Forward Kentucky is built on the work of many people, and among the most important are our contributors. We value their insights, their varied experiences, and their willingness to share their expertise and their creative work with others. The best way you can thank them is to consume their work and engage them in the forums – but a nice Thank You left in the feedback form is good too!
Gay Adelmann moved to Louisville in 2012 with her husband and two teen-age sons. She immediately found herself thrust into public education advocacy work when a pattern of repeated decisions made by district leaders without authentic stakeholder input continued to negatively impact her son’s school and other schools across the district. In 2015, Gay co-founded Dear JCPS, a stakeholder advocacy group that provides critical feedback from stakeholders to district leaders and decision makers, and demands transparency and accountability surrounding their decisions.
Gary Bentley was born and raised in the small Appalachian coal field community of Whitesburg, Kentucky, where he lived for twenty-nine years. Gary is a former underground coal miner of twelve years. In 2012, Gary was forced to leave his hometown in search for a new career as the coal market declined and jobs began to leave the region. He is currently working in manufacturing and residing in Lexington, Kentucky. Gary is sharing his stories of being a coal miner to educate the public on the realities of contemporary coal mining and Appalachia.
Berry Craig of Mayfield is a professor emeritus of history at West Kentucky Community College in Paducah and the author of five books on the Civil War in Kentucky. The last one, soon to be published by the University Press of Kentucky, is about the Courier and the rest of the state’s rebel press in the secession crisis of 1860-1861.
Catherine Hill is a Louisville writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including Insider Louisville, Business First, Valeo Magazine and Humana Military Healthcare Services newsletters.
Greg Leichty is a professor of Communication at the University of Louisville. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of conflict management and social movements. He has been involved in several social justice organizations in the Louisville area over the last decade.
Tim Peacock is a lifelong writer and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBTQ advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. He also manages a news analysis blog (Peacock Panache) that focuses on civil rights, LGBTQ issues, church/state & atheism issues, women’s rights, and politics. You can learn more about him at his personal website: http://tpeacock.com
Aaron Smith has been drawing for as long as he could hold a pencil. He grew up in Eastern Kentucky before attending the University of Kentucky, where dozens of his editorial cartoons were published by the Kentucky Kernal, UK's award-winning student run newspaper. His interests include social justice, bourbon and Saturday mornings, sometimes all at once. He currently lives in Louisville with his wife and two ferocious house cats.
Dr. Neal Turpin is a recent PhD graduate of the University of Louisville’s School of Urban and Public Affairs, where he focused on public policy and participation, democratic structures, and efficiency. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Sara, working out at the Southeast YMCA, where the two of them met, and teaching Sunday school at Buechel Park Baptist Church. Neal also has an appreciation for trivia, movie scores, and the Muppets.
Paul Wesslund retired in 2015 after 20 years as editor of Kentucky Living magazine, and is now a freelance writer focusing on energy issues, doing business as Highway 61 Communications, LLC.