Our Community Organizing

How We Build Power

Mayoral Candidate Forum hosted by Deep youth

Deep Center work to organize, support, and build power amongst a broad coalition of everyday people, community stakeholders, faith communities, unlikely allies, working-class youth and families from communities of color and other marginalized communities to build awareness, critical literacy, networks, power, and skills to lift up young people as social justice leaders, artists, and advocates to transform Chatham County’s and Georgia’s juvenile and criminal justice systems.

Deep advances transformation in a deeply specific context. Our tactics and strategies are rooted in our Southerness, our unique challenges, and our long tradition of resistance. While our model is rooted in place, our pedagogy, practices, and strategies are scalable, especially in communities looking to effect change when it is far easier to say it can’t be done here.

Our community organizing focuses on two key areas: movement building amongst grassroots communities and pushing for policy change through campaigns. There is a great deal of opportunity to support a coalition of willing, reform-minded folks  inside institutions with expertise, visibility and advocacy, and opportunities to envision a new paradigm.

The Landscape

Savannah’s youth of color are immersed in a culture of punishment rather than restoration and care. And the ways punishment is applied does not account for history, systemic harms, and the often traumatizing daily experiences of growing up in Savannah, where 42% of all children grow up in poverty. Up until 2020, Chatham County’s juvenile justice system had nearly twice as many court-involved youth as other Georgia counties (including Atlanta). African American boys are six times more likely to be referred to court than white boys.

Savannah sentences children—especially black children —when it should support them.

How You Can Help

At Deep Center, we want you and your village to have more power to say what your community looks like and how your government responds to your needs. We’re focusing on state legislation in this moment—as it is being actively created, heard, and passed—by building this toolkit to help you amplify your voice and strengthen the work of existing organizing efforts in Savannah.

To volunteer as an advocate with us, click here

To see our 2021 state legislation toolkit, click here