I’ve written a number of emails, reports, and notes about developments at CSSP over the years. This one comes with particular gratitude and warm feelings for everyone we’ve partnered with over decades of rewarding work.
I’m retiring from CSSP this October. Depending on how one counts (and we’re notoriously flexible with the math when it comes to CSSP’s history), I’ve been with the organization, at various periods, for some 35 years. With Judy Meltzer, I’ve led the organization for 20 years. CSSP is thriving as an organization, as a group of wonderfully talented and committed people on our Board and staff, and as a force for equity, inclusion, and justice in what remains a very unjust world. It’s a good time for us to seek the next generation of leadership who will make CSSP even more effective in accomplishing our mission of “creating a racially, socially, and economically just society, in which all children and families can thrive.”
Our board, led by Carol Wilson Spigner, will soon begin a search process, and I’m confident we’ll find a new President who is right to lead CSSP for years to come. A message from Carol can be found here. Judy Meltzer has chosen not to accept this role, but fortunately she will stay with CSSP as Executive Vice President, thus ensuring continuity in our mission and culture as CSSP embraces new energies and new directions for our work.
On a personal level, this has been an emotional decision. I find myself veering between enormous gratitude to have worked with so many inspiring people on important issues and anger that there is so much still to be done to achieve the futures all children deserve. The joy of this work, for me, has been the mix of a mission to which I am so firmly committed and the people I’ve worked with in pursuing it. I can’t say thanks enough for the friendships, the warmth, the shared good times and bad, and the support of the many people I’ve depended upon. A special note of thanks to Judy. Working together as we have has been one of the great pleasures of my life.
What’s equally real is the anger that, at a time when things could be so much better, given how much we know about what families and communities need to thrive, they’re not. This is why it’s important that organizations like CSSP and our colleagues, funders, and partners nationally and in states and communities do the work that we do. None of us can afford to stop working on behalf of a more just society. Each of us needs to keep translating good ideas into action. I plan to keep doing that, just from a different vantage point. And of course a good part of my head and heart will always be parked in a corner at CSSP.
Over the next few months, I hope to thank many of you personally for the difference you’ve made in our work and to me personally. Until then, please read this email as a heartfelt note of admiration and appreciation. You make the world a better place.