The Origin of Rise Up Kingston

The roots of injustice, racism and all forms of oppression forced us to accept a narrative that prioritizes individualism over interdependence. We spent too long fighting against things, that we forgot what we were fighting for.

We lost our common vision. 

We didn’t slow down enough to think about the world we want to live in.

We didn’t stop to think about how we can build up a community economy right here in Kingston. 

But then we did.

In 2018, conversations with community members, community leaders, and elected officials, made it clear that we had to come together to lift up the voices of all of the residents of the city of Kingston to create economies that ensure we all thrive. We began to find our common vision.


All over the world, communities are working together to move towards Community Economies. Through reframing our worth, the focus shifts from Individualism to Interdependence. We realized we can create that in Kingston.


We believe that Strategic Community Engagement brings shared understanding across the greater Kingston community and transitions towards community control of all resources by helping community members understand their own power.




We know we can achieve this in Kingston. But, we also know that this work can only be done by deep grassroots organizing that is led by Black People, People of Color, Low Income People, LGBTQ* People and Women. Organizing that changes the power dynamics, and changes the system, not just provides a bandaid. Organizing to end our exploitative system that takes advantage of people.

Rise Up Kingston works to elevate the voices of the most directly impacted communities and creates real long term change that dismantles the structures of Systemic Racism & Overlapping Oppressions and builds Ethical Liberation for All.

We now know what we are fighting for.


March 2018

  • Rise Up Kingston was founded by callie mackenzie (they/them) and Lisa Royer (she/her)

  • Formed Criminal Justice Circle and began Police Accountability Campaign

September 2018

  • Formed Housing Justice Circle and continued basebuilding in the community

October 2019

  • Formed HR Circle, began building out organizational processes, and moved to being a Worker Self-Directed non-profit

January 2020

  • Rise Up Kingston becomes a 501(c)4

March 2020

  • COVID-19 hit and RUK joined efforts such as the Kingston Emergency Food Collaborative, Kingston Resilience, Kingston Mutual Aid, and more

June 2020

  • Won Police Accountability Campaign and began building our Defund the Police platform