Raised in Texas, Germany and North Carolina, Rev. Allyn Maxfield-Steele’s movement work has included solidarity struggles with Thai people’s movements, work as an educator and organizer in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and a range of support for front-line struggles in Nashville, Tennessee, and throughout the South and Appalachia. As a member of the Educational Network for Global and Grassroots Exchange (ENGAGE), Allyn was a member of Highlander’s 2010 Threads cohort and served as an adult ally for the 2010 Seeds of Fire youth program. He joined Highlander’s Board of Directors in 2011, where most recently he has served as chair of the board.
An ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Allyn has served congregations in Juneau, Alaska, Nashville, and Springfield, TN. Allyn’s focus and interests lie at the intersection of radical pastoral care, institutional transformation, dismantling toxic white masculinities, and liberation-driven ministry and movement building, especially in rural and small town communities.
Allyn holds a B.A. in History from Wofford College (SC) and a Masters of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School. He comes to Highlander Research and Education Center from the Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville, where he has served as a member of the education team.
- Studied at Vanderbilt Divinity School
- Went to West Rowan High
- Former Educator & Organizer at Scarritt Bennett Center
- Former Pastor at Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Springfield, TN
- Former Ministerial Intern at Vine Street Christian Church
"Son of Southern Liberation"
DUMP TRUMP, DEFEAT RACISM AND MISOGYNY, BUILD THE LEFT was an open letter to the left from 47 grassroots organizers. October 17, 2016.
- A lot of us see something really clearly, but few of us—radical and revolutionary organizers—are willing to say it out loud.
- So we’re going to say it. Defeating Trump in the presidential election is a top priority for the left. And at a minimum, that means mobilizing voters for Hillary Clinton in swing states even if you vote for another candidate in a safe state. We’ve got to beat Trump and Trumpism while building movements that will fight, resist and disrupt a Clinton administration that will be militaristic and pro-corporate...
- As we mentioned at the beginning, defeating Trump is not enough. We need movements strong enough to fight a Clinton administration on several fronts—whether Israel/Palestine, free trade agreements, climate change, a $15 minimum wage, or the prison-industrial complex. And neutralizing the appeal of the far right means we need to both strengthen our movements for racial justice and win over white workers to a progressive class politics as an alternative to Trump’s racist economic nationalism. Finally, we need to build a left that can help anchor a visionary alternative to corporate Democrats. It won’t be easy, but we’ve come this far. Let’s defend what we’ve got in this election, and keep our eye on collective liberation.
Signatories included Allyn Maxfield-Steele, faith based organizer, Virginia.
Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing
Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing, was a nationwide conference call organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday October 30, 2016.
- What's the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we're fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.
Those invited, on Facebook included Allyn Maxfield-Steele.
Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward
Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward was a phone in webinar organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization in the wake of the 2016 election.
- Now what? We’re all asking ourselves that question in the wake of Trump’s victory. We’ve got urgent strategizing and work to do, together. Join Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson of the Movement for Black Lives and Freedom Road, Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Jodeen Olguin-Taylor of Mijente and WFP, Joe Schwartz of the Democratic Socialists of America, and Sendolo Diaminah of Freedom Road for a discussion of what happened, and what we should be doing to build mass defiance. And above all, how do we build the Left in this, which we know is the only solution to the crises we face?
- This event will take place Tuesday November 15, 2016 at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central/6pm Pacific.
Those invited, on Facebook included Allyn Maxfield-Steele.
In December 2016, the Board of Directors and staff were pleased to announce that Ash-Lee Henderson and Rev. Allyn Maxfield-Steele will serve as Highlander Research and Education Center’s Co-Executive Directors.
“The selection of Ash-Lee and Allyn demonstrates Highlander’s commitment to supporting the next generation of organizational leaders critical to our movements,” said Interim Board Chair Meizhu Lui. “We feel that they are the right ones to guide us through political terrain where visionary, righteous, courageous, class-conscious, multiracial, and multi-gender leadership is desperately needed.”
Following Pam McMichael’s decision to transition out of the ED role after twelve years of dedicated and remarkable service, Highlander established a Transition Team of three board members and two staff to guide the ED search process. Ash-Lee received encouragement from movement friends and mentors to apply for the position, after which she invited Allyn to apply with her as co-directors.
Their proposal captured the imagination of the Transition Team and was well received by both board and staff. As sitting board members, Ash and Allyn recused themselves from all parts of the selection process following their application. At the November Board meeting, they underwent an extensive interview process with the Board and staff. As of this week, Ash and Allyn have begun the transition process alongside outgoing Executive Director Pam McMichael and staff, and they will assume full-time responsibilities in February 2017.