Racial Justice News | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Racial Justice News

Kentucky Democracy Project Launch! Sign up to Volunteer!

September 3, 2020 at 02:19pm

Voter Registration CaitlinThe Kentucky Democracy Project is a new campaign to register, educate and mobilize Kentucky voters to participate in the 2020 election and beyond. As Kentuckians, we can work together to build a healthy democracy where everyone has a voice and a vote. Our focus is on communities often left out of the political decision-making process – lower income communities, people of color, and young people - particularly 170,000 Kentuckians with felonies in their past got back their right to vote.  All Kentuckians should have a voice in elections and should be listened to by elected leaders.

The Kentucky Democracy Project’s work includes online trainings, phone banks to register or mobilize voters, leaving lit pieces on doors, COVID-19 safe voter registration tables and canvassing, and mailings. If you’d like to get involved or learn more, visit www.KentuckyDemocracy.org/volunteer  We have two big trainings next week and lots of upcoming phone banks!

Taking action for Black lives and a moral agenda

June 18, 2020 at 02:38pm

We are Kentuckians. We choose each other. And right now Kentuckians across our Commonwealth are in motion and taking sustained actions in defense of Black Lives, in support of a shared vision and moral agenda. We cannot, will not, let up.

KFTC supports and stands with Black-led racial justice movements and organizations in Kentucky and beyond our borders who are envisioning, demanding and building a just and liberated world. We celebrate recent Supreme Court decisions affirming the humanity and constitutional rights of LGBTQ+ people and upholding DACA protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrant young people. And on the eve of Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the emancipation of Black people from slavery in the U.S., we call on our 12,000 members to continue to commit time and resources in urgent and intentional ways to advance racial justice. 

A road map to a Just Transition

June 9, 2020 at 10:05am

A new report from a diverse set of frontline organizations outlines a set of comprehensive solutions needed to respond to the cascading and interlocking crises our communities face, including the climate crisis, COVID-19, and structural racism and inequality. 

The report, A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy, offers community groups, policy advocates, and policymakers a pathway to solutions that work for frontline communities and workers. These ideas have been collectively strategized by community organizations, including KFTC, and leaders from across multiple frontline and grassroots networks and alliances to ensure that regenerative economic solutions and ecological justice.

Revisioning what we mean by "A Just Transition"

April 17, 2020 at 03:40pm

The Empower Kentucky Leadership Network – a cohort of 40 grassroots leaders across Kentucky dedicated to growing a stronger movement for Just Transition and climate justice – had its first gathering in Bowling Green in early November 2019. Among many resources provided to the cohort during this weekend was the KFTC document “Appalachia’s Bright Future – Working Together to Shape a Just Transition.” This document was created in 2013, but is still frequently used to reflect KFTC’s work related to Just Transition. 

During a generative group discussion at this first gathering, a member of the cohort pointed out that there were problematic aspects of this document. For instance, the document’s list of frontline communities whose leadership should be centered in a Just Transition did not include people of color. The document also included a photo of a KFTC member of color who had been a strong leader in KFTC’s just transition work, but the lack of actual content emphasizing the importance of centering racial justice made the image feel tokenizing in nature.

Empower Kentucky Leadership Network digs into Race-Class Narrative with JaNaé Bates

Minister JaNaé Bates speaking on Zoom
April 16, 2020 at 02:16pm

The Empower Kentucky Leadership Network–an ongoing cohort of 40 Kentuckians committed to building a stronger movement for climate and just transition–continues to grow and learn through monthly webinars and peer coaching calls. 

NKY chapter hosts DACA and immigrant rights discussion

March 28, 2020 at 02:04pm
Northern Kentucky

On March 26, the Northern Kentucky chapter cohosted a zoom video conversation about immigration rights. The call focused on the status of the DACA (Deferred Action for Child Arrivals) program, the challenges facing the local immigrant community and how that fits into the unique moment we are in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Faith Leaders Sign Letter Opposing Anti-‘Sanctuary’ Immigration Bill

February 27, 2020
WFPL-FM

More than 300 faith leaders have called on Kentucky legislators to stop advancing a bill that would ban agencies, cities and public employees from adopting so-called “sanctuary” immigration policies.

Kentucky’s bail system is broken, clogging overcrowded jails. Will lawmakers fix it?

December 27, 2019
Lexington Herald-Leader

Kentucky lawmakers must decide this winter whether to fix a broken bail system that is clogging the state’s dangerously overcrowded jails with thousands of people who can’t afford

Statement from the Kentucky Voting Rights Coalition on the victory and path ahead

December 23, 2019 at 10:39am


On December 12, Governor Andy Beshear helped Kentucky take a historic step forward. With the twirl of a pen, 140,000 previously disenfranchised members of our commonwealth were re-empowered with the right to vote. Years of conversations, meetings, phone calls, and work by people with felonies in their past created the grassroots support needed to bring us to this moment.

Over a hundred of us attended and cheered as the governor signed the order and stated his support for a constitutional amendment to restore voting rights. There is much to be lauded about this act, including the explicit exclusion of any requirement that fines and fees be paid to qualify for restoration. 140,000 is truly a huge number, and a step towards helping disenfranchised people regain a sense of normalcy within society.

This is what a healthy democracy is about – allowing people who have a stake in the decisions made by elected officials to have a voice in deciding who those officials are. It’s fundamental to who we are as a state and a nation.

We, the Kentucky Voter Rights Restoration Coalition, are a network of 30+ similarly minded community groups working to ensure that every person who is denied the right to vote has that right restored. We believe that once a person has served their time, they have the right to re-engage with society.

Big Voting Rights Win - Executive Action

December 17, 2019 at 04:03pm

Governor Andy Beshear's Executive Action of Voting Rights SigningOn Thursday, Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order to restore voting rights for an estimated 140,000 people with felonies in their past.  It’s an overwhelming and powerful victory 15 years in the making that has the potential to deepen our Democracy in Kentucky.  And with a truer Democracy, so much is possible.

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