Kenyatta M. Thompson is the lead community organizer with the Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice. Her experiences growing up in Brooklyn exposed her to disparities in police surveillance, access to educational opportunities, and overall outcomes for people in her neighborhood. These inequities ultimately helped propel her to challenge the justice system.
Prior to joining Katal, Kenyatta worked as a workforce developer at Roca Inc. in Springfield, Massachusetts. In that role she facilitated workforce readiness groups with young people impacted by the justice system. In Springfield, she witnessed the same disparities she had seen in Brooklyn, a reality that shaped Kenyatta’s path toward justice. Previous internship experiences also pointed her in that direction. Before coming to Katal, she interned with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on prison suicide prevention strategies, the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services on statewide suicide prevention policy, and with Massachusetts State Senator Eric P. Lesser (D-Longmeadow) on criminal justice reform and constituent cases in his district.
Since joining the team in 2018, Kenyatta has worked with members on issues including mass incarceration, drug policy, and housing. As Katal’s first on-the-ground organizer in Connecticut, she has helped build the statewide membership base and supported the development of other organizers in the field through our BLOC Roundtable. She also played an instrumental role in the formation of the Connecticut Criminal Justice Reform Field Scan, a road map for organizers, policy makers, and activists. As lead organizer with Katal, Kenyatta is working extensively on the #LessIsMoreNY campaign and the #FreeThemNowCT campaign with our members and leaders.
A self-described East Coast nomad, Kenyatta holds a bachelor’s of science in psychology from Juniata College and a master’s of social work from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Outside of work, Kenyatta enjoys reading, skateboarding in her neighborhood, and reruns of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.