Help us commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Greensboro massacre.

Why are we going to Greensboro?

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Greensboro Massacre. On Nov. 3, 1979 in Greensboro, North Carolina, a nine-car caravan of the Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party members drove into Morningside Homes, a public housing project in the Black community, and opened fire onto demonstrators preparing for an anti-Klan rally. The march was to have been followed by an educational conference later that day addressing the recent upsurge in white supremacist activity in the South and explore how racism has historically been used to divide workers.

The Greensboro Police and FBI had information that this attack was planned, yet no law enforcement officers were on the scene. The shots fired that day took the lives of Sandy Smith, Jim Waller, Bill Sampson, Cesar Cauce, and Michael Nathan, labor and community organizers and wounded 10 others.

These murders, filmed and documented by numerous television news cameras on the scene, have largely gone unpunished. The Klan and Nazis were acquitted of all charges in two criminal trials by all-white juries. Later in a wrongful death civil suit, members of the Klan and Nazis, and the Greensboro Police were found jointly liable for the death of one of the five victims.

The true story of the Greensboro Massacre has mostly not been told.

We want to tell this story.

The story and lessons of the 1979 Greensboro Massacre must not be removed from the history books nor from the history of social justice movements in this country. The 40th anniversary seeks to raise mass consciousness by building upon a currently resurgent people’s movement with an ever-deepening understanding of the need for fundamental systemic change.

What is our connection to the Greensboro massacre?

Our Founding Artistic Director, Ana María Alvarez, was born in Greensboro (1977) and graduated from Grimsley High School (1995). Ana María’s parents, Joe & Sally Alvarez, were leaders in the anti-war and civil rights movements in the South. This tragic event in 1979, took the lives of 5 of Ana Maria’s “uncles and aunts”. César, Bill, Jim, Sandy & Michael were all a part of her village and the widows, their children, and the community who love them have continued to be that village. Like many, Joe & Sally both continued to work for justice.

Sally Alvarez is a labor educator whose work focuses on communication, media, leadership development, organizational change and ethics.

Joe Alvarez is an organization development practitioner, working with multi-stakeholder groups in the environmental, immigrant rights and labor movements, helping organizations and leaders to be visionary adaptive and effective.

Ana María and her brother, César Alvarez (named after César Cauce) both became boundary breaking artists who re-imagine and create a world full of more love, compassion and justice through their respective work.

Ana María’s work with CONTRA-TIEMPO, and especially the company’s newest work, “joyUS justUS”, is a powerful honoring of the legacy of César, Bill, Jim, Sandy & Michael (our 5 fallen family from the Greensboro Massacre). Thank you for helping us to share this work in Greensboro as part of this important 40th year commemoration.

For more information on the Greensboro Massacre and for events near you, visit:

Why are we asking for a donation?

CONTRA-TIEMPO is asking for donations and looking to partner with organizations for sponsorship to go this fall (October 30-November 3) and perform, teach some Master Classes (UNCG is already on board to host some dance classes), and conduct some community workshops as part of the 40-year commemoration of this event. 

There will be a free performance on November 2, 2019 for all to attend at the Harrison Auditorium at NCA&TSU.

By donating, you will be helping with the cost of the following:

  • 5 days in Greensboro for tech rehearsals & final performance

  • Transportation (several rental vans/gas from Raleigh) for 8 dancers and 2 support staff and all our production bags to get to Greensboro and have in town transportation once we are in town and drop off in Charlotte, NC

  • Airbnb/housing or cheap hotel for all ten company members for 5 nights

  • Per diems for 5 days

  • Artist stipends for 5 days


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