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Press Release: RE·Center Announces Departure of ED. Kate Gervais and the Appointment of Interim ED. Andréa Hawkins

Narrative: Joelle Murchison, RE·Center’s Board Chair, shared that she had become accustomed to Kate calling her with frequent updates due to the COVID 19 pandemic, but this call-in late August was different. Kate was calling to let her know it was time to move on. Murchison shared that it was not a call that she was expecting, and she experienced a range of emotions, but immediately realized that all would be well. “Kate Gervais has brought RE·Center to where it is today – through a name change, rebranding process, strategic plan, multiple board and staff transitions, and the addition of RE·Center Consulting, to name a few. Kate has done a yeoman’s job transforming the organization to embrace a mission and vision that would position us for this very moment. We owe Kate a debt of gratitude for all that she has done for RE·Center ’s, past, present, and future. On behalf of the board, we thank you Kate for your dedicated service!”

We enter this moment of search with intentionality and optimism as we seek an Executive Director who will carry RE·Center into its next season. Kate has laid a strong foundation and so we expect that the new Executive Director will be able to use it as a launching pad. In the meantime, we have decided to hire an Interim Executive Director who has the resources and skills to ensure a smooth transition and continuous support to our board and staff. We are excited to introduce you to Andréa Hawkins, who officially began working with RE·Center on Nov. 16. Hawkins says, “I look forward to partnering with the very capable staff as they carry out their mission to partner with communities to eliminate systemic racism, empower students and create safe, supportive schools.” Her depth of understanding and the ability to ask the right questions position her well to ensure an effective and intentional transition. Andréa will lead the staff into the early spring, at which point we expect to have conducted a positive and productive Executive Director search. Hawkins shared, “As a lifelong member of this community, I look forward to providing support as the organization identifies its next leader. “

Previously, Hawkins successfully led the Amistad Center for Art and Culture as its Interim Executive Director from December 2018 – February 2019.

Gervais reflected that over the last five years, RE·Center has worked to align its mission around accountability to the Black and brown youth and community members who are most adversely impacted by the current education system. The confluence of a deadly viral pandemic and the increased mainstream awareness of institutional and interpersonal racial violence against Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) provide an opening and opportunity for change. Gervais shared, “I will miss RE·Center staff, board, and community members whom I deeply respect, and will look forward with anticipation to the evolution of RE·Center under the next Executive Director.”

RE·Center Announces Departure of ED. Kate Gervais and the Appointment of Interim ED. Andréa Hawkins For immediate release: [11/24/2020] Contact: Esther Jean-Marie, RE·Center and Development & Communications Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Attention-­‐RE·Center Announces Departure of ED. Kate Gervais and the Appointment of Interim ED. Andréa Hawkins :  Hartford, November 24, 2020—Paragraph One: RE·Center, Race & Equity in Education announced today that Kate Gervais, its Executive Director, will be leaving the organization after more than five years of leadership. Gervais will leave RE·Center at the end of the 2020 calendar year. Narrative: Joelle Murchison, RE·Center’s Board Chair, shared that she had become accustomed to Kate calling her with frequent updates due to the COVID 19 pandemic, but this call-in late August was different. Kate was calling to let her know it was time to move on. Murchison shared that it was not a call that she was expecting, and she experienced a range of emotions, but immediately realized that all would be well. “Kate Gervais has brought RE·Center to where it is today – through a name change, rebranding process, strategic plan, multiple board and staff transitions, and the addition of RE·Center Consulting, to name a few. Kate has done a yeoman’s job transforming the organization to embrace a mission and vision that would position us for this very moment. We owe Kate a debt of gratitude for all that she has done for RE·Center ’s, past, present, and future. On behalf of the board, we thank you Kate for your dedicated service!” We enter this moment of search with intentionality and optimism as we seek an Executive Director who will carry RE·Center into its next season. Kate has laid a strong foundation and so we expect that the new Executive Director will be able to use it as a launching pad. In the meantime, we have decided to hire an Interim Executive Director who has the resources and skills to ensure a smooth transition and continuous support to our board and staff. We are excited to introduce you to Andréa Hawkins, who officially began working with RE·Center on Nov. 16. Hawkins says, “I look forward to partnering with the very capable staff as they carry out their mission to partner with communities to eliminate systemic racism, empower students and create safe, supportive schools.” Her depth of understanding and the ability to ask the right questions position her well to ensure an effective and intentional transition. Andréa will lead the staff into the early spring, at which point we expect to have conducted a positive and productive Executive Director search. Hawkins shared, “As a lifelong member of this community, I look forward to providing support as the organization identifies its next leader. “ Previously, Hawkins successfully led the Amistad Center for Art and Culture as its Interim Executive Director from December 2018 – February 2019. Gervais reflected that over the last five years, RE·Center has worked to align its mission around accountability to the Black and brown youth and community members who are most adversely impacted by the current education system. The confluence of a deadly viral pandemic and the increased mainstream awareness of institutional and interpersonal racial violence against Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) provide an opening and opportunity for change. Gervais shared, “I will miss RE·Center staff, board, and community members whom I deeply respect, and will look forward with anticipation to the evolution of RE·Center under the next Executive Director.”


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