Jackie Kendall

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Jackie Kendall

Jackie Kendall... an organizer, trainer, and executive director of the Midwest Academy, Jackie Kendall has worked for three decades to develop leaders, train organizers and build the capacity of progressive organizations and institutions at local, state and national levels. (e.g. Children’s Defense Fund, Sierra Club, Smokeless State Coalitions (winning numerous Clean Indoor Air ordinances), New Jersey Citizen Action, Wisconsin Education Association, Wisconsin Citizen Action, Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, MO ProVote, USAction).

Kendall has overseen the development of the Midwest Academy Summer Intern and Fellows program, the Grassroots Organizing Weekends (GROW) program of the United States Student Association (USSA); Trainer-Training for several large organizations including USSA, Planned Parenthood, Union of Concerned Scientists, NAACP, AARP, American Cancer Society); Advanced training and supervisory programs for mid and senior level organizers.

Co-authored “Organizing for Social Change” - Midwest Academy Training Manual Kim Bobo, Jackie Kendall, Steve Max; Seven Locks Press.[1]

Knew Obama

Jackie Kendall knew Barack Obama during his time as a community organizer in South Chicago in the 1980s[2].

When Kendall first met Obama shortly after he came to Chicago, she recalls telling her husband, "I just met somebody we're going to say we knew him when. He just had some quality about him, something special. I can count the number of times I've said that on one hand. It was just a presence and self-assurance about him at such a young age."

Campaign for America's Future

In 1996 Jackie Kendall, Midwest Academy was one of the original 130 founders of Campaign for America's Future[3].

Debs award

The Chicago Democratic Socialists of America 41st Annual Eugene V. Debs - Norman Thomas - Michael Harrington Dinner was heldon May 7th 1999 at the Holiday Inn City Centre. The Program Book, 40 pages of congratulations to Awardees Jackie Kendall of the Midwest Academy and James Tribble of UNITE, was a record[4].

In accepting the Award, Jackie Kendall told how grateful she was to receive the Debs - Thomas - Harrington Award; how, at Catholic school, she became aware of socialism (for years, she said, she thought all socialists were nuns); and how one's life should be about what they can do to make life better through a just society. The Midwest Academy, Kendall said, gave her the opportunity to train women and men to stand up for themselves and work in good causes.

Midwest Academy

After winning a successful campaign to get freshness dates on food, Jackie Kendall attended the Midwest Academy and went on to help build Illinois Public Action one of the first statewide multi-issue coalitions. In 1982 she moved to the Midwest Academy where she made "arming progressives with the Midwest Academy organizing fundamentals her life’s work". She has trained thousands of organizers from a wide range of organizations: labor, civil and humam rights, faith based, women's, disability, LGBT, senior citizen and student groups.

As executive director, Kendall has steered the Midwest Academy to meet the "needs of the progressive movement". In the mid 80’s she identified the need to routinely infuse the movement with new generations of skilled organizers and forged a partnership with the United States Student Association to create the Grassroots Organizing Weekends (GROW). She also expanded Midwest Academy’s reach with a paid Internship Program specifically for students and young people interested in learning direct action organizing.

The 2009 Midwest Academy board of directors consisted of[5];

2014 Midwest Academy board

In 2014, the Midwest Academy board consisted of;

Obama campaign

With extensive experience working in electoral campaigns (both partisan and non-partisan), Kendall was part of the team that developed and delivered the first Camp Obama trainings for volunteers going to Iowa the summer of 2007 through the Iowa Caucuses.

Radical training manual

Kendall is co-author of “Organizing for Social Change: Midwest Academy Training Manual” Kim Bobo, Jackie Kendall, Steve Max. With over 50,000 copies sold, the fourth edition is scheduled to be released in Dec. 2009.

90s activists

Jotaka Eaddy October 8, 2010 ·


This is what it was it was all for!!! (Tag yourself if you were there) — with Aimee Castenell, Ana Aponte, Jackie Kendall, Jennifer Ann, Marvin Bing, Kirin Kennedy, Stefanie Brown James, Carmen Berkley, Matt Reents, Melinda Gibson, Kristen Kozlowski, Kirk Clay, Alethea Bonello, Kennie Gee, Sasha Hammond and Shelli Craver in Washington, District of Columbia.