Coy Wakefield

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Coy Wakefield

Coy Wakefield (aka Coy Kindred), views the realm of social justice through a creative lens. She believes that art and activism intersect and create an entry point for otherwise marginalized people to engage in community organizing and creating awareness. Coy uses her poetry as a platform to address socio-economic inequality, race relations and state sanctioned violence. She is a founding member of the Knoxville Chapter of Black Lives Matter and works collaboratively with various organizations and student groups in the ongoing stand against injustice on a local, national and global scale. Along with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration: Finance, she brings to Highlander her experience in facilitating financial literacy workshops, hosting diverse groups of people, and a broad range of digital media, communications, writing and business skills. [1]

Special Assistant to the Director at Highlander Research and Education Center. Lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.



Students and staff packed into a lecture hall in the Alumni Memorial Building, November 2014, filling every seat and lining the walls, to hear the experiences of six Knoxvillians who recently traveled to Ferguson, Missouri.

The group drove seven hours to the St. Louis suburb to take part in the social movement protesting the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man who was killed, unarmed, by a white police officer Aug. 9.

Josh Inwood, associate professor of geography and one of the event's organizers, said the underlying economic, racial and social causes of poverty and violence are grossly under-scrutinized in the U.S.

Coy Kindred, the executive director at The FLOW, a grassroots organization dedicated to changing the perception of hip-hop, said the constant presence of protesters in Ferguson was impressive and she wished she could have stayed longer.

"These people were sleeping in the streets," Kindred said. "They were going non-stop. When we got there, they had been there, camped out, fighting every day, spending more time in jail than Darren Wilson."

Jasmine Taylor, junior in political science, the opportunity to meet and protest alongside Ferguson natives still grieving over Michael Brown's death was a powerful experience.

For sophomore Katie Myers, who grew up in an affluent suburb in Maryland, said she decided to go to Ferguson to "look for the truth" about police brutality and social inequity.

"There was a moment when everyone was like, 'let her voice how she feels, she has the right to do that'," Taylor said. "But then it became a question of the integrity of the movement if she took too far, if she got too close to a police officer's face."

Andre Canty, a UT graduate who now works at the Highlander Center, said he was moved by the resiliency of the protesters he encountered during the trip.

Ultimately, Taylor said the experience proved to her activism does not need to be put off until graduation.

"What I would take back from Ferguson is that Millennial activism does exist," Taylor said. "The youth do care and are engaged."[2]

Anti-privatization meeting

Event in Knoxville 1800 Melrose Ave, Tuesday 6 October 2015

State lawmakers will join the United Campus Workers, UT College Democrats, Progressive Student Alliance and Statewide Organizing for Community Empowerment during a fact-finding trip to learn more about the potential impact of the Governor's plan to possibly bring privatization to the campus of UT Knoxville.

Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris and state Rep. John Ray Clemmons will hear from campus employees, students and faculty about the potential impacts that layoffs and outsourcing will have on their families and campus life. Organized by Jasmine Taylor.

Those indicating their intention to attend, on Wherevent, included Matt Roach, Elizabeth Stanfield, Savannah Lucas, Ann League, Jamie Greig, Melanie Barron, Madeleine Lewis, Adam Hughes, Matt Anderson, Jack Petschulat, Coy Kindred, Carter Hall, Jordan Welsh, Gloria Johnson, Eric Dixon, Anna Gardner, Caroline Cranford, Alex Fields, Will Gabelman, Josh Smyser, Courtney Anderson, Colleen Ryan, Katie Myers, Karly Safar, Hayley Brundige, William Dirmeyer, Feroza Freeland, Ciara Malaugh, Bonnie Swinford, Cassie Watters, Phyliss Dubinsky Shey, Meghan Martin, Prestyr John .[3]

Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing

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Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing, was a nationwide conference call organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday October 30, 2016.

What's the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we're fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.

Those indicating they would attend, on Facebook included Coy Kindred.[4]

Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward


Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward was a phone in webinar organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization in the wake of the 2016 election.

Now what? We’re all asking ourselves that question in the wake of Trump’s victory. We’ve got urgent strategizing and work to do, together. Join Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson of the Movement for Black Lives and Freedom Road, Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Jodeen Olguin-Taylor of Mijente and WFP, Joe Schwartz of the Democratic Socialists of America, and Sendolo Diaminah of Freedom Road for a discussion of what happened, and what we should be doing to build mass defiance. And above all, how do we build the Left in this, which we know is the only solution to the crises we face?

This event will take place Tuesday November 15, 2016 at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central/6pm Pacific.

Those invited, on Facebook included Coy Kindred.[5]

Eat Out (with) PSA

Hosted by UTK Progressive Student Alliance, Monday, March 6, 2017, at 11 AM - 9 PM. Moe's Original Bar B Que- Knoxville, 4405 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, Tennessee 37919.

Percentage night at local restaurant Moe's! Support UTK's oldest progressive student organization, the Progressive Student Alliance, and learn all about what we do!

Those invited, on Facebook, included Coy Wakefield.