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Executive Director Search


Californians for Justice is no longer accepting new applications for the role of Executive Director. We are currently in the final phase of interviews and looks forward to announcing our new leader(s) this Fall! Thank you for all your help with outreach and spreading the word to your networks.

November 2021

Dear Californians for Justice Community:

Earlier this year, we shared the news that our beloved Executive Director of more than eight years, Taryn Ishida, will be moving on to her next adventure in the spring of 2021. Her guidance, leadership, and passion have been huge gifts to our organization and to the broader movement for just and equitable public schools in California.

When Taryn first let us know about her plans, we created a Hiring Committee composed of leaders from our incredible Staff and Board to shepherd our organization through this transition. We also brought on Strategies for Social Change (SSC) as our executive transition partner to guide the leadership transition process and recruit a diverse and talented pool of candidates. Our process began by reflecting, listening, and visioning about the future leadership our organization needs at this exciting moment in our history.

Now, we are excited to share the official job announcement for CFJ’s new Executive Director or Co-Executive Director Team. Please share this opportunity far and wide. (Note: An updated announcement with an extended deadline is coming soon.)

You – our beloved community of leaders, funding partners, donors, and allies – are a crucial part of this process. We’d love your help finding CFJ’s next leader/s by sharing the position announcement, nominating potential candidates, or expressing your interest. Feel free to reach out directly to with any questions, an expression of interest, or referrals to potential candidates.

Thank you for helping us find the next visionary and bold leader/s of Californians for Justice. We will continue to share updates about the transition process and our ongoing work in the coming months.

Meredith Fenton
Board Chair

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



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