KFTC graduates second Organizing Academy cohort | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

KFTC graduates second Organizing Academy cohort

KFTC graduated our second Organizing Academy Cohort on Saturday, May 25th. We had 14 folks graduate from the program from across the state. 

Meta Mendel-Reyes, KFTC’s chairperson, helped co-create and co-lead the cohort; CKY and cohort member Liz Sheehan led the self care lessons throughout; and we had other guest and staff facilitators who shared their skills and knowledge with us, including 2018 cohort grads Chandra Cruz-Thomson, Trinidad Jackson, Alexa Hatcher, and Fannie and Alvin Madden-Grider, who came back this year to lead sessions. 


  • Susan McGee, At-Large, Robertson County 
  • Kathy Curtis, Big Sandy
  • Tiffany Duncan, Central Kentucky
  • Liz Sheehan, Central Kentucky
  • Julia Basil, Cumberland
  • David Desjardins, Jefferson County
  • Delores Butler, Jefferson County
  • Andrew Pettyjohn, Jefferson County
  • Margie Stelzer, Madison County
  • Courtney Combs, Perry County 
  • Ly Madden, Perry County
  • Eric Simpson, Rowan County
  • Joyce Adkins, Southern Kentucky
  • Shannon Scott, Wilderness Trace

The 2019 Organizing Academy cohort engaged in a three-month training program from March 2019 thru May 2019 called “Organizing 101: Building Power Through Organizing” where they learned organizing skills while helping make tangible, positive change in Kentucky.

The Academy consisted of six in-person Saturday trainings in the central Kentucky area on the six Saturdays listed below. The cohort also asked that participants read, listen, watch and engage with various resources throughout their three-month training, as well as participate in discussions and reflections with fellow cohort members on a monthly video call and via email. Cohort members will be (and already are) using what they have learned to lead organizing projects in their region, using their tools and skills to build grassroots power across the state. 

The training dates and topics were: 

  1. March 9: Organizing, Power, and KFTC 

  2. March 23: Inclusive Organizing

  3. April 6: Base-building and Leadership Development

  4. April 27: Meeting Facilitation and Creating Agendas; Grassroots Fundraising

  5. May 11: Non-Violent Direct Action 

  6. May 25: Graduation

Graduates are participating in a full cohort evaluation process in June to provide feedback to KFTC to strengthen future cohorts. Organizers will also be working with graduates from their region to support the graduates in using their skills and staying connected.