Reflecting on the 2018 Organizing Academy cohort | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Reflecting on the 2018 Organizing Academy cohort

I want to thank KFTC for helping my husband Alvin and me keep the despair and darkness away during the last year. Last night marked our first anniversary with the Rowan County chapter.  Although we joined in April at an event in Lexington, our first meeting locally was the 2017 annual meeting. 

We recruited four more members by September, all of whom have been active on the Democracy Team. All of us except Alvin, who will soon begin working full-time with KFTC through December, have signed up to serve on local and state-wide committees. Alvin brought a new member to the annual meeting last night, and a couple more college students are going to other chapters back home this summer, then coming to the Rowan chapter in the fall as new members. 

So, despite our inability to reproduce ourselves in the form of human babies, we have reproduced ourselves in grown human activists by a factor of 6 or 7 in the last year. We are both in our 60s now and did it without reproductive technology. Our goal is to continue reproducing ourselves by at least 2 annually, but hopefully another half dozen. Imagine the making of love that goes into so much reproduction.

When we are too old or crippled or ill to carry on, or are dead, there will be enough to carry on for us and do our part. We are MoveOn volunteers, too, and although the work is important and satisfying, it is much better to have real humans you can sit with, not just visit on a screen.

I remember the dark days in the three months after the 2016 election. My initial reaction was to "blow up (my) TV, throw away (my) paper, move to the country . . ." and talk only to cats for the rest of my life. But something inside me wouldn't let me do that. After connecting with MoveOn and Indivisible, I kept having an image of me on a dark stage, pulling the heavy curtain aside just a crack, and seeing a bit of light from the footlights. With more like-minded folks on the cast and crew — not to mention the patrons whose generous support would make the work easier — I could open the curtains wider and wider, I thought, coming out of the darkness all together.

Local KFTC members, apprentices Jonah Cabiles, Nikita Perumal and Angel Hill, KFTC staffers Beth Howard, Megan E. Murph and Sasha Zaring, volunteer-member Meta Mendel-Reyes, and all the wonderful people in the Organizing Academy — from a 7th grader and a high school student to college students and recent grads to adults much younger than us — have helped me open the curtains wider and wider.

I am confident that, even if I am not around to see it happen, eventually KFTC will tug and pull and maybe even cut it into pieces if necessary until those curtains are flung wide open. Then, all of us waiting on a dark stage for the play to begin – a play about an America where all of us are treated fairly and given a seat at the table of American abundance and privilege -- can step into the light and begin Act 1.

Until then, it is way less scary to have you all hanging out with me in the darkness, peeking out at the light, and having a brilliant time rehearsing, practicing lines and building the set for the play.

Thank you all for auditioning, practicing, rehearsing and for being co-directors with us during the last year of KFTC life and the 6-month Organizing Academy. I hope to connect with you all in the sequel.