Alumni Share Movement for Change

September 14, 2010

Alumni Share Movement for Change

VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State University alumni Mandy Hancock and Russell Anderson are embarking from their alma mater on a nationwide tour -- "Fiery Roots USA" -- to document community action and address social and environmental struggles. The former leaders of the Students Against Violating the Environment (SAVE) campus organization will speak to campus about their "grassroots narrative of progressive change" at 8 p.m. in Odum Library Room 1480.

The documentary project “Fiery Roots USA,” which will conclude December 31, is an offshoot of a larger mission -- -- which seeks to engage other organizations and individuals to facilitate a more tightly connected progressive community. The organization, which the two hope to establish as a not-for-profit, provides trainings, resources, and networking tools to fuel grassroots campaigns.

“The next generations face a unique reality, where life as it is known will change due to consequences of unsustainable and irresponsible human practices,” said Hancock, co-director of “We learned in the Anthropology Department at VSU that changing discourse is the first step to changing ideology, and we firmly believe this is true. As activists and organizers, we have had very intentional conversations with people involved in social, economic, climate, and cultural justice movements.”

Hancock and Anderson are particularly passionate about educating young people about global social and environmental issues, since their involvement with community action began on campus. The plan to educate SAVE members about how to learn about the issues, organize grassroots efforts and generate support. Students, Hancock said, are truly the future, and getting them involved with collaborative community efforts will result in more civic-minded citizens.

“We’re really focused on the question of ‘How,’” Anderson said. “We want to know how we can get people on each side of ‘the coin’ collaborating and building closer networks so our communities again become the focus of advancement. We’re not just talking to environmentalists; we’re talking to everyone -- politicians, business owners, employees, students and academics. We want to create a better picture of how we can work together.”

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