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connecticut update – october 14, 2021

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In this issue…

Connecticut Statewide Criminal Justice Reform Call

Presentation on Advocacy at UCONN

Building Leadership and Organizing Capacity (BLOC) Roundtable

Quotes of the Week

Last Week’s CT Statewide Criminal Justice Reform Call

Kim Piper from SEIU 1199 discussing an upcoming strike of health care workers

Last week, we hosted our CT Statewide Criminal Justice Reform CallWe had a lively discussion with updates on what’s happening at the state capitol on criminal justice reform. Our speakers included:

  • John Bailey II, lobbyist discussed the recent special session and what to expect during the upcoming short session.
  • Claudine Fox, ACLU-CT discussed the inaugural Inspector General position in the state.
  • Jamila Washington, Citywide Youth Coalition spoke about their Defund the New Haven Police Department campaign.
  • Sarana Nia, Community First Coalition / CT Black & Brown Student Union spoke about their Care Not Cops campaign.
  • Kim Piper, SEIU 1199 discussed the upcoming strike of health care workers pushing for fairer wages.

The goals of the CT Statewide Criminal Justice Reform Call are to:

  • Highlight issues, campaigns, and projects that groups are working on to advance statewide reform;
  • Identify ways to align, coordinate, and support each other in the work to end mass incarceration in Connecticut;
  • Strengthen community organizing and advocacy organizations to build movement in Connecticut.

Register for our next CT Statewide Criminal Justice Reform Call, on Thursday, November 4 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon. 

If you have any questions about the statewide call or would like to present on an upcoming call, please contact Kenyatta at

Katal at the University of Connecticut

On Monday, October 4th, our Director of Organizing, Kenyatta Muzzanni, was a guest speaker at the University of Connecticut. The Careers in Advocacy panel included Sana Shah of Connecticut Voices for Children, Maggie Marshall of Freedom House, and Ryan Beach of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness.

During the event, students from across UConn listened as panelists shared their work, their experiences in advocacy, and the paths that shaped them there. Kenyatta discussed the fundamental differences between advocacy and organizing as a method of social change, focusing primarily on how we at Katal rely on organizing as our principal method of social change. As the panel concluded, Kenyatta and the other panelists answered student questions on everything from the usefulness of graduate education to the ways in which white people can show up in the fight for racial equity.

Kenyatta is an alumni of the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, and we are grateful for this opportunity!

If you’re interested in having Katal speak to your class or group, please contact Alycia Gay at

Building Leadership and Organizing Capacity (BLOC) Roundtable

We held our BLOC – Building Leadership and Organizing Capacity – Roundtable meeting Tuesday night– and it was fantastic. 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.

During this month’s discussion, we held space for organizers from across the state to talk about accountability, building new relationships, and strengthening relationships that help grow the field. The conversation also focused on elevating the voices of Black women, women of color, and LGBTQIA+ folks in organizing spaces.

Are you a community organizer in Connecticut looking to connect with other organizers? Or just want to learn more about the BLOC Organizer Roundtables? Please contact Alycia at

Katal Quotes of the Week

These are some of the quotes we’re thinking about this week.

“We’re going to fight racism not with racism, but we’re going to fight with solidarity. We say we’re not going to fight capitalism with Black capitalism, we’re going to fight it with socialism.”

–Fred Hampton

“You don’t get to choose the time you live in. But you do get to choose who you want to be, and what you want to think.”

–Grace Lee Boggs

Sign up for the Katal New York Update

We announced in March that, after nearly 5 years, we’re ending the Katal Weekly Update, and moving to two separate email updates — one for Connecticut, another for New York. If you’d also like to keep up what we’re doing in New York, click here to sign up for the Katal New York Update!

For printing and distribution, Katal Weekly Update PDF version.

Be safe as possible out there, and get vaccinated as soon as you can. If you want to get involved, learn more about our work, or just connect, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Katal works to strengthen the people, policies, institutions, and movements that advance health, equity, and justice for everyone. Join us: web, Twitter, Facebook! Email: Phone: 646.875.8822.

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