Appalachia Community Fund and the University of Tennessee College of Social Work are partnering with The Highlander Center to support community organizing in Knoxville and the surrounding area through a series of workshops and micro grants.

We would like to invite community groups to apply to join us in a program that will bring together 5 grassroots community organizations and twenty students from across the university for three weekend workshops spread across September to March. The aim of the program is to support growth, strategizing, and action within our community and to further cross collaboration. The program will be co-created with participants and tailored to the specific needs of the community groups participating. A $1,250 grant will be provided to each community group to support your great work.

The specific workshop topics will be determined after we select and talk to the community organizations that are participating to better understand your needs. The program seeks to equip community organizers to address and work with power and privilege. This can take many forms within a workshop such as: relationship building, community mapping, noticing connections between root causes, power analysis, learning from each other’s successes, exploring potential collaborations and defining what ”unity” means for this group, etc. After the selection of the community organizations, the organizing team will reach out to each group to have a dialogue on what you would like to see in the workshops and how best this workshop series can support your work. After the selection of the community groups, the committee will reach out to talk with each group and brainstorm ideas for the workshops and how to support the groups work.


Workshop Dates: 
  • First workshop- Saturday, September 28- Sunday, September 29
     An overnight at The Highlander Center in New Market, TN
  • Second workshop- Saturday, January 11 at the University of Tennessee
  • Third workshop- Saturday, March 28 at the University of Tennessee

Who it’s for:
  • Grassroots organizations that are fighting for liberation and justice
  • By applying your groups commits to sending 3 members of your organization to all 3 of the workshops, if accepted
  • There will be 20 college students participating in the workshop. We hope this cross collaboration will help support the growth and development of young people and newer community organizer

Resources to support grassroots participation in the workshop:
  • Free food and lodging will be covered the first weekend
  • Lunch will be provided for the second and third workshops
  • The program is free and all the community organizations need to provide is transportation to and from the workshops
  • A $1250 grant will be provided to each community partner that participates in the program.

How to Apply:
If you are interested in participating as an organization please complete this short application    Google form

The deadline to apply is: August 16th 

We look forward to collaborating with you!​​​​​​​

If you have any questions please email