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March 18, 2023 A Note from the Executive Director

Studio Simpatico

Chiwoniso Headshot

Hello GBH Community,

I wanted to reach out to you to share some news. I will be transitioning out of the Executive Director position at Girl Be Heard in the coming weeks.

When I took the reins of the organization from its founder in 2019, I knew I was joining an organization with so much potential and vision. Over the unfolding pandemic and unprecedented challenges of the last few years, Girl Be Heard has thrived and proven it has the staying power, innovative mindset, and committed team in even the most challenging environments.

During my tenure, we have significantly increased program participation (300%), annual budget (25%), launched 2 new programs, expanded our offering in Trinidad and Tobago, welcomed 6 new board members, launched thriving virtual platforms, and rebuilt our curriculum and service offering from top down via our proprietary Leadership as Ensemble framework that better meets the unique needs of young women and gender expansive youth of color. I am continually awed by the teaching artists, staff, and young activists that I have had the privilege of working with.

This decision comes not without considerable thought and I want to emphasize that I am not stepping away from the organization so much as changing my role to forever supporter and champion. Girl Be Heard’s unique organizational structure poises it to handle this leadership change seamlessly. As happened to many of us during the pandemic, I took time to pause and ultimately came to the decision to refocus my career and seek new opportunities.

I will always be Girl Be Heard’s greatest cheerleader and advocate. We have assembled an incredible team and the Girl Be Heard Board is one of the most engaged and activated I have ever had the honor of working with. Thank you for your friendship, support, and partnership over the past four years. It has been the privilege of a lifetime.

Forwards ever.

Sincerely,

Chiwoniso Kaitano