On July 1, 2020, Ali Knight was appointed the new President and CEO of FLY after our Founder and CEO of 20 years, Christa Gannon, moved into a formal Founder role. He explains the focus of this new era at FLY: using our energy and resources, and lifting up the voices of our youth, to disrupt the pipeline to prison and help further bend the arc of the universe toward justice.
Minutes after FLY’s virtual CEO Transition ceremony, we sat down with Christa and Ali to hear their initial thoughts in their new positions along with their biggest takeaways since COVID-19.
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 20 in 2020 October 2020 will mark exactly 20 years since the first FLY law class was taught by Christa Gannon. At the time, Christa was FLY’s only staff member and she worked with a handful of volunteers to serve youth in a few neighborhoods in San Jose. Today, with 65+ staff, 200+ volunteers, and a growing list of programs, FLY serves approximately 2,500 youth annually throughout the Bay Area. We’ll celebrate this coming October with our longest-running supporters and stakeholders, then with all of the FLY Family at our Showcase event in December. Systems Change FLY believes
An update from our CEO: In many ways, the pandemic has further exposed the long road of work that we have ahead of us. We believe now more than ever in the importance of FLY’s strategic plan to continue to expand our direct services, build evidence that demonstrates our programs work, create and implement a systems change plan in partnership with those systems, and figure out ways to offer our learning to others through technical assistance…all the while centering youth and their voices as key leaders and collaborators in working toward the change we all hope to see. We look forward