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Katal Connecticut Update — May 9, 2024

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Miller Bridge Farm Lease Approved by City Council!

Our Cultivating Justice project is growing (literally!). This  Monday, May 6th, 2024 the Miller Street Community Farm lease was up for a vote at the Middletown City Council meeting. Middletown community members and partners testified in support of the farm. After the testimony portion, the city council approved the lease! After a long fight, we now have a 5-year lease for the Miller Street Community Farm located in Roosevelt Park in Middletown, CT. Over the last year, we’ve established raised beds and beehives there with plans to add laying hens, growing operations, and composting in collaboration with, and in support of the local residents. 

Kimmie, Cultivating Justice member, and her daughter shoveling soil into raised beds on Miller Bridge Farm 4.28.24

Planting Seeds, another initiative in the project,  is about addressing food apartheid in Middletown, beginning in this neighborhood that’s entirely cut off from food sources by man-made structures.  Last week, members and community members of Miller-Bridge filled the raised beds at the Miller Bridge Community Farm in Middletown, CT. Ubuntu Gardens led us in a grounding exercise to connect with the earth and unwind, and gave away house plants.

We’ve launched a Sustainable CT Campaign for Planting Seeds: Community, Crops, and Composting. Check it out here!

Here’s how you can help the project:

  • Donate to this campaign at any level! We need at least 75 donors of ANY amount! Share our campaign with your friends! Spread the word on social media using the share buttons below the title!
  • Join us! Come to one of our events or build days this summer! Follow us on Instagram for updates and events.

Harvesting Change – Wesleyan Encampment 

Students making salt scrubs at Harvesting Change 5.5.24

On Sunday May 5th, at the Wesleyan Student Encampment in Solidarity with Palestine we hosted a “Harvesting Change” session with  Sasha Allen Walton, a Black Herbalist, healer, and owner of Sasha’s Whole Earth. Even through the rain, we gathered for the session and a meal by Shah’s Halal. Throughout the session Sasha discussed the creation of salt scrubs with calendula, orange, clover, cornflower, jasmin, and essential oils. Sasha handpicked elements to boost joy, spiritual grounding, and unity. We also used a hand-carved stamp to print clothes provided by Wesleyan’s student-run thrift shop.


Tabling at CHRO Community Access Fair & Highschool Leap Fair

Katal table at Highschool Leap Fair in New Haven 5.3.24

On  May 1st, we attended the CHRO Community Access Fair at the CT State Armory where we talked to community members about our  Cultivating Justice project,our Cut Shut Invest CT campaign and ways they can get involved. We connected with local agencies; learned about the resources available across the state; and connected with community members about the issues they care about. We also attended the panel discussion on fair and impartial policing and community engagement.  

On Friday May 3rd, we tabled at the Leap Career Fair where we met highschool and college students who were interested in learning about organizing. We discussed building people’s power and how they can shape change through community organizing in their schools and communities. Many schools discussed the issues students face  and ways they can see reinvestments in their communities to be better supported. Students agreed that CT must Cut Shut Invest!

To get involved in our #CutShutInvestCT campaign, please email Maribel at maribel@katalcenter.org 


ICYMI: Middlesex High School Career Fair Expo

Our Co-Executive Director Lorenzo Jones talking with young people about farming. 4.25.24

At the end of last month, Katal staff and members participated in the 2024 Career Fair Expo for High School Students, held in Middletown. The Career Fair is hosted annually by the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, Middlesex Consortium of Schools, Middlesex County School Partners, and Wesleyan University’s Jewett Center for Community Partnerships. Katal’s Cultivating Justice project and our partner Chicks Ahoy Farm joined over 170 business and career professionals from Middlesex County and beyond to provide close to 1200 students from at least 11 area high schools with an invaluable opportunity to explore potential careers so that they may better plan their educational goals.

It was a constructive day full of new connections and good conversations. With more and more young people getting involved in farming and community organizing work, we are excited to see what developments grow over the summer.

Click here to read more about our experience at the career fair expo.


Next Thursday 5/16: CT Statewide Criminal Justice Reform Call 

Our May CT Statewide Criminal Justice Reform call is next Thursday, May 16th 11am. Please register for the call here. 


The 2024 legislative session in CT is over. On our call we’ll hear from the lobbyist about what happened at the end of the session and go over budget updates. We’ll also hear from organizers and advocates about campaigns that they’ve been working on. If you’re interested in presenting, please reach out to Maribel at  Maribel@katalcenter.org


Katal Quotes of the Week

“Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn’t trust the evidence of one’s eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the latest mission civilizatrice.” ―Edward W. Said, Orientalism


Please support our work

We can’t do this without you. Please support our work to build leadership and organizing capacity in Connecticut, New York, and beyond. 

Join us: Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin!

Email: info@katalcenter.org. Phone: 646.875.8822.

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