My incredibly fulfilling journey at Georgia WAND has come to an end. I want to send a special thank you to the Georgia WAND Board of Directors, staff, funders, donors, supporters, stakeholders, and squad members! I’m honored to elevate the leadership inside of Georgia WAND, our own Burke County Nuclear Harm Reduction and Climate Justice Coordinator, Janie Hill-Scott; Ms. Rennitta Johnson, our Central Savannah River Area Engagement Lead; and leadership on the Board of Directors, Marguerite Gaines (born and raised in Burke County) and Stephanie Flowers, a current resident and leader in Neighborhood Planning Unit-V (NPU-V). These amazing people have helped to craft the Georgia WAND you see today that is bridging the rural urban divide. For six years, at every iteration of my work and professional development with Georgia WAND starting from serving as Secretary on the Board of Directors, to coming on staff as Program and Communications Manager, being promoted to Deputy Director, and ultimately appointed to Executive Director, I have learned about myself and experienced what authentic, trusting and equitable partnership can yield.
In my time on staff and as Executive Director, I was able to build strong relationships in the community to bridge the rural urban divide, engage community through issues education making the connection between Nuclear Harm Reduction and Climate Justice, civic engagement, and equitable and sustainable community development. It is my hope that Georgia WAND continues to be an innovative leader in the intersectional space of racial, gender, economic, reproductive, rural, and environmental injustices based in directly affected communities; multiracial, cross-class, and interfaith. It is imperative that people learn how they are directly and indirectly impacted by our extractive energy economy and how it perpetuates environmental injustices in rural and urban spaces. The vantage point this organization has is what will keep it in demand, ahead of the curve and leading the way toward a world with just, healthy, secure, and sustainable communities. I was directly involved in and/or spearheaded the following:
- Helped to develop and implement the first ever 3-year strategic plan
- Expanded staff expansion in Burke County
- Participated in a Just Leadership Transition
- Facilitated the election of five new members of the Board of Directors
- Developed issues education materials
- Expanded WeCount! civic engagement geographic footprint
- Updated the website
- Updated organization technology
- Hosted Neighborhood Planning Unit-V (NPU-V) Open House
- Hosted Mother’s Day for Peace 2018
- Hosted Justravaganza
- Elected to ProGeorgia Board of Directors
- Hosted Community Forum in NPU-V 2018 & 2019
- Co-hosted Leadership in Partnership: A Healthy Prosperous and Prepared Burke County
- Co-lead Georgia Korea Peace Campaign
- Attended historic DC Days 2019
- Hosted First Annual Legislative Tea & Sweets
- Hosted Second Annual Legislative Tea & Sweets
- Participated in Black Mama’s Day Bail Out Mother’s Day Action
- Celebrated 35th Anniversary with Dr. Helen Caldicott
- Invitation to be on a panel at an Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) event celebrating Helen Dr. Caldicott
But most importantly, I feel that my greatest personal and professional accomplishments were the incredible relationships I was able to build with staff, community, and coalition partners.
I know it seems like I just got here, but, during this time of introspection for the global community, I realized that NOW is the time for Georgia WAND to finalize it’s equitable leadership transition. My stepping aside will help the organization move closer to accomplishing the ultimate goal, having Georgia WAND be fully community-led and the Georgia WAND Board of Directors be accountable to the communities that we serve! I’ve provided my recommendations to the Board. There is incredible community leadership inside of Georgia WAND at the staff and Board of Directors level. We have been working hard toward this goal for several years, and I am grateful to have been able to play a critical part.
THANK YOU again to the Georgia WAND Board of Directors, staff, funders, donors, supporters, stakeholders, and squad members for all you’ve contributed to this transition and supporting me, it’s been a collective effort. On to the next 35 years! Donate Now!