Transitions in RARE’s Leadership – Continuity in RARE’s Mission

/ February 10, 2024

RARE Board Oct 2023

RARE was created in 2020 by volunteers and is still run by volunteers.  Without question, RARE’s people are its greatest resource.  Over the past 18 months some of RARE’s founders completed their terms of service or changed positions.  Fortunately, new talented and committed people have stepped in to take their places.

We are grateful to all of RARE’s past Board members for their time, commitment and expertise! As key figures from RARE’s initial years, we offer Lea Vaughn, Kristi Blake, John Tabb, Mollie Edson, and Teshika Hatch deep appreciation for their varied contributions. We wish them well as they move on, owing to changes in their lives and locations.

At the same time, RARE has been strengthened by the arrival of wonderful new Board members Nilu Jenks, Al Herron, Michelle Hightower, Michelle Osborne, Leyla Salmassi, Michelle Noland, Maggie Lewis, Jessamyn Reichmann, and Hillary Moore.

Thankfully, many of the original Board members have remained in place, providing rich continuity alongside fresh faces and ideas.  We also recognize and thank the many non-Board volunteers who help drive RARE’s widespread activities on behalf of racial equity.

I had the great honor of being a founder of RARE, and then serving as RARE’s Co-Chair alongside my co-founder and RHS teammate, Joe Hunter.  Last summer, after three years in that position, I stepped down to make room for new talent and energy.  Michelle Hightower (RHS 1982) stepped up to serve as Vice-Chair of Operations as RARE moved to a single Chair leadership model.  Her new ideas and strategies improve RARE’s organizational structure, internal communications, and clarity of purpose.  I am staying on as a Board member and as Chair of Fundraising to concentrate on RARE’s long-term financial stability and vigor.

Through these transitions, RARE’s mission remains consistent and compelling.  It’s what binds us together.  We invite you to join our diverse, powerful, and evolving team!