Message From Our Executive DirectorDec 9 2019 PICC Blog
December 6, 2019
Today at PICC’s fall membership meeting I made an important announcement, and as PICC’s valued supporters, I wanted to make sure you heard the news from me first: I have decided that 2020 will be my last year at PICC and I will be stepping down as Executive Director in the spring of 2021.
Since 2013, I have been privileged to be part of building a space for groups across the state to support each other, learn together, and build the immigrant rights movement here in PA. When I stepped into the role of PICC’s Executive Director in the summer of 2015, I did so with a commitment to ensuring PICC’s work was rooted in and led by the needs of immigrant and refugee communities and to building a sustainable organization that could lift up and support the work of our membership. I also came to this position with the strong belief that as a white, US-born citizen, I had an obligation to create space for immigrant leaders within our organization. For me, this meant focusing on recruiting and supporting a diverse staff that reflects the diversity of immigrant and refugee communities in our state, and ultimately stepping aside as Executive Director.
I believe this is the time for that final step.
PICC has never been stronger.
Over the past 4 ½ years PICC has built a vibrant youth organizing program that is supporting new immigrant youth leaders across the state; registered over 20,000 new citizens to vote; trained hundreds of immigrant leaders and allies through our Community Navigator Program; and facilitated the distribution of over $1.3 million to our members through PA is Ready! and subgrants.
This strength, resilience, and growth would not be possible without our coalition members and leaders who show up to coalition spaces willing to share, collaborate, and experiment together, without our dedicated volunteers who show up every week to register new citizens to vote, and we would not be where we are without our staff team who have put forth bold visions for how to build an immigrant rights movement and then worked to make those visions reality. Lastly, our strength and growth would simply not be possible without you, our generous and devoted supporters. You make PICC’s work possible.
This is not goodbye!
Over the next 18 months, I will be focused on the work of ensuring immigrant and refugee communities have a strong voice during a year that will profoundly impact our local and national political landscape. PICC will be supporting our members to ensure that immigrants and refugees are counted in the 2020 Census and that their voices are front and center in local, state, and federal elections. We will continue to support campaigns to pass critical legislation like tuition equity and access to driver’s licenses for all, and we will be expanding our capacity building program – offering Community Navigator trainings across the state and developing new trainings for immigrant leaders and service providers. We will also continue to develop movement resources and have set a goal of building PA is Ready! to be able to offer $1 million in grants annually.
Over the next 18 months PICC’s Board, staff, and membership will also be engaging in a thoughtful process to find the next leader of PICC – one who is excited and ready to lead PICC into a critical new political moment.
Although I am not going anywhere yet, I do want to say thank you to our extended PICC community – staff, Board, volunteers, interns, donors, and friends. I firmly believe that our strength as an organization is rooted in the vision and commitment of all of you to building a movement together, and I have been honored to be a part of this community.
In love and struggle,
Sundrop Carter, Executive Director