SNOL’s BTA organizer Rose Webster Smith shares her story of coming to consciousness, raising her kids in the movement and becoming an organizer!
I believe in the work of Springfield No One Leaves and the fight for Housing as a Human Right and not for Profit!
I joined Springfield No One Leaves in October of 2011 when Freddie Mac foreclosed on my home. My daughter was four and my son was 7. The day of the Auction, I sat on my couch on the phone with Malcolm, the organizer at SNOL, scared that my family was going to be put out on the streets with no where to go. He stayed on the phone with me for the better part of an hour assuring me that we were ok, that we weren’t going to be made to leave our home, and that there were more people out there in Springfield in the same predicament we were in and that we could fight to keep our home!
I attended my first meeting in November of 2011, and was very skeptical of the process. You see I grew up in a home where politics, sex, and religion were things that were not up for discussion. This organization and its members were openly discussing political policies, how they affect the communities and neighborhoods that we live in and how those same policies were policies that had purposely set us up to fail.
For a few months, I attended these meetings and barely said a word, just sat there listening and absorbing all the information that was coming into my brain and something inside of me began to wake up. I started to not only attend the meeting but also began actively participating in protests and actions that SNOL was having to help to defend against foreclosures and evictions throughout the City. I participated in Eviction Blockade trainings where I learned the act of non-violent civil disobedience. I began helping members to write their public letters and petitions to help them fight back against the banks and their evil policies around foreclosures and evictions. I participated in national actions in Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland and took a direct role in recruiting and organizing our members to participate in those actions.
You see, at Springfield No One Leaves, not only did I learn how to fight back to keep my home, I’ve learned about community and what it means to be a part of a community. I’ve learned to care about my neighborhood and to be active in seeking out my neighbors to make genuine connections with people outside and inside the struggle of Foreclosure and Evictions. I’ve learned that I had a voice and a say in what happened in my community.
My children, who are now 8 and 11 have learned that not only do they have the support of their parents but they have an entire community of people who support and love them for them. They have learned to stand up and fight back against injustices happening in the world and that they can make a difference.
Springfield No One Leaves is more than just an organization that helps people defend against displacement, they are a community that teaches love, tolerance, and unity and that is why I am proud and honored to be part of this great organization and to be a new organizer of the Bank Tenant Association!
SNOL Member & Organizer
In March, 2015 Rose was brought on to be SNOL’s Bank Tenant Association Organizer!
Contact her at Rose [at] SpringfieldNoOneLeaves [dot] com