Change Agent: The Highlander School

This week we speak with Mie Inouye about The Highlander Folk School. Mie Inouye is a doctoral candidate in political science at Yale University, where she’s writing a dissertation on twentieth-century theories of organizing in leftist social movements in the US.


Note: A fire destroyed the main office of the Highlander Center in March 2019.

You can read about the fire here: (link to the full New York Times article)

A social justice center in Tennessee with deep connections to the civil rights movement said that a fire that engulfed its main office last week may have been intentionally set, after a “symbol connected to the white power movement” was found spray-painted in the parking lot.

The organization, the Highlander Research and Education Center, which trained Rosa Parks and hosted the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said it had lost decades of documents and artifacts in the fire at its campus in New Market, Tenn., outside Knoxville.

“Because of our history we are not surprised that this space, one where marginalized people working across sectors, geographies and identities show up consistently, has been repeatedly targeted over our 87 years of existence,” Highlander said in a statement this week acknowledging the white power symbol.