What is the Deep South Leaders’ Network?
The Deep South Leaders' Network (DSLN) is designed as a strategic compilation of community leaders with a commitment to shift the power paradigm of the Deep South in favor of those most marginalized. DSLN houses a set of strategic relationship between emerging and seasoned leaders with a unique grounding in the South. These leaders share a commitment toward building an effective, connected strategy for equity and opportunity in the region. Through regional strategy convenings; leadership and skills institutes; participatory research projects; and, strategic partnerships DSLN’s mission is to nurture and develop long-term relationships and strategies for social, economic, political and ecological equity in the Deep South.
What does the DSLN do?
The Network works to incubate proactive strategy and ideas using a regional lens that can feed and support the work that members are doing and their networks, alliances and campaigns for the long-term. Because leaders in the Network are all connected to such opportunities in the Deep South (and throughout the nation), DSLN creates a unique space for relationship building crucial to seeding long-term change. Building long-term relationships has meant that leaders have a place to test out and develop ideas and can share best practices, making local work more effective.
Because of the gravity of issues faced in the South, many advocates are forced to focus on a single issue for an acute moment in time. This reality can often lead to missed opportunities for long-term, sustainable change in the region. The complimentary efforts of the DSLN help to bring the missing intersectional analysis of root causes and lasting solutions over a multi-generational span. By building long-term relationships and sharing strategic analyses, the Network helps leaders develop ideas, relationships and find allies to work proactively across issues and over the long-term.
What is the Organizational Structure of DSLN?
DSLN is housed at Moving Forward Gulf Coast, Inc., a Louisiana non-profit corporation, but maintains a separate governing board made up of its members. Currently this Core Team provides logistic and administrative support for gatherings and other projects. A recent modification in DSLN’s structure now provides for a Program Director, Communications Director, Policy Analyst, Membership and Events Manager and several Senior Researchers who act as issue experts.
Membership of DSLN encompasses veteran and emerging leaders committed to changing the impact of injustice uniquely unrestrained in the South. DSLN is designed to be a network of community leaders from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee – rooted in multiple sectors of society. The Network takes a non-partisan yet progressive approach toward building equitable solutions for the region by creating a multi-racial collection of emerging and seasoned organizers, community leaders, elected officials and business professionals. DSLN members are rooted in communities within the Global South and bring unique perspective to the equity and justice work of the Deep South.
For more information, please contact us at:
Deep South Leaders’ Network
C/O Moving Forward Gulf Coast, Inc.
620 Oak Harbor Blvd., Ste. 203
Slidell, Louisiana 70458