Kurston C. Cook is a Senior Strategist at Grassroots Solutions based in Durham, North Carolina and has been with the firm since 2017. In his time at the firm, Kurston has had the privilege of working with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations as well as philanthropic institutions. His portfolio is centered around organizational, campaign, and strategic advising. In his time at Grassroots Solutions, Kurston has worked with clients to expand state Earned Income Tax Credit programs, conduct landscapes of civic infrastructure across the South and Midwest, support the strategic planning goals of organizations across the country, and evaluate the impact of foundational giving.
Kurston loves complex, difficult, and beautiful challenges. His clients consistently solicit support in addressing some of the country’s biggest issues. In addressing these issues Kurston seeks to learn as much about the problem, and works to understand a client’s unique perspective and goals in order to develop a plan of action to address the challenge. As a consultant, Kurston excels at simplifying and condensing complex information, making it accessible to clients and partners, while also developing actionable recommendations. Kurston firmly believes that complex problems require out-of-the-box thinking and creativity, two of the many superpowers Kurston applies to all his work.
Prior to joining the Grassroots Solutions team, Kurston worked as a community and grassroots organizer, political operative, policy analyst, and political action trainer. In the nearly twenty years of political and community organizing experience, he has worked with the AFL-CIO, Center for American Progress, the American Federation of Teachers, re: Power, PolicyLink, and the Roosevelt Institute. Kurston’s work centered around engaging, educating, and mobilizing diverse constituencies to vote, as well as issues of economic inequality affecting predominantly Black and Latinx communities.
Kurston is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and received his Masters of Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. When not working, Kurston is an avid Iaido practitioner constantly looking to further his understanding and appreciation of the 400-year-old Japanese art form. This practice focuses on being prepared, meeting opposition immediately, and strengthening the psychological state of being present. Kurston also enjoys cooking, raising chickens, and traveling with his wonderful wife, family, and friends.
Select Article Contributions
- Imagining a Black Power Index
- Bridging the Gap: Youth-Led Organizing & Big Philanthropy
- Community Lawyering In The Midst Of A Pivotal Election
Imagining a Black Power Index: