Madison County chapter meeting reportback

Madison County March Meeting

Madison County members had a full agenda for their March chapter meeting. They started it off, as always, with a fun, engaging icebreaker. This month, people were asked to share what is their favorite dinosaur, which led to moments of learning and laughter.

After reviewing the agenda, members dove into an exercise led by Betty Hibler and Meta Mendel-Reyes where people were asked to think about the first time they were aware of their whiteness or an instance where they were made aware of your race. People in the room broke into small groups for these discussions and came back together to share their experiences. Dorie Hubbard shared a story about being a student in the 1950s in an integrated school. During a program at this integrated school, when a white student and black student started to dance the jitterbug together on stage, the curtains were quickly closed on them. Other members shared instances of where they had to grabble with what it felt like to be a minority, while others talked about how they didn’t become aware of issues surrounding race until they were young adults. Members have used space in chapter meetings since January to have mini-workshops and conversations, so that they are continually thinking about racial justice and diversity.

Members then spent time reviewing KFTC’s work during the legislative session and where key pieces of legislation stood. Long-time member Steve Boyce said that people shouldn’t be discouraged that bills they lobbied for didn’t pass this session. “Bills like ours don’t pass in one or two years. They take time to pass, take a lot of persistent development, and lots of lobbying in Frankfort,” said Boyce. “Lobbying in the way we do it has a good purpose, it helps people understand the issue. So don’t be discouraged.”

Madison County March chapter meeting

The meeting then moved into a discussion of where Madison County is as a chapter and ideas people have to move KFTC’s work forward through the chapter. Members engaged in positive honest, critical discussion about the chapter, and many good ideas were shared including reaching out to different communities, using chapter meetings as a space for direct action (like writing letters or making calls), and meeting with other chapters to learn from their experiences on local issue work. Kate Grigg said of the discussion, “I am all for regrouping and discussing where we are going so the chapter is actually representative of the people involved.” Members agreed to continue this conversation at the next chapter meeting.

It was a great meeting with new and experienced folks, so be sure to join them for the next Madison County chapter meeting on Monday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at the Berea College Appalachian Center at 205 N. Main St. in Berea. For more information, contact Beth Bissmeyer at bethbissmeyer@kftc.org. 

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