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On creating the kinds of communities we want to live in and leave for future generations...

Posted by Jamee Greer at Apr 26, 2017 02:15 PM |

Over the last 15 years, Kelley Weigel has been instrumental in connecting and building the power of community organizations in our region and making sure Western States Center provides support to movements that challenge and transform individuals, organizations, and systems to achieve racial, gender, and economic justice. Her inspiring leadership will leave a permanent legacy at the organization. Here are some of her thoughts as we announce the transition of leadership at Western States Center.

Dear friends,

Kelley at WILD (then called ALMP) in 1994.
Kelley at WILD (then called ALMP) in 1994.
It is truly bittersweet to announce that I am stepping down from Western States Center in September and we are opening a search for our next ED. I joined the Center in 2002, never imagining I was on a path to serve as Director. My appreciation for the Center’s role has never been deeper, and I am excited to see where a new generation of staff, board and partner organizations grows the movement for social justice.

I staffed three different roles during my tenure with the organization; serving with amazing colleagues who each created important programs and continued the trajectory of the Center’s work for justice. Together the staff here dug into difficult problems at the intersections of race, gender and economic justice and created programs which helped to advance our common analysis of potential solutions, while simultaneously improving the craft of organizing. During my time the Center advanced:

What an honor to do work that is expressly about creating the kinds of communities we want to live in and leave for future generations. I am humbled and honored to have been permitted such a role for so long.



I know I will continue to see many of you in the work for social justice, no matter what my work is, I remain your colleague and compañera in the struggle.

 

As one of the first graduates of the Center’s intensive leadership development program (at that time called Advanced Leadership and Mentorship Program) I was thrilled to be in the class of 1994. I had just started community organizing in Eugene; people told me the best I could do was to work in government or a benign business.  What WILD and the work of the Center showed me was that I could dedicate my life and career to making our dreams of justice a bit closer to reality.

At times those dreams still seem so very far from our grasp. But I know that the work of the staff here at the Center, and our devoted partners in the field, will continue to create work that I will be proud of --  and benefit -- our common society. My deepest gratitude to all the staff at Western States I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and especially to our current staff: Amy Casso, Se-ah-dom Edmo, Jamee Greer, Beatriz Gutierrez, Tashia Harris, Steve Mayes and Angela Pearson.  I am confident in their individual and collective brilliance, compassion, and commitment to creating concrete programs that will grow our work for justice.  Lastly, a sincere thanks to our board for leading a thoughtful and thorough process for this leadership transition.  

I know I will continue to see many of you in the work for social justice, no matter what my work is, I remain your colleague and compañera in the struggle.

In solidarity,

Kelley Weigel

Kelley Weigel
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