“Goodbye for Now” from Ellen Friedman
September 28, 2021
“America’s greatest social movements – for civil rights, immigrant rights, women’s rights, union organizing, queer and trans rights, farmworkers’ rights, indigenous sovereignty, and Black lives – were rooted in the solidarity that came from shared grieving. First people grieved together. Then they organized together…when people who have no obvious reason to love each other come together to grieve, they can give birth to new relationships, even revolutions.”
– Valerie Kaur
Dear colleagues, partners, and fellow travelers,
Valerie Kaur’s quote feels appropriate today. The Compton Foundation was founded in a moment of grief as an expression of love for a child who died too soon. Out of that grief, so much has been created – so many relationships nurtured and supported. And, yes, even some small revolutions have been seeded from the work of this organization.
September 30 will be my last day as Executive Director of the Compton Foundation. This is a moment of personal grieving, too, but also excitement. I am sad that my transition will mark the end of this chapter of our work together, but my heart is full knowing what has been and will be possible through your dedication to social transformation and justice. It has been a privilege to partner with you over the past 11 years.
Since I announced my intention to step down earlier this summer, the Board of Directors has been engaged in a search for the next Executive Director. We have been so inspired by the caliber of applicants for this position, which reflects a deep bench of talent in our movements that is ready and excited to step into leadership. The hiring process is close to completion. I know the next Executive Director will bring strong leadership to the Foundation, build on all the good work this organization has supported over the years, and guide the final phase of the Foundation’s work with vision and care.
Just as I have been moved by the work of our grant partners and colleagues, I have also found daily delight in working with the most magnificent Board of Directors and staff team. Their commitment to kindness, creativity, mission, partnership, and trust is revealed not just in the way the Foundation does its work in the world, but also in the behind-the-scenes tasks necessary to run an organization. They are a critical part of what makes the Compton Foundation’s work matter in the world, and I know they will continue to be in this next phase.
We are in a time of transition – not just at Compton but in our world. Knowing that, I look forward to the ways in which our work will continue to weave together and the new pathways that will emerge as we realize a sustainable and just future.
In gratitude and solidarity,