As my tenure at Byrd Barr Place is coming to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the past two decades. My grandmother Enid, who helped raised me, set me on this path. She instilled in me values of compassion and caring for community that are foundational to who I am and to the role I’ve played at Byrd Barr Place. I think about her often and carry her ancestral warmth and wisdom in my heart.
I’m incredibly grateful and humbled to have been part of this beautiful community and to know and have worked with all of you to further Byrd Barr Place’s mission. I’m proud of what we achieved together and, in particular, that we are not just surviving but thriving!
When I joined the leadership team here, the organization was on the brink of closing its doors. Through listening, relationship building, and centering compassion and justice, we found our way. And, we are well positioned to continue to be a stronghold for Black people and the broader community for generations to come.
We now own our building, which is monumental for a Black-led organization. It’s our space — a beautiful, light-filled, dignified place — for us.
I’m also proud of our name, Byrd Barr Place, that honors civil rights champion Ms. Roberta Byrd Barr and uplifts her legacy of truth telling and advocacy for all to know.
My immense gratitude to our Byrd Barr Place community — our staff team, volunteers, board members, clients, community partners, funders, and more — for being on this journey with me.
While I’m stepping down as CEO, I’m not leaving the sector. I plan to rest and recharge for six months and then resume carrying forward the mantle of racial justice. I am destined and designed for this work.
We live this life between our ancestors and our descendents, working to advance justice in a particular time and place. I’m honored that the last 20 years at Byrd Barr Place has been that time and place for me.