First Retreat, November 2019
Empower Kentucky Leadership Network. To be in a room filled with so much talent and passion. Openness to have difficult conversations, and brilliance in finding solutions to heavy issues. A rare treasure to find in this harsh world, which I discovered through the Empower Kentucky Leadership Network, a cohort of 35 Kentuckians committed to building a movement for a just transition and climate justice in our state.
Going into our first weekend retreat in Bowling Green, I expected nothing more than some good conversations while making a few connections along the way – how most meetings usually end up playing out. By the end we created a family, with a new sense of hope, and a new sense of unity. A power spread amongst each of us that escalated our fire in this climate crisis.
The first evening, we gathered in the faculty house on WKU’s campus and enjoyed each other’s presence over dinner. One thing I appreciated was how much we got to know and dive into one another before tackling the many layers of the climate crisis, through simple banter and activities such as story circles. There was a moment of silence dedicated to the native land we were inhabiting, in this case belonged to Shawnee and Eastern Band Cherokee. This was led by fellow member, Tiffany Pyette, who is a leader in the fight to the rights of indigenous people.
We closed the night with a poem, read and wrote, by Mikaela Curry titled “Up from the Grassroots”.
Empower Kentucky Cohort: Tayna Fogle , Corey Dutton, Shawna McCown, Serena Owen, Margaret Ricketts, Richard Becker, Bob Martin, Nikita Perumal , Kathy Williams , Danielle Brown, Trinidad Jackson, Cherlynn Stevenson, Rachel Norton, Mikaela Curry, Fannie Madden-Grider, Alvin Madden-Grider, E.Gail Chandler , Jillian Wallace, Kevin Short , Mason Chamblee, Tona Barkley , Tiffany Pyette , Maria Truitt, Chris Woolery, Kristina Anderson, Berenice Gonzalez , Lisa Abbott , Morgan Mickelson, Byron Barber, Cheyla Cuesta , Anastasia Kaufmann, Vanessa Hall, Kathy Curtis, Shannon Scott, Dayessi Chavez, Jacob Mack-Boll, Elbert Williams.
Climate Justice Alliance June 15 2019·
The members of the Climate Justice Alliance Steering Committee are currently meeting in Puerto Rico, to chart the course of CJA, to deepen our alignment, build community and to meet with frontline community groups, who are leading the #JustRecovery, and are building “local living economies” models focused on clean community energy, regional food systems, efficient, affordable, and durable housing, ecosystem restoration and stewardship. — with Lisa Abbott, Marion Gee, Aghilah Nadaraj, Jesus Vazquez Negron, Mateo Nube, Eddie Bautista, Elizabeth Yeampierre, Angela Adrar, Ice Cube, Anthony Rogers-Wright, Senowa Mize-Fox, Jayeesha Dutta, Maria Irene Lopez, Jose T. Bravo and Jaron Browne.
National Leading From the Inside Out Alum
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth November 29, 2018 ·
12 KFTC members—from everywhere from Corbin to Jackson to Lynch—are gathering at Mitch McConnell’s office in London to ask him to act now to support Kentucky’s coal communities and miners with black lung. They will deliver 14 local resolutions and hundreds of postcards and petition signatures urging Congress to strengthen the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, pass the RECLAIM Act, and protect miners’ pensions. More importantly, they will share their stories about why this matters to their families and their communities. Stay tuned for a livestream debrief at 2:30!
You can take action too, by calling McConnell and other members of Congress today: http://kftc.org/actions/call-senator-mcconnell-its-time-support-our-coal-communities-and-miners-black-lung — with Morgan Brown, Carl Shoupe, Teri Blanton, Lisa Abbott, Taylor Adams and Jacob Mack-Boll.
NWF Board Members
Board members September 2018:
- Julia Goodridge - CHAIR
- Peggy Saika - VICE CHAIR
- Jonathan Glionna - TREASURER
- Fred Azcarate - SECRETARY
- Kent Wong - MEMBER
- Lisa Abbott - MEMBER
- Sofia Campos - MEMBER
- Bill Dempsey - MEMBER
- Anthony Thigpenn - MEMBER
- David Harrison - MEMBER
- Maria Echaveste - EMERITUS
- Chair: Robby Rodriguez, SouthWest Organizing Project, NM
- Vice Chair: Sondra Youdelman, Community Voices Heard, NY
- Secretary: Rudy Gonzalves, California Alliance, CA
- Treasurer: Leroy Johnson, Southern Echo, MS
- Hill Carmichael, Greater Birmingham Ministries, AL
- Scott Douglas, Greater Birmingham Ministries, AL
- Kimble Forrister, Arise Citizens’ Policy Project, AL
- Darnell Johnson, Kentucky Jobs with Justice, KY
- Burt Lauderdale, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, KY
- Mike Sayer, Southern Echo, MS
- Anthony Thigpenn, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education, CA
- William Weahkee, Director, SAGE Council, NM
- Lisa Abbott, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, KY
- Bineshi Albert, SouthWest Organizing Project, SAGE NM
- Presdelane Harris, Arise Citizens’ Policy Project, AL
- Attica Scott, Kentucky Jobs with Justice, KY
- Henry Serrano, New York Jobs with Justice, NY
- Karla Zombro, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education, CA