Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment
What is SOCM?
SOCM (pronounced “sock-em”) is a member-driven organization that utilizes civic involvement and collective action to empower Tennesseans to have a greater voice in determining their future. We work for social, economic, and environmental justice for all.
SOCM’s original name, Save Our Cumberland Mountains, grew out of our origins as a grassroots community organization based in poor isolated coalfield communities in the Cumberland Mountains. In 2008, we changed our name to Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment to better reflect our growth and development throughout the years and our commitment to justice across Tennessee.
Leaders are the members who, at the chapter, committee, or Board level, really run SOCM and carry out its work. SOCM believes that leaders should take on all tasks that are not uniquely defined as staff responsibilities.
SOCM is governed by a Board of Directors that consists of officers, a representative from each chapter, and three at-large representatives. The Board makes policy and financial decisions and sets the direction for SOCM's work. Members also make up internal committees that govern SOCM such as the finance committee, nominating committee, and personnel committee.
Each fall, SOCM hosts an Annual Meeting where members vote on Board members, approve by-law changes, and give input to the Board on issues they would like to work on the following year.
Chapters or affiliates are formed at the local level to work on local issues and support other SOCM campaigns. They are the basic building blocks of SOCM.
Each Chapter has its own leadership such as a chairperson, secretary, treasurer, and membership chair.
In addition to Chapters' efforts to improve their local communities, members also work on issues on a state and regional level, often alongside other organizations.
Some issues that SOCM members have worked on in the past are strip mining and mountaintop removal, land use, renewable energy, voter engagement, anti-racism, affordable housing, taxes, landfills, education, and more.