"A movement is not a flash of light — it is a flame, a torch passed from one generation to the next and every so often we are blessed with moments where the smolder transforms to blaze again and we’re forced to race down the path of progress."
These words by poet Mayda del Valle set to motion, photography, and song through the video "Our Moment" not only capture the equity moment that is unfolding in our nation; these words capture our moment at PolicyLink. Now, more than ever, we are planning for the next evolution of the work to create a just and fair society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.
To this end, I'm pleased to share with you the next generation of leadership at PolicyLink. These leaders are fire, ember, catalyst, combustion — they have claimed the torch and will ensure the equity movement blazes bright for years to come.
Please join me in congratulating nine people whose excellent work and outstanding contributions have led to these promotions, effective immediately.
- Michael McAfee, President
- Josh Kirschenbaum, Chief Operating Officer
- Kalima Rose, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Six staff are being promoted to senior director:
- Amanda Navarro
- Anand Subramanian
- Anita Cozart (née Hairston)
- Chione Flegal
- Marc Philpart
- Sarah Treuhaft
Michael came to PolicyLink in 2011 as director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink. Under his leadership, PolicyLink has emerged as a national leader in building cradle-to-career systems that are ensuring that all children and youth in America have a pathway into the middle class. His experience in the federal government and with foundations contributes to his abilities to guide the organization in strategic planning, policy development, policy campaign strategy, capacity building, and programmatic design and implementation at the local, state, and national levels.
Josh has been at PolicyLink since it began, and over time has led development, strategic direction, community-building, and technology program activities. His deep knowledge of equity and broad understanding about PolicyLink programs, funders, and partners enables him to bring a wealth of experience to building diverse alliances, supporting new programs, and helping to plan for the future of PolicyLink.
Kalima is nationally known for her leadership of affordable housing and community development efforts. She led the PolicyLink post-Katrina engagement in New Orleans for five years, and has continued to provide support and guidance to that city in the years since. She has worked with federal agencies to develop and lead planning for sustainable communities and co-leads PolicyLink programs to connect arts and culture to equitable development. She has led advocacy efforts to achieve policies related to infrastructure, workforce participation, accessibility, and new investments to serve low-income communities and communities of color.
The senior directors will be the gravitational center of PolicyLink, driving the programmatic portfolio to ensure that the 100 million people in America living in or near poverty, especially people of color, achieve economic security, live in or connect to communities of opportunity, and receive supports they need to actively participate in defining and advancing equitable growth in their communities.
For more about Michael, Josh, and Kalima, and the six new senior directors, visit our staff page at policylink.org.
I am enormously proud of these individuals who are taking on advanced leadership at PolicyLink and of all of the 63 people in our organization who are determined to realize equity for all.