Chattanooga Organized for Action is a local — if not always welcome — rallying point for justice
It started with a Facebook post.
Three people gathered at Greenlife Grocery store in spring 2010, just after five people had been shot and wounded in Coolidge Park. Megan Hollenbeck put out a Facebook message that something needed to be done.
Perrin Lance saw the message and felt the same way. So did Chris Brooks.
Chattanooga Organized for Action was formed.
"We walked out of that room saying we wanted to be an activist group," Lance said.
From that group of three, Chattanooga Organized for Action has grown to an organization that's now seeking nonprofit status and reaching out to a variety of groups, from neighborhood associations to organized labor.
The founders say they want to expand their footprint and establish the premier social justice center in the Southeast -- one that some day could equal the success and reputation once held by the renowned Highlander Folk School, now the Highlander Research and Education Center.
That facility acted as a leading social justice center for civil rights in the 1950s, when it was headquartered in Grundy County. Highlander helped train such noted black leaders as Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis -- now Congressman Lewis — and Rosa Parks just prior to her refusal to give her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white person.
COA, too, has a dream.