KFTC Organizing Academy | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

KFTC Organizing Academy

Resources on community organizing

The Organizer’s Tale by Cesar Chavez

Organizing vs. Activism video

KFTC Power Point on Organizing 101 and Fundamentals of Community Organizing

Organizing 101 (a KFTC training template)

Emerge Kentucky – training to help Democratic women run for, and win, elected office; application process open September 1 for 2020 training

√ Campaign Fellows Program,  an intensive 10-week program (starting February 10) that prepares you to lead progressive grassroots electoral campaigns; program is entirely online, and entirely free.


To achieve our vision for Kentucky, it’s going to take developing more leaders, organizing in more communities and building our collective power across the state. As part of our commitment to building progressive power, KFTC created the Organizing Academy where emerging leaders with a passion for social justice can learn organizing skills while helping make tangible, positive change in Kentucky.

Building Grassroots Power

One of the most foundational concepts when learning about community organizing is to learn about power. Community Organizing is about building grassroots power. Community organizing is about challenging us to re-examine our definitions and experiences with power and to challenge us to become powerful by building collective power with those in our community.

Community Organizing is Building Power!

  • Organizing is building collective power by bringing people together to act for social change.
  • While the elites (or oppressors) have power in the form of violence, money or status, the people (or the oppressed) have “people power” that comes from organizing.
  • Relationships are key. We build power by connecting and building strong relationships with others in our community or with whom we share a common interest or goal.
  • Organizing always involves leadership development. The goal of the organizer is to replace herself – that is, to empower people to act without dependence on the organizer.
  • Organizing is a craft, with best practices developed through struggle. Example: Helping people to tell their stories.


As part of the Organizing Academy, an initial cohort of around 20 folks participated in a six-month introductory-level organizing training program in 2018. They represented an incredibly diverse group of Kentuckians, including folks from across the state and a variety of ages, identities, cultures, experiences, and racial and ethnic identities.

A second Academy cohort began in March 2019 and gradutaed in May on an accelerated timeline. 

To learn more about the initial cohort, check out our blog, read the reflections of Academy participants Alvin and Fannie Madden-Grider, or photos from the Academy on Flickr

KFTC's 2018 Organizing Academy Cohort“The Community Organizing Academy was so special because of the many unique life experiences brought together in one room. We worked to make genuine connections with each other the entire six months and those connections are deep and lasting. Everyone was a teacher and everyone was a student.”
– Alexa Hatcher, Warren County