KFTC annual meeting moving to Berea College, August 3-5

Following five years of successful annual membership meetings at General Butler State Park, the KFTC Steering Committee voted to relocate the KFTC Annual Meeting to Berea College on August 3-5, 2018.

The vote followed a year-long conversation in which committee members met with KFTC staff and Berea College representatives to explore a possible relocation.    

The annual meeting is an important and necessary part of KFTC’s efforts to build grassroots power in Kentucky. It provides unique opportunities for members and folks who are interested in KFTC from every corner of the state and different backgrounds to come together for a weekend of gaining leadership skills, building community and having fun.

It provides members and attendees an opportunity to build the skills to create change in communities all across the state, in Frankfort and in Washington D.C.

Each year, multiple workshops are designed by members and staff to develop skill sets that help attendees analyze the structures of power and take effective action to build New Power. The annual meeting is a key component of KFTC’s strategy to build an engaged base of Kentuckians ready to take action to achieve the organization’s vision. It showcases the larger statewide context in which building grassroots power takes place.

“The KFTC annual meeting is an opportunity to join in community with people who share a vision,” said Wendy Warren of Madison County. “We travel from across the commonwealth to think together, laugh together, and yes, sometimes cry together as we chart a course for a better future.”

The annual meeting also plays an important role in KFTC’s democratic process. Statewide officers are elected and the organization’s platform is adopted during the annual business meeting. And the annual meeting functions as a demonstration of the member ownership of the organization.

As the 2017 annual meeting keynote speaker Heather McGhee noted, democracy and democratic practices help folks appreciate that we are all one people out of many. She noted that KFTC “in being a democratically governed grassroots organization works to help us achieve the sense of truly being a community that comes from many different communities and cultures, but is able to be united by a shared vision.”

Many steering committee members expressed enthusiasm about the move to Berea College, lifting up the college’s mission, history and practices.
The school was founded in 1855 by abolitionist Rev. John Fee as the first interracial, co-educational institution in the South. The college strives to provide educational opportunities to low-income students by admitting only students who have limited financial resources, many of whom live in the Appalachian region.

Members were also enthusiastic about the many things that would be available to KFTC members during the annual meeting in Berea, including local foods. The college’s dining service includes options from the college farm, as well as other local farms.

Members also highlighted the college’s composting practices to manage food waste from the dining hall. Berea College is located in a small town in Madison County surrounded by many natural attractions.

“I hope our entire membership will feel at home as KFTC moves its annual meeting to Berea,” Warren noted. “With hiking trails nearby and all events within walking distance on campus, I think this new location will offer something for everyone.”