Change Today, Change Tomorrow: barrier-free community services done right
It's no secret that Change Today, Change Tomorrow is Beargrass Thunder's #1 favorite nonprofit here in Louisville. Here's why:
Change Today, Change Tomorrow is a local Black-owned & Women-led nonprofit that provides barrier-free community service city-wide here in Louisville, Kentucky. Since CTCT launched in September 2019, this group has served over 100,000 marginalized Louisville residents. Not only do they combat racist educational structures by providing alternative education to marginalized youth, they fight #FoodInjustice - handing out fresh and organic foods, as well as implementing profoundly effective and efficient Public Health services & programming.
We at Beargrass Thunder had the pleasure of interviewing the mastermind behind this monumental project, Taylor Ryan last November (2020). They had just moved into their Butchertown location and treated us to a full tour before sitting down for an interview and chat.
This time, we returned to sit down with Andreana Bridges - Administrative Associate, and Tyler Warner - Operations Manager to discuss Change Today, Change Tomorrow's recent achievements, and dive deep into the group's innerworkings, morals, and philosophies on how nonprofits should be ran.
(1/5): recent achievements in Louisville public health & community services
Andreana & Taylor discuss what's been going on at Change Today Change Tomorrow since Beargrass Thunder last visited in November 2020. After the #FeedTheWest program took off, CTCT has expanded to five separate locations across Louisville, including Pocket Change, a program empowering Black-owned Business' interchange with white consumerism.
(2/5): Houseless outreach done right in Louisville
Houseless outreach & public health are some of the main focuses of CTCT. On a weekly basis they provide 100 hot meals and 100 cold meals, as well as "Change Kits" which contain a multitude of items that can help a person get through the week. The Umoja Team is able to mobilize extremely quickly and efficiently, recently making a pop-up shelter on the coldest nights this year in the less than 24 hours.
(3/5): Achieving amidst global pandemic
Change Today, Change Tomorrow got their start during the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, CTCT was mainly Taylor Ryan - Founder & Executive Director and Nannie Grace Croney - Deputy Director working hard to put programs together, which a lot of the time looked like Nannie cooking hot meals in her kitchen which were then distributed by her and Taylor straight to people in the city.
As a nonprofit that really started to get going during a time when restrictions were already in place, CTCT is unique in that they have already developed unique strategies to safely canvas and continue providing public health services to residents that other local nonprofits may not yet have access to.
(4/5): overcoming West End barriers & Gentrification in Louisville
CTCT is intentional about black-led organizations owning space in the West End of Louisville. Andreana and Taylor talk about some of the barriers against Black people having land access in Louisville such as discriminative redlining, and how to help fight against the inevitable gentrification in the West End.
(5/5): barrier-free public health & community services done right
Change Today, Change Tomorrow has some of the most efficient and effective outreach programs in the city. They are dedicated to providing accessible and barrier-free programming for Louisville residents. What this means is that everything the provide is free and accessible - they provide whatever service is needed, be it transportation, education, access to food, clothing, toys, equipment, etc - in a way that doesn't force people into filling out paperwork, having ID, personal vehicles, internet access, etc. The idea that people who are in need of help shouldn't have to jump through all sorts of hoops to get the help they deserve.
Change Today Change Tomorrow: Barrier-free public health & community service [FULL INTERVIEW]
Adapting to community needs: Taylor Ryan of Louisville nonprofit Change Today, Change Tomorrow
virtual tour - CTCT's new Butchertown location
Empowering Black-Owned Business
Pocket Change is a Black-Owned Business Product & Resource Hub by Change Today, Change Tomorrow strategically located in Louisville's NULU for Black-Owned Businesses to gain exposure & increase their customer base.
They host free introductory business workshops on the third Thursday of each month at 7pm! They are also running a "Secret Shopper" program with the goal of assessing the implicit biases, micro-agressions, and overt racism of 100 local, white-owned Louisville businesses with the help of community members. You can sign up for either of these programs as well as register your business by filling out the appropriate forms at the bottom of their web page: change-today.org/pocket-change/
Support Pocket Change by Change Today, Change Tomorrow by paying for items on their constantly-changing Amazon wish list: tinyurl.com/CTCTpocketchange
Through the Umoja Project, volunteers compile 100 bags, water, and a hot meal for houseless Louisville residents each week. Help the Umoja Team continue providing accessible public health services by paying for items on their Amazon wishlist: tinyurl.com/CTCTumoja
CTCT also runs the Black Trans Fund which is a collaborative effort with Diversity at the Table to bring unrestricted funding to Black trans, non-conforming, and non-binary folx. To request funding, you can fill out this form.
The Community Baby Shower is another collab between CTCT and Diversity at the Table. It's a free event hosted in West Louisville on the last sunday of January, March, May, July, September, & November, and is spearheaded by Talesha Wilson - CEO & Founder of Diversity at the Table & CTCT's Director of Community Engagement. You can sign up for your own baby shower by filling out a short form, or you can support Community Baby Shower by donating directly or purchasing items from the wishlist found on their page: change-today.org/community-baby-shower/
Change Today, Change Tomorrow offers Free NTI Support & Tutoring Hours in the form of a collaborative effort with Watch Us Grow. Learn more and enroll on their page: change-today.org/free-nti-support-tutoring-hours/
93Nightz, INC & CTCT have also partnered to offer free mentoring for young Black men ages 9-24, which you can learn more and enroll by filling out this form: https://form.jotform.com/202021375050135
CTCT also provides education to our community by having Black folks from all walks of life come through to speak with youth, passing down valuable information and wisdom to the next generation. All of this is possible through their Education Hub at 310 East Broadway Suite 102. Alternative education and tutoring is available for youth grades 1-12 from 10am-6pm every weekday. If you're interested in volunteering, please fill out this form.
CTCT fights Food Injustice in many ways. One of the most well-known is their sponsorship of the #FeedTheWest program, which is a free grocery delivery program for West Louisville residents. There is a 15-year life expectancy difference between East End and West End residents as a direct result of food scarcity and lack of accessible grocery stores. Feed the West is ran by Shauntrice Martin who is the Founder & CEO of Black Market. You can visit their page to volunteer as well as request or donate
On the every third Saturday of the month, Change Today, Change Tomorrow distributes 100 bags of free Black-Owned produce, herbal tea, cold-pressed juice, organic supplements, and vegan dishes through their Healthy Change effort. CTCT is also committed to garden development in West Louisville, and plans to give out fresh produce every Saturday starting some time in the spring through their Change Gardens movement.
Also, be sure to check out Black Market KY, another Black-owned and women-led grocery in West Louisville whose main goal is combatting the food apartheid in the West End. Louisville Community Grocery is also a great organization - a cooperatively-owned grocery store committed to Food Justice by providing healthy and affordable food through just and equitable food practices, employment, and ownership.
A special thanks to Andreana Bridges and Tyler Warner for the great interview, as well as Taylor Ryan and the rest of the crew behind Change Today, Change Tomorrow, who continue to impact so many lives on a daily basis. Please help these amazing people continue supporting our community in any way you can. Check out all of their sites, and stay tuned on Beargrass Thunder for more CTCT content. We hope to highlight the amazing work of the Umoja Team in the near future.
Learn more about Change Today, Change Tomorrow at change-today.org. If you can, please support CTCT in any of the following ways: