Dear Feminist Movements: A Letter from the Board
Dear feminist movements,
Speaking on behalf of the Board, I write to express our deepest gratitude, appreciation, and respect for Hakima Abbas and Cindy Clark, our extraordinary Co-Executive Directors during the past five years who will be stepping aside to refresh the AWID leadership as we move into a new strategic plan and phase of our organizational life. They have consistently practiced the best principles of feminist organizational leadership and ethics of care as they navigated us through one of the most unpredictable, turbulent times in recent history of the world, the COVID-19 syndemic, and the subsequent downward global political spiral. They held AWID, our Staff, and Board firmly, gently, and lovingly as all of us experienced various impacts. They also held steadfastly to AWID vision and mission as they responded respectfully and strategically to various changes, not least the cancellation of the AWID Forum.
The Board decided to prioritize an internal recruitment process first, fully recognizing the great potential that exists within the current team. We expect to complete the transition by the end of 2022. Hakima and Cindy will stagger their departure, and will facilitate a smooth transition to the new leadership.
Seeing Cindy and Hakima leave AWID is difficult for the Board as well as others who have worked closely with them and love them. Nonetheless, rest assured the AWID Board is leading the transition process in a way that fully recognizes the beautiful and inspiring indelible marks Hakima and Cindy will be leaving as part of our 40-year history, that embraces the next step of on-boarding and supporting new leadership, and that inspires us to do better at this moment in AWID's life.
Major organizational transitions are neither simple nor easy. Sometimes they are forced, beyond anyone’s control, fraught, or even destructive. I, and many of you, have seen examples of those kinds of transitions. At other times, the staff’s needs and aspirations are aligned with those of the organization. Although we did not choose or wish Cindy and Hakima to leave AWID, their decision and AWID moving into the next strategic plan and new decade of existence are aligned. Best of all, we are in the wonderful, super competent, creative, and feminist hands of the Staff and Board.
We thank you, dear Feminist Movements, for your confidence in AWID. We also ask you to support our leadership transition in the coming months. Let’s continue to build, deepen, and strengthen our connections, as we have done for the past 40 years.
Please stay tuned for more concrete developments and updates. You will be hearing from us in the coming weeks.
In feminist solidarity and love,
President, AWID Board