In the early fall of 2016, recent Guilford College graduate JuJu Holton signed up for a Facebook event organized by some friends in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. The gathering, advertised as “Reading While Black,” was organized in response to the recent killing of Keith Lamont Scott, a black father who was reading a book in his car when he was fatally shot by Greensboro police.
JuJu recalls, “Reading in the park sounded great, so I got my mason jar of tea and honey, grabbed a blanket, and headed out. When I arrived, the event was heavily surveilled. Someone even asked ‘how does your body feel being surrounded by so many cops’; that’s the point where things took a turn for me. I thought I was going to spend my afternoon drinking my tea, lying on my blanket, and reading some books. Instead, I connected with all of these amazing activists and everything changed.”
Last fall, JuJu attended the annual gathering of the Peace and Justice Studies Association in Birmingham. Here, they met more like-minded young activists, including many representatives from FOR, who invited JuJu to participate in our 2018 Young Adult Leadership Nonviolence Training Program at the Stony Point Center in Stony Point, New York. This three-day event was transformative for JuJu.
“It was such a powerful experience to be in community with this group of people, even for just a weekend. I’m usually the only one in the room talking about justice, so to be in a room filled with all of these young adult leaders—I was just blown away.”
We occasionally hear the question, “What is FOR doing these days?” From mobilizing multi-faith movements toward nonviolent protests in Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charlottesville to empowering JuJu through our Young Adult Leadership Training Program, we’re taking greater responsibility for our mission to “organize, train, and grow a diverse movement that welcomes all people of conscience to end structures of violence and war.” Through The Faces of FOR campaign we’re telling our story in a new way, focusing on the lives of young adults across the country engaged in this grassroots movement for peace and justice.