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building leadership and organizing capacity

About Katal’s BLOC Program:
Building Leadership and Organizing Capacity

Katal’s flagship training program is Building Leadership and Organizing Capacity (BLOC). Participants in BLOC learn:

  • community organizing and harm reduction tools and strategies, and how to use them for systemic change;
  • how to build relationships that will increase participation in groups, coalitions, and campaigns; and
  • how to orient organizing and advocacy work toward undoing systemic racism and building movement.
The field of community organizing has grown and changed over the past 10 years. We at Katal want to see more community organizing and more people using community organizing tools. Our BLOC Program prioritizes the inclusion of young people, women and girls and people directly impacted by systemic problems who want to enter the community organizing field.

BLOC consists of four main program areas:

Community Organizing Training + Coaching

We train people and organizations in the theory and practice of community organizing, campaign strategy, and leadership development. We also coach individual leaders, advocates, and community organizers on strategy and practice. Since 2016,we’ve trained and coached thousands of people in Connecticut, New York, and throughout the country. We’ve trained community organizations, advocacy and policy groups, networks and coalitions, foundations, faith groups, and more. If you are interested in learning more about our BLOC trainings, please contact Alycia Gay at

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Monthly BLOC Organizer Roundtables

At BLOC Organizer Roundtables, new and experienced organizers come together in a facilitated space for peer-to-peer development, coaching, and training, and for collective discussions about the mechanics and practice of community organizing. The Roundtables are a place for organizers to gather, learn, and grow together. Our CT BLOC Organizer Roundtable has been meeting monthly since 2017, led by veteran Black organizers. Dozens of organizers in Connecticut have participated in the monthly CT roundtable, mostly women of color.  Roundtables are not issue specific – they include organizers working on a range of issue areas, from housing and immigration policy to education reform and LGBTQI rights, to criminal justice reform and universal healthcare. To learn more about the BLOC Organizer Roundtables, please contact Alycia Gay at 

Katal’s BLOC Apprenticeship creates entry-level opportunities for people looking to choose or change to a career as a community organizer. The Apprentice Community Organizer program is designed for people who want to learn the science and art of community organizing, and often have little to no community organizing experience. The Apprenticeship is designed particularly for developing new organizers who are people of color—especially Black women—as well as young people and those impacted by systemic racism, the war on drugs, mass incarceration, and the consequences of a broken public safety net.  As a job-training program, the Apprenticeship is a full-time paid position, lasts 9 – 12 months, and prepares participants to enter the workforce as a community organizer.  The Apprenticeship is a rigorous training experience—apprentice organizers learn organizing by doing organizing, both theory, and practice. Apprentices are fully integrated members of the team, receive intensive coaching and support, and gain direct and transferable experience.For more information about the Apprentice Organizer program, please contact Alycia Gay at 

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Katal Fellowship Program

In 2017 we launched the Katal Fellowship Program. Prospective fellows are people doing—or interested in doing—intersectional work on equity, health, and justice. Prospective Fellows are people with experience they bring to the organization for a set period, and who in turn are trained up in organizing, advocacy, and organizational development. Fellows are integrated as full-time staff members and receive training and coaching as part of an organizational home that connects them with local and national networks and other opportunities. The fellows, in turn, provide capacity to Katal. Fellowships are usually 9 – 12 months. 

Notable Katal Fellows to date include Kenyatta Thompson, who after her Katal Fellowship joined the Katal as a Community Organizer, and is now the Director of Organizing. And Donna Hylton, who became a Katal program director after completing her Senior Fellowship, and then moved on to launch her new organization, A Little Piece of Light. 

For more information about the Katal Fellowship Program, please contact Alycia Gay at