In the aftermath of a terribly disorienting week, I have spent some time thinking about the things that give me strength. I keep returning to a set of values held by the committed board and staff at the Foundation: equity and inclusion, democracy, justice and respect for all voices, to name a few.
I believe today it is even more important that we work from these values, live by these values and seek to intervene when we see these values compromised, to the harm of others. I plan to make that commitment every day.
As we work in partnership with organizations and networks across the South to move people and places out of poverty, we are moving forward with our new strategic directions. To implement them, and in response to other changes, we are making some shifts in our staffing.
First, I am saddened to announce the transition of Deputy Director Sandra Mikush off of staff. Sandra has been a highly respected and esteemed member of this team for almost 25 years. She will remain at the Foundation through the end of February, then likely transition to consulting work. She will be sorely missed!
I am super pleased to announce three other staff changes that will begin with the new year:
- Gladys Washington will become Deputy Director. Gladys will continue to play a lead role in our program development, grantmaking and staff development.
- Lavastian Glenn will become Program Director. Lavastian will manage our program team, co-lead our impact investing and coordinate our organizational learning while continuing to work with our grantee and foundation partners.
- Jennifer Barksdale will become Senior Finance Officer. She will lead our operations team, co-lead our impact investing and continue to ensure smooth financial sailing.
Over the next several months, we also plan a couple of rounds of hiring to increase our capacity. This includes replacing a recently departed network officer, hiring a new network officer and adding two new program associates. This new position will support our network officers with program-related and administrative work. Stay tuned for announcements about this and other news.
The Foundation has a great core staff. We are excited to expand it over the next year as we step further into our new strategic directions. As we all seek to better understand and respond to the new terrain we find ourselves in, we will look to our shared values to guide our work.