30 Years of Brilliance

August 15, 2019

Zachary Norris

I first engaged with Forward Together as the co-founder and co-director of Justice for Families, and then again as the executive director of the Ella Baker Center, which is where I currently serve. Even though I have worked with Forward Together for quite some time, I am always blown away by the magnitude and success of our collaborations.

I can easily say that my fondest moment working with Forward Together is the development of the Who Pays Report in 2015. Led by Forward Together and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights with the support of Research Action Design and 20 grassroots partners, this report demonstrated that the costs of locking up millions of people is much deeper than we think — when we lock up individuals we also break apart their families and communities.

There was a melting pot of organizations that came together to put forward this national report that talks about gender justice, racial justice, economic justice, and justice for queer folks, all in one report. It was brilliant!

Over the course of its 30 year history, Forward Together has continuously positioned itself as an influencer in the progressive movement. I must say that every year I look forward to the Mamas Day campaign. Forward Together has really changed the framework and the narrative around Mother’s Day. The Mamas Day campaign has been inspiration for us at Ella Baker Center for our National Night Out, which is an annual event we host for folks to discuss safety and liberation, and to talk about what safety means for our communities.

For three decades, Forward Together has been in leadership on issues that sit at the intersection of racial justice, gender justice, economic justice, and reproductive justice.

I am honored to be a part of Forward Together’s 30th anniversary and I look forward to seeing the next 30 years.