As valued members of the People's Grocery community and stakeholders, I want to update you on some positive and poignant changes that will be happening over the next few months.
As you know, Nikki Henderson resigned in December as Executive Director of People’s Grocery. She’s settling in as the new CEO at Green for All. We wish her the best.
In January, I became Interim Director at PG. I’ve been working with the board and staff to determine the future trajectory that PG will take in order to be sustainable over the long term. Over the past five years, PG has been an important part of the food and racial justice movements, in West Oakland, around the State and even on a National level. My assessment is that the organization has stretched itself beyond what the current staff could reasonably support. The funding hasn’t kept pace with our growth and development.
Since my arrival, the board, with input from staff, has engaged in a strategic examination of PG's programs, passions and unique position in the community. The result is that we are moving forward with a plan to reduce the number of programs we currently support in order to strengthen our financial position, clarify our strategic direction and emerge from this planning process stronger and more focused.
While change is always difficult, this change is particularly difficult because it means the departure of a long time, very beloved staff person. We’re paring the programs to focus on the garden and education programs at the CA Hotel and on our Growing Justice Institute, a leadership development program for and with West Oakland residents interested in establishing and growing food justice related businesses. We will suspend many of our special projects until a new Executive Director is hired, which we expect will be in the next four to six months. Jumoke Hinton will be leaving People’s Grocery, as the position of Program Director is being eliminated for the foreseeable future. We are sad to see her go, and we are seeing this as an opportunity for the remaining staff to increase their participation in the partnerships we value in West Oakland and beyond.
In the next two months, the staff will work with me to re-examine our programmatic capacity and priorities. The board will engage in a conversation about governance and board development. The board and staff will re-visit our Mission, Vision, Values and Theory of Change. Once we have increased clarity, we will conduct the search for an Executive Director who can guide the organization through a strategic plan and into its next stage of development.
Keep an eye out for a farewell celebration for Jumoke, and please keep us in your thoughts as we go through this important work as an organization. All of us at PG continue to value our partnership with you. We will keep you informed as the process moves forward. In the meantime, if you have questions, please feel free to call me. Because I’m not here full time, the best way to reach me is on my cell phone: 510.604.9309. You can also reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your continued partnership with People’s Grocery as we work for food justice and for racial and economic equity.