“Nonprofit leadership transitions, especially those that involve a founder stepping down, can be fraught with uncertainty. Throw in a global pandemic, economic crisis, and racial injustice, and the challenge might seem near impossible. Yet for Ali Knight, the new CEO of Fresh Lifelines for Youth, it was the perfect time for him and the organization to take a bold step.” The Bridgespan Group is a highly respected global nonprofit committed to strengthening other mission-driven organizations and philanthropists through management and consulting. They recently began a series of articles about FLY’s recent CEO transition. In this first part of the series,
At FLY, it has always been a special honor and privilege to support our youth as they strive toward their educational goals. Despite the exceptional circumstances of this school year, the FLY class of 2020 had 43 high school graduates!
This post contains the text of Christa Gannon’s last speech as FLY’s CEO, as she passed the title to Ali Knight and stepped into her formal role as Founder. Words cannot express our love for Christa and gratitude for all she has done for youth, for FLY, and for justice.
On Tuesday, June 30, Christa Gannon will step down as FLY’s CEO after 20 years, and pass the helm to FLY’s COO, Ali Knight. She wrote a letter to our FLY community about how she views this historic transition at FLY.
FLY is honored to publish an open letter from June Wang, Vice Chair of our Board of Directors, about her perspective as an Asian American supporting the black community. She also includes a list of writings and references that have helped her learn about systemic racism.
Throughout my personal crusade for justice (and my journey into adulthood, too), I’ve often had to remind myself of this very famous quote by one of the great thinkers of all time. It is how I have allowed my rage and my passion for this work to fuel my efforts without feeling like I have to apologize for it—for being an “angry black man.” To that end, I am sharing it with you all in hopes that it helps you find some validation in your feelings, whether they may be a sense of sadness, frustration—or rage.