“ANYTOWN changed my life.”
I’ve heard this statement more than any other since I joined Community Tampa Bay as its new Executive Director in March. If there is anything I’ve learned in my brief time here so far, it’s that we change lives. I am so humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead such an incredible organization!
My whole life has been dedicated to social justice, both personally and professionally, and I am excited to continue the journey with Community Tampa Bay. Growing up in a diverse community, surrounded by a family passionate about civic engagement and service, I naturally gravitated toward non-profit leadership. Most recently, I was the Executive Director of an organization in the San Francisco Bay Area where we provided new shoes and clothing to thousands of homeless and low-income children each year. For over 15 years, my experiences have allowed me to manage programs, lead fundraising and communications initiatives, serve on Boards and Advisory Boards and volunteer with community organizations in the US and overseas.
My passion has always been celebrating diversity and supporting an end to discrimination. I’m thrilled to be a part of a team of devoted donors, volunteers and staff working to do just that! I’d like to share with you what I’m most excited about for the bright future of Community Tampa Bay.
I look forward to broadening the reach of our exceptional programs, including offering additional ANYTOWN sessions, providing more youth conferences and furthering ways for teens to take part in projects that will help them grow their leadership skills.
We know that developing strong youth leaders is critical to systems change: these students will one day lead our businesses, institutions and communities. As young people graduate from high school and age into leadership positions, I believe we can continue to cultivate their capacity as change agents as they navigate their universities, internships, first jobs and early community leadership positions. I look forward to CTB helping young adults foster cultures of inclusion while setting themselves up for career success.
As we develop young and emerging leaders, we will also seek to engage adult learners who currently lead businesses and institutions. Training for teachers and administrators; education for public servants; learning opportunities for private sector professionals and their diverse teams of employees – these are just a few ways we can influence attitudes and behaviors that promote dialogue and diversity at all levels across our community as a whole.
I’m also excited to report that we have successfully trademarked our unique ANYTOWN curriculum! This milestone will allow us to scale ANYTOWN, so that teens and young adults beyond our local region can benefit from our powerful programming.
Among my top priorities will be to develop and sustain funding by expanding ANYTOWN’s reach into additional communities; cultivating partnerships with new corporations, foundations and individual donors; and celebrating the impact of our current supporters.
As we move forward, we’ll be keeping you updated on our progress and looking to involve you in our journey. I believe we can reach our ambitious goals if we continue to work together!
While we enhance and grow our programs, I also look forward to finding new ways to tell our story
Did you know that ANYTOWN was featured in an article in The Atlantic in March or that it was cited as a “Best Practice” by the US Department of Education? I want to make sure you and our broader community of supporters are up-to-date on our accomplishments and the far-reaching impact of Community Tampa Bay. I hope in doing so, you’re inspired to share our stories with your networks. By spreading the word about our programs, you can help further position us a leading resource on building inclusive communities.
Stay tuned for an updated and dynamic web-site, regularly refreshed blog posts and more opportunities to engage via social media. We’ll also be reaching out regularly with an e-newsletter, like this one, to keep you informed. Additionally, we’ll build relationships with the media to tell our story on a broader scale, increasing the visibility of Community Tampa Bay and highlighting the importance of our programs. Our communications strategies will include action steps, giving you tips for practical ways to promote positive change in your community!
Finally, I look forward to leveraging Community Tampa Bay’s capability to connect and unite individuals across various indicators of identity: faith, race, culture, sexual orientation, gender, ability and more.
To fully realize the inclusive culture we hope to create, we must continue to connect with our allies in inter-faith, social justice, educational, policy and professional communities to reach our goals.
That’s where you come in. We need you to help us strengthen our programs, tell our story and connect with our communities. Here is what you can do today:
Give in support of ANYTOWN this summer, youth programs next year and future program expansion. Your donation of any amount will help us build the foundation of funding that will help us reach more young people like Sydnee, who shared: “I am proud to be an agent of change in fighting for equality in my school, community and future career. I am not who I was…[because of] the new insight I gained at ANYTOWN.”
- Tell us your story. Were you involved in NCCJ? Have you volunteered with CTB? Did ANYTOWN change your life? Let us know! We want to hear from you.
- Connect us with your faith institutions, community groups and workplaces to help us recruit more participants and supporters. We are only as strong as our network.
In the meantime, thank you for all you do. You are the reason we are able to envision an end to discrimination.