Cara Ellis (she/her) serves her rural Appalachian community as an organizer being inspired by her lived experience growing up in a working-class home in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. After white nationalist groups descended upon her hometown attempting to recruit community members in 2017, she helped to establish Pikeville Pride – a local LGBTQ+ non-profit dedicated to highlighting the visibility and inclusion of queer people in eastern Kentucky. Serving as President, Cara’s work with Pikeville Pride has been featured in interviews and articles with NPR, The Advocate, Lexington Herald-Leader, Louisville Courier Journal, and more. Her organizing efforts with Pikeville Pride led her to the opportunity to serve as a Regional Organizing Director for the Charles Booker for U.S. Senate campaign in 2022. This campaign allowed her to gain firsthand knowledge of grassroots political organizing, all while making valuable connections throughout the Commonwealth. Aside from her work with Pikeville Pride, she also serves as an advisory board member for All Access EKY – a regional organization that works in collaboration between Appalshop and Power to Decide that aims to build support for policies, programs, and services to ensure that eastern Kentuckians in 14 counties have access to the full range of contraceptive methods. These experiences, combined with her passion for advocacy and social justice values, motivate her to stay engaged in her community and empower others to join her. When she’s not working on various projects, she enjoys hanging out with her cat (Gravy), playing her ukulele, and baking.
Kentucky Field Organizer