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Reflections from Nikhil Aziz on moving on after nearly 10 years at Grassroots International

July 2014

Grassroots International was, and continues to be my dream organization and job! Back in 2005, I chose – much to the consternation of family and friends – to come to Grassroots instead of a much bigger international organization because of what Grassroots stands for and the work it does for social justice, human rights, and systemic change with progressive social movements, organizations, and people around the world. I’ve had the great honor and privilege of leading Grassroots International for nine and a half years through two strategic plans and unprecedented growth in our 30 plus year history. And I know that this is a good time for me personally to move on, and enable Grassroots to move to the next level.

My departure comes on the heels of a successful year-long process of strategic planning to map out our future, and we are very excited to expand our global grantmaking as well as our U.S. advocacy, building on our previous accomplishments enabled through the thematic consolidation of our work on resource and human rights back in 2007; and, as well, the building of a robust and forward looking organization, with an incredible cohort of staff, board, partners, donors, and allies. I’ve met incredible women and men, and youth over these last many years from places as far as Brazil and Mexico to India, South Africa, and Palestine; and here at home in the United States. And I’d be hard pressed to name any one country, region, partner, ally, or individual that I’ve been enormously impressed or deeply influenced by only because I’ve been floored by them all. They will continue to remain my friends and fellow travelers on our shared road of social justice that we are building and making together as we traverse it. Despite the many challenges and daunting realities we collectively face as people and inhabitants of this planet, I remain fiercely optimistic that we will prevail, as will our collective vision. And I know this because I know all the hundreds and even thousands of people I’ve met through Grassroots International share that optimism and vision of social change, equality, and justice. Grassroots’ Board and Staff are working closely during this interim period to ensure continuity. A Transtition Team of Board and senior Staff members is finalizing the process of bringing on an Interim Executive Director, even as the Executive Committee of the Board is working with a former Board member who is leading the search process for a new Executive Director for Grassroots. My last date at Grassroots is August 8, but I will be staying on as Senior Strategic Advisor during the transition so as to be available to the organization in any way it needs. I am confident that Grassroots International will very quickly find a new leader who will take our organization to greater heights.  Globalize the Struggle, Globalize Hope! [Read more about the transition and write a tribute to Nikhil here.]


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