Welcoming Alicia Walker Patterson to our team!

Welcome to Down Home! We are really excited to have you here. Can you tell us a little bit about why you wanted to join the Down Home team?

The thing that really made the choice worthwhile when I first learned about Down Home and the important work that this organization accomplishes in the community, is how intentional and membership focused it is. I don’t know of any other organization in the state that co-creates a meaningful base building practice of a voting and ratification process that lets the members lead when it comes to deciding on issues to meaningfully organize around, and bring changes to their communities. The focus on rural and agricultural communities also is really close to my heart as a descendant of sharecroppers and rail workers.

Can you give us an example of any professional, political, or personal experiences that you are bringing with you into your role that you think will help guide your work here?   

I come to Down Home North Carolina following 12 years of non-profit work in strategic/trauma informed training, multi-racial/multi-cultural community program development, and strategic issue-based campaigning on every level from mayoral to presidential. This guides my mission as an informed community member, organizer, and healer.

What are you most excited about doing in this movement? What are you most passionate about?

I am most energized when mobilizing communities that have traditionally been left out of the political process, and finding common threads with other community members from all walks of life. I’m very excited to set communities free and re-introduce them to their intrinsic power, via continued commitment to improvement of our individual personhood as we organize together intentionally. The movement issue that I care most about is improving health access by expanding Medicare for all in North Carolina. More specifically my life’s work is dedicated to my parents and all of my other named and unnamed ancestors who were veterans, justice impacted people, healers, and represent the many people in this country fighting to survive a system that makes reproductive and mental health a life or death issue. 

Should grits be sweet or savory? 

Respectfully, I feel like sweet grits are a largely limiting and uninformed choice based on my personal experience. I don’t understand the logic honestly. Adding sugar or fruit to grits is too much like oatmeal, and you’ve never heard of shrimp and oatmeal being “a thing” right? Savory grits can open one up to a variety of condiments, sauces and complimentary meat choices based on their dietary needs. After more research, I also think it’s important to honor the originators of grits, the Muskhatu tribe, indigenous to a land re-named Oklahoma, and eat them savory as they did. If you truly enjoy ONLY sweet grits, I just want to openly state that you deserve better, and I’m here to support you as you continue to explore different life choices 🤣🤔🤗🤠