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After 16 years on the Race Forward staff, including 11 as President and Executive Director and Publisher of Colorlines, the time has come for me to move into the next phase of my work in the world. I am so proud of all we have done to make racial justice real, building on the wonderful legacy of our founder, Gary Delgado. I’ll never forget what it felt like to publish our Shattered Families report and investigative journalism on Colorlines, knowing that it drove legislation, practical change, and, most importantly, that it enabled thousands of children to remain part of their families, even after their parents had been deported. I’ll never forget the day board member Rashad Robinson texted me to say that the Associated Press had officially dropped the word “illegal” from its descriptions of immigrants after our Drop the I-Word campaign. I’ll never forget how I felt to see thousands of our people gathered at Facing Race National Conference just two days after this last election, using it as much-needed space to process and plan.
None of this would have been possible without you. I am profoundly grateful for all of the incredible staffers, board members, philanthropists, collaborators, activists, readers, trainees, and journalists who have made Race Forward what it is today. I thank you for your dedication, your hard work, your good humor, and your compelling vision.
I don’t have to tell you how challenging these times are for everyone whose life includes any kind of disadvantage. The overt racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, and transphobia all interact with an extreme form of crony capitalism that outpaces anything I have seen or fought before.
Institutions facing such challenges require energetic, smart, and steady leaders. Race Forward is extremely fortunate in having found such a leader in Glenn Harris. Glenn and I have worked together (and with our boards and senior leaders) for the past year to unite Race Forward and Center for Social Inclusion. As my last act of Executive Directorship, I’m thrilled that we are bringing two powerful organizations together for greater impact.Please visit our website to read a letter from our board about this exciting strategy, and please support this merger in any way you can.
I will be working with Race Forward on various projects through the end of the year and doing some (very) limited consulting and training with key allies in the near future, as I transition to a life of writing and journalism. I'll be anchoring that writing at Maven, an innovative new media site that I'm excited about. You may continue to reach me through email or social media.
When people write these kinds of notes, they always say they feel a mix of sadness and anticipation. I only feel the anticipation. I know that I will always be connected to this work, and to all of you, so no sadness. As Nnedi Okorafor wrote in her novel Kabu Kabu, “It is the essence of all things, to move and change and keep going forward and backward and around.” Hopefully more forward than backward, but it’s all a part of the social change process. And the life process, too.
It has been my deepest honor to serve the movement as President of Race Forward.