"Empowering communities through intersectional education and training to form coalitions that take actions toward progressive change."



The vision of the North Alabama School for Organizers is to create a learning and educational environment to educate to organize - a school where people can attend to enhance and explore meaningful areas of organizing to empower themselves and their communities to be self-determined, solve problems, create change and control their own destiny.


The purpose of the North Alabama School for Organizers is to train organizers, individuals and groups to take progressive action to strive for a better world through classes, hands-on experiences of projects, and activities - to encourage the participant to strengthen their organization and take action to control their destiny.


The North Alabama School for Organizers seeks to empower communities through intersectional education and training to form coalitions that take progressive actions toward progressive change.

Board of Directors

Hy Thurman


Beginning as a civil rights advocate as a teenager, Hy Thurman has been an inspirational grass roots organizer, dedicating himself to improving the lives of marginalized and oppressed people and leading them into action to control their daily existence.
Hy is a southern white migrant who settled in Chicago's Uptown community, a predominately southern white community, in the 1960's at the age of 17. He became a community organizer and co founder of the Young Patriots Organization, a group of displaced southern white youth. He was also co-founder of an inter-racial coalition called the Original Rainbow Coalition, made up of the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican gang turned political, Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, and the Young Patriots.
These groups, with the assistance of the Black Panther Party, created survival programs such as free health clinics, breakfast for school children, free legal services and police brutality patrols and fought urban renewal that was displacing their community residents. Each group fought for the self determination of the people in their communities.

Cortney Brown


Creator of Alabama Solutions, a grassroots movement & Secretary at North Alabama School of Organizers. I was born in Fort Polk, LA on a military base in 1988. My first breath of existence was chaos. I was born with gastroschisis, a rare birth defect. Two other children in the cul-de-sac were born with similarly rare birth defects, which struck the military families with grief. These afflictions were the product of environmental pollution.
I grew up witnessing and directly experiencing grief, mental illness, adoption, injustice, and insanity. Having the rare privilege of coping with and overcoming these harsh experiences, I find purpose in making sure as many people as possible are prevented from living through similar experiences in that same way. With the help of knowledge and community, I believe we have a way of providing better guidance to prevent further tragedies that are within humanity's control and we have the ability to create great change for a healthier now.
I know that is possible because I am living proof of it.

Tom Moss

Vice President of Finance

Tom is a retired software developer, and a long-time activist who has focused on issues of homelessness, peace, and the environment.

Rev. Tonny Algood

Vice President of Outreach, Religious Institutions and Poor People's Services

Dr. Troy Smith

Vice President of Indigenous Studies and Course Development

Catherine Hereford

Vice President of Communications

Catherine Hereford is the granddaughter of Alabama Civil Rights pioneer Dr. Sonnie Hereford III, who was instrumental in helping bring about desegregation of Alabama public schools. She's a graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans and is a resident of Huntsville where she works as a logistician. She works with several local organizations including the North Alabama School for Organizers and the Tennessee Valley Progressive Alliance. She's especially passionate about helping to reform marijuana laws and enact body camera legislation that is desperately needed in Alabama.

Donald Richter

Co-Founder of NASO and HCC

Donald is a local organizer in the Huntsville area who holds a MA in Political Science with a focus in American Political theory. He's an active anarchist, gardener, and photographer who looks to help new and younger organizers in becoming more self-sufficient as well as politically educated. He can be found online through his social media networks under the pseudonym Earthquake Photography.

Eli Farahmand

Chairman of Communications and Webmaster

Eli is a trans person and a perpetual student with deep interest in social justice, mental health, speculative fiction, and technology.


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Alabama Solutions

By working on solutions to issues such as homeless support, environmental justice, freedom from corrupt government, Military Veteran support, foster care support, reproductive education, financial education, public education support, the elimination of racism & other discrimination, and healthcare support, the Alabama Solutions team seeks to restore hope, freedom and faith in our communities.

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Etowah Visitation Project

The Etowah Visitation Project is a member group of Freedom for Immigrants, formerly known as CIVIC, a national network which visits and monitors approximately 55 immigrant prisons and jails in 23 states.

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Industrial Workers of the World

The IWW is a member-run union for all workers, a union dedicated to organizing on the job, in our industries and in our communities. IWW members are organizing to win better conditions today and build a world with economic democracy tomorrow. We want our workplaces run for the benefit of workers and communities rather than for a handful of bosses and executives.

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League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters believes in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy. That's been their vision since 1920, when the League of Women Voters was founded by leaders of the women's suffrage movement. For 100 years, they have been a nonpartisan, activist, grassroots organization that believes voters should play a critical role in democracy.

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National Union of the Homeless

The National Union of the Homeless is an organization of homeless leaders committed to ending the oppression of all Homeless, Poor and Dispossessed People. Join us to win justice for all homeless, poor and dispossessed people!

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Tennessee Valley Progressive Alliance

The TVPA is a grassroots organization in Huntsville and surrounding areas of North AL and Southern Middle TN. We fight for progressive change by uniting community members and organizations to build political power, economic security, and quality of life for the 99%.

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University of the Poor

The mission of the University of the Poor is to unite and develop leaders committed to the unity of the poor and dispossessed across color lines and other lines of division so as to build a broad-based and powerful movement to end poverty. Within this activity the University of the Poor strives to lay the basic foundation for a network of revolutionaries.

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