Y-WE Leadership Transition

Dear Y-WE Community, 

We hope this letter finds you healthy and thriving. We are so grateful for your continued involvement in the Y-WE community. We are reaching out to our youth, mentors, parents, volunteers, supporters and partners today to share an update on Y-WE’s leadership team and future growth. 

Our Co-Founder Rose Waterstone has decided to step down from their Co-Executive Director role with Y-WE effective Aug 31st, 2022. Rose has served as a Co-Executive Director and guiding light for Y-WE for the last 14 years. We will miss their passion and leadership, but we are also excited for the next chapter in their career. Rose will always be a beloved member of the Y-WE community and we look forward to their future successes. A letter from them explaining their decision to transition out of the role of Co-Executive Director and celebrating the last 14 years, can be found here. 

With this transition, we are excited to officially announce the promotion of Reagan Jackson and Silvia Giannattasio-Lugo to the Co-Executive Director positions. Reagan and Silvia have a strong partnership and collaboratively lead programs, fundraising initiatives and all aspects of Y-WE’s operations. They are gifted leaders who have a deep commitment and passion for Y-WE’s mission and we are thrilled to see them take the organization to new heights in their elevated roles. We are also proud that we can create internal growth opportunities for our talented staff who also represent the community we serve. This is one of the many ways that Y-WE lives and breathes our values of supporting BIPOC women’s leadership. 

We are more committed and hopeful than ever before about Y-WE’s role in helping shape a more just, equitable, and empowered future for the young women, gender expansive folks, and BIPOC communities that we hold at our center. While the last two years have truly been a humbling and challenging experience, they have also given us an immense amount of confidence in our ability to weather change, remain resilient and adaptive as a team, and continue to grow our programs and services in direct response to our community’s needs. In the last two years, we have launched mutual aid and Dream Fund programs, adapted to Covid health guidelines without compromising our commitment to break down access barriers and piloted new affinity-based programs for those who want to explore their identities and deepen their commitment to work toward a more just and equitable world.        

In alignment with Y-WE’s values and mission, Y-WE’s board and staff has also spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on the current strategies of the organization and dreaming into our future. We are in the midst of a year-long strategic planning process and we look forward to sharing the key findings and the final strategic plan later in the year. 

As we embark on this exciting next phase of growth of Y-WE, we welcome you to partner with us in shaping a better tomorrow for our youth. More than ever before we need to support the new generation of changemakers. While we are proud of the accomplishments of the last fourteen years, it is even more imperative that we continue this transformational work for future generations. Y-WE is deeply committed to develop the next wave of BIPOC women and gender expansive leaders and to build and strengthen our communities of belonging where all of us have the support, resources, networks, and mentors we need to heal, bloom, and shine. 

In the meantime, if you have questions about Y-WE’s leadership transition and future plans, please feel free to email Board Chair Sangeeta Gupte at: sangeeta@y-we.org or reach out to our Co-EDs, Reagan (reagan@y-we.org) and Silvia (silvia@y-we.org).

 In Community, 

Sangeeta Gupte

Board Chair, Young Women Empowered

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*those who identify as women, girls, trans, non-binary, or gender expansive