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Participating in the Journey for Justice

By Nora Callahan, Executive Director of the November Coalition

Nora Callahan speaking at Mercy Law School in Detroit, MI

I'm one of the regular Journey for Justice participants. You should know that I understand firsthand how the words 'activist' or 'organizer' once made me feel. Intimidated! With my brother well into serving his 27-year sentence in prison on a drug conspiracy conviction, it took me awhile to grasp firmly why I had to talk to others about the inhumanity of the drug war. The decision was tied to my innermost thoughts, and so I began to talk.

Most people I contacted heard and shared my opinions about the overuse of informants to secure convictions. They listened when I spoke of the hypocrisy of one class of people getting drug treatment options while another class of people is herded off to prisons to be warehoused in idleness, or toil in prison factories -- the quantity of all drugs, and the profits from legal and illegal drugs are ever increasing. I began talking about drugs and the war on some drugs.

I now realize I was an activist long before I thought of myself as "an activist." You might be considering taking your own activist inclination to the 'next step.' Our staff and volunteers have compiled this part of the guide to planning a Journey Event, to help you do that. If you have comments or suggestions, please feel free to send me an email: nora@november.org

We are looking for individuals and groups who will commit to organize Journey for Justice events in their regions. We seek citizens who can volunteer to work with established leaders in, or near their region. You can have a multitude of talents and possibilities, or be a beaten down grandmother with an extended family and concerned friends. Let's find a way to work together.

The strategic goal of the Journey for Justice is to engage many citizens in grassroots activism. It's common knowledge when people work cooperatively, our collective energy can become a powerful political force. Your decision to be 'part of the solution' means it's time to figure out "how." Problems as large and complex as what to do about failed drug policy are never solved without lots of people working diligently on experiments and solutions.

We travel to different communities because people like yourself understand your own neighborhood and region better than any celebrated expert or national reform leader. Journey for Justice honors the demonstrated courage and ability of local leaders and organizers to understand and tackle complex social problems such as hunger, bad housing, and drug addiction.

Planning a meeting or series of events when the Journey visits your area is only one way to join the Journey for Justice campaign. Choose one or more current Coalition campaigns and get involved today:

  • Join the November Coalition and contribute to the Journey for Justice
  • Start a Coalition group or chapter in your area, Organize a Journey Event will teach you how to do that
  • Contact a journey leader in your region to volunteer with them, or with their group. If you don't know who that might be, contact our home office
  • Sign up for our low volume email announcement list and stay informed
  • Put your town on the map! Volunteer to organize a journey event in your community, and link your town with a national movement.