Dear CommunityGrows family,
With a grateful but bittersweet heart, I am officially announcing that I am leaving my position as Director of CommunityGrows this summer. I am headed over to the East Bay to continue to support equitable opportunities for health and wellness and connections to the Earth like we do at CG, but in my very own neighborhood. It was a difficult decision- I love the Western Addition/Fillmore community, the staff, the board, the young people, more than I will ever be able to express. While there have been challenges, as there are with all nonprofits, there have been innumerable joys and gifts in the last six years. I will forever be thankful for this wonderful opportunity to lead, learn, love and grow.
But where there is change, there is opening. And I am so very excited to announce that our new Executive Director, Nolizwe Nondabula, will be joining the CG family in June. We have worked with them in various endeavors in the Western Addition over the last three years, from participating in Mind, Body and Soul Pop-Ups, to collaborating for Mo’Magics Annual Health and Wellness retreat each winter. They are an inspirational leader and community builder dedicated to “moving at the speed of trust.” Nolizwe was who I dreamed about for this role, and I am so excited to see not only how they shine, but how they support all those around them to live their lives in the sun.
In addition to having a fantastic new leader, the CG team is the strongest it has ever been. It has been my pleasure and honor to work with these amazing educators- their skills, creativity, innovation, dedication, and heart are what gave me the confidence to make my next move. Each one has unique skills and talents that have only gotten stronger as they collaborate together.
This next phase of CommunityGrows will be something to see. Whether it’s pivoting to providing online classes, joining zoom calls with teachers to teach kids how to make healthy snacks, or creating brand new curriculum that engages youth around the connections between pandemics, environmental injustice and racism while still focusing on hope and change… the CommunityGrows team will continue work towards our vision. A vision of a world in which all youth are able to benefit from the joy and healing of nature-based outdoor education and develop the tools, confidence and resources to navigate and challenge structural injustices.
I hope you will join me in celebrating this exciting next phase of CommunityGrows!