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Note on Our Executive Leadership Transition

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Next spring our Executive Director Taryn Ishida will move on to the next phase in her career, transitioning out of CFJ after an incredible 8 year tenure. Our adult and youth Board Presidents penned the letter below to share more on what this announcement means, and the deep gratitude we have for Taryn’s leadership.

As the Adult and Youth Board Chairs of Californians for Justice, we are incredibly proud of everything this organization and the youth leaders at its heart have achieved.

None of this would have been possible without the guidance, leadership, and passion of Taryn Ishida - our Executive Director who has just announced her plans to transition from this role. For the past eight and a half years, Taryn has been a true partner to Californian youth leaders, members of the staff, and advocates in the movement for educational justice.

Early in her tenure, Taryn helped Californians for Justice realign our strategic direction and operational structure amid a funding and financial crisis. After shepherding this turnaround, she has continued to focus and expand our work to be more thoughtful, strategic, and visionary while helping us lean into and live up to our values of social justice. Together with our youth leaders, a strong staff, and fellow leadership team members, Taryn established CFJ as a statewide leader on education and racial justice as well as a progressive organization that invests in its staff and community.

Not only has she built a bright future for a statewide organization but she has made herself known and loved among thousands of young people across California. Stephanie Aguilon, current CFJ Youth Board Chair reflects, “As a young nervous student I was surprised to finally meet Taryn and get to learn who the Executive Director truly was. Over time, through her guidance and support, I felt empowered to speak on my life experiences in front of many different people. As a young leader, I thank Taryn’s leadership for inspiring mine.”

Now, Taryn is ready to move on to new adventures. She will be stepping down from the helm of CFJ in March 2022. Read more from Taryn here.

The Board and Staff are partnering with Strategies for Social Change, a woman of color owned and led capacity building and leadership development practice dedicated to working with social justice organizations nationally. SSC will lead our hiring and transition process alongside a newly formed Executive Director Hiring Committee composed of Staff and Board members including youth leaders. Please watch for our formal job announcement and please send incredible, talented leaders our way.

Stay tuned for ways you can join us to celebrate Taryn’s leadership and legacy early in 2022.

We are confident about the future of Californians for Justice. The core of our work, our strengths as a collaborative organization shaped by shared leadership, and the power of youth and student activism isn’t changing. At this very moment, with the record amount of state and federal funding flowing to school districts and local governments, we have a critical window of opportunity to help communities restart and recover from the pandemic, and rebuild an education system that works for all. We’ve always been a leaderful organization and are excited about the possibilities that new leadership will bring. Thank you for being part of our mission and evolution.

In solidarity
Meredith Fenton, Board Chair
Stephanie Aguilon, Youth Board Chair

Join the Fight for Racial and Educational Justice!
Changes are coming: See what's happening with our leadership transition and what's next for CFJ!
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