June 26, 2017
Over the past sixteen years I have enjoyed the honor of being deeply rooted in a community of artists and cultural workers that have profoundly informed my path. I have had my ideas lovingly challenged by peers that care for my well-being. My critical analysis has been constantly sharpened by thoughtful community discourse and reflection. My artistic practice and aesthetic has been expanded and affirmed through my engagement with the sophisticated and beautifully grounded members of Alternate ROOTS. In short, this organization has changed my life.
It is with these things in mind that I announce the end of my tenure as executive director of Alternate ROOTS, effective February 1, 2018.
I have spent the past thirteen years as a ROOTS’ staff member, in service to the ROOTS’ mission of supporting artists working at the intersection of arts and social justice. In that time, I have seen the organization grow its roots deeper in its founding principles, while the coverage of its canopy stretched wider to encompass more and more creatives. All of this happening as ROOTS’ profile as a regional organization with national institutional impact has expanded to be more accessible and equitable than ever. It is a great time to transition. As an organization, we have been preparing for this transition.
I am grateful to have the support of a dedicated professional staff managing the day-to- day operations, for an executive committee focused on the hard work of leading with an equity lens, and a personnel committee committed to identifying the right leader to continue advancing the work of Alternate ROOTS. It is the right time to transition.
The next chapter of my life will focus on investing more in my local community through the Mississippi Center for Cultural Production. This center is the culmination of a long-time dream to bring my passion, learning, and network to support the people in my small town of Utica, Mississippi through arts, agriculture, and community development. I believe this is the right time for transition.
I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to learn and come of age as a creative citizen in the midst of community that has loved me into my leadership. And I am thankful to my wife Brandi, and my children Jonathan, Xiauna, and Tristan for sharing me with ROOTS.