Please help us give a warm welcome to Down Home’s new Organizing Director, Nick Wood.
Nick joins the Down Home team with nearly two decades of rural organizing experience and working to build coalitions of working folks across our state. From housing, to farmworkers, to small farmers, to food systems, to holding big corporations accountable when they pollute our towns and waterways– Nick has done the work! Thank you to all the members and staff who helped with the interview process and for helping to bring Nick onto our team!
Down Home member Faith Cook sat down to talk to Nick to learn more about him and his approach to organizing.
Faith: You’ve been organizing a long time in rural North Carolina. How did you start?
Nick: I started organizing work while in Chapel Hill with farmworkers when I was 21. I learned about a farmworker union called the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). I showed up at a rally and asked for a job. Two years later I was directing a national campaign!
Faith: What is the most important thing you have learned along the way?
Nick: I’ve learned that “Organizing Works!” When we come together collectively to address common issues, we can succeed in a way that one person acting on their own can’t.
Faith: Members are central to Down Home’s work. What is your vision of membership and what the organization can provide to members?
Nick: I really want our members to continue to reach their potential. There is no other program like Down Home North Carolina in the state and I believe all the members are different but each person plays a part in their own individual way. I like to say: “Together We Can”
Faith: What are some of the most pressing issues that you see happening in rural North Carolina for working class people?
Nick: Healthcare, good jobs, a healthy economy, places to live and something to eat, education and an actual Criminal Justice System…we currently have a Criminal Legal System. These are some of the important things I see people needing to build power around.
Faith: Why do you think it’s important to build power across race in the South?
Nick: We need to work across racial lines to build collective power through multiracial collective power!
Some of Nick’s first tasks as Organizing Director is to build up a powerful and skilled team to manage our work across the state. Nick is also a registered lobbyist and is excited about taking Down Home members to Raleigh to meet their legislators and tell them why the North Carolina General Assembly needs to expand Medicaid now! He’s also going to be wanting to spend some time getting to know all y’all and your hometowns, so don’t be shy about giving him a holler here: [email protected]