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katal newsletter – december 13, 2018

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Organizing Training at the CT State Capitol

Creating the Legal Cannabis Industry: Justice, Equity, Reinvestment 

International End Violence Against Sex Workers Day

organizing training at the ct state capitol


Our Community Organizer Kenyatta Thompson training student activists about how to organize for change in the Connecticut State Capitol.


Today, we led a tour of the Connecticut Legislative Office Building (LOB) and State House with members of Yale University’s Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Trinity College. The day was led by our Community Organizer, Kenyatta Thompson. The purpose of the tour was to demystify the Capitol, and build leadership through civic engagement, advocacy and organizing. Topics during the tour ranged from how to utilize the space of the LOB for a Lobby Day, to how to effectively use policy briefs or fact sheets to advance your agenda. We look forward to continuing to work with activist students from around CT to advance health, equity, and justice.



For more information on how to get involved in our work in Connecticut, contact Kenyatta Thompson at (860) 937-6094, or


creating the legal cannabis industry: justice, equity, reinvestment 


(L to R) John Gilstrap, Mohini Sharma, Jack Norton, Ken Pokalsky, and our Director of Health and Harm Reduction, Keith Brown, come together for a group photo at the close of the Economic Opportunities for Upstate New York Panel.


Katal was pleased to have been a part of this week’s Marijuana: Justice, Equity, Reinvestment 2-Day conference, hosted by Drug Policy Alliance and the Start SMART NY (Sensible Marijuana Access through Regulated Trade) Coalition — in which we are a member. The conference brought together experts in a wide variety of fields to examine what sound cannabis policy and reinvestment should look like in NY.

Our Director of Health and Harm Reduction, Keith Brown, moderated the “Economic Opportunities for Upstate New York” Panel. Panelists included: Assemblywoman Donna LupardoJohn Gilstrap of Hudson Hemp and Treaty Botanicals; Mohini Sharma of MetroJustice Rochester; Jack Norton of Vera Institute of Justice; and The Business Council of New York State’s Ken Pokalsky. These incredible panelists discussed potential intentional regulations to foster economic opportunities, distinct opportunities that legalization presents for upstate New York, guiding investment in the new marijuana industry to drive economic development in local communities, and more. Watch a clip from the panel here.


(L to R) Our Community Organizer, Cedric Fulton, and Jalal Sabur of Wildseed Community Farm, panelist on the Sustainable Production of Marijuana forum.


The harms of marijuana prohibition have comprehensively dismantled communities. It is important that we continue to make our voices and presence felt within this budding industry in order to make sure that it is properly developed in favor of those communities that were most negatively impacted by the drug war, and to ensure industry participation by the Black and Brown people that make up those communities. 


international end violence against sex workers day

by Kenyatta Thompson



Next Friday, December 17, will mark the 15th anniversary of the International End Violence Against Sex Workers Day. This day was first recognized in the United States in 2003 in response to the murders of sex workers in Seattle, Washington. The Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP), who first organized this day, urge us to not only remember those who are no longer with us, but to renew our commitment to solidarity across movements. Our Community Organizer, Kenyatta Thompson, wrote a thoughtful reflection about next week’s anniversary. Read it here.

For more information on how to get involved in our Health and Harm Reduction work in Connecticut, contact Kenyatta Thompson at (860) 937-6094, or, and in New York, contact Cedric Fulton at

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