film about our installation and festival http://www.tippingpointfilmfund.com/site/news/10-years-on-the-illegal-wall-share-our-film/
- Make Apartheid History http://makeapartheidhistory.org/
- The Five Percent Campaign on runaway military spending http://tippingpointnorthsouth.org/5percent/short-intro/
- From Pink to Prevention Challenging vested interests ie governments, industry and breast cancer charities about pink-washing and the sidelining of environmental and occupational links to breast cancer worldwide http://tippingpointnorthsouth.org/campaigns/from-pink-to-prevention/
- The War on Drugs and the push for reform http://tippingpointnorthsouth.org/campaigns/rethink-the-war-on-drugs/
Issue based events highlights
- Tax Justice Tax and the Civilised Society http://tippingpointnorthsouth.org/2013/06/25/events-tax-and-the-civilised-society-june-8/
- Breast Cancer London: A Toxic Tour http://tippingpointnorthsouth.org/2013/08/05/cancer-prevention-a-toxic-tour/
Film Fund ENDORSEMENTS
I’m fully supportive of what Tipping Point Film Fund is doing. To use the medium of film to move and inspire people to get involved in important social justice issues is critical… we have an opportunity right now… we must make use of that opportunity and momentum and ensure our voices are heard. – Danny Glover – Actor, Producer and Campaigner.
The need for documentaries that ask hard political questions is greater than ever, as the main TV producers and channels abdicate their responsibility. So many stories to tell, so few make it to the screen. Good luck to Tipping Point Film Fund. – Ken Loach, Film Director
I am a part of Tipping Point Film Fund because of its commitment to supporting truly international stories and to getting those stories out through film, to as wide an audience as possible. For me personally these stories reflect the complex set of connections that inextricably link me here in the west to my family in the global south and so too for all of us, all the human family, north south east and west. I believe we all need to have access to these films if we are to recognise each other in the shared stories they tell, and thus be able to move forward with understanding, through the richness and beauty of our shared world.This is important work and now more than ever, we need this.– Adjoa Andoh – Film, Theatre and TV Actress
DB/DG March 2016