Some News, and What's Next
Today, we’re writing to you with some big news: after nine years at Wellstone and two years as our Executive Director, Edith Sargon will be leaving her position this November. Her visionary leadership and commitment to authentic, inclusive organizing will be sorely missed, but live on in the staff, programs, and ethos of Wellstone. We’re so thankful for her many contributions to shaping this organization and our team, and look forward to seeing what she does next.
As we look to what comes next, we’re reminded that all of us here at Wellstone are in this because we believe that politics should be about the improvement of people’s lives. And we know this is possible only if we stay true to the guiding principles that have gotten us this far.
We believe that to win progressive change, we must center racial and gender justice at the core of our organizing, strategy, and approach to the world. We have to trust and invest in local organizations and leaders. And we believe that to reform our democracy, we need strategies that combine electoral politics, public policy, and grassroots organizing and develop leaders across our movement.
That isn’t always easy, and we’re committing to continuing this hard work in the years to come. We firmly believe that the structures that govern nonprofits, foundations, and social justice organizations have to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of leaders who authentically represent our full, diverse movement. It’s core to our central belief that we all do better when we all do better. For us at Wellstone, this means that we seek justice with and for our communities. We are people of color, women, immigrants, queer people, people with disabilities, working-class people, survivors. And all of us deserve to see the public and political structures in this country reflecting us, listening to us, and working with us.
So we’re going to keep doing the work to create this inclusive future and deliver transformational training and leadership development across the country. We’ve got another Data and Analytics Camp coming up this month, our Advanced Campaign Management School in December, and dozens of customized trainings ahead with our partners across the country.
The team who will lead Wellstone through the work ahead includes: Jessie Ulibarri and Sara Beth Mueller, who will serve as Interim Co-Executive Directors. In bringing these two leaders together to run Wellstone Action, we leverage their extensive experience to lead the organization for this transition period.
Sara Beth joined the Wellstone team over six years ago from the world of public affairs, communications, and fund development at Planned Parenthood. She served most recently as Chief Operating Officer for Wellstone, guiding its communications, finance, human resources, information technology, facilities management, and organizational effectiveness functions. She believes Wellstone's power is in its people, and gets fired up when the guts of an organization can amplify its impact in the world - when we can do the critical work of designing our workplaces, policies, practices, and leadership behaviors so that they're grounded in the same progressive values we're trying to live and create across the country.
Jessie has been with Wellstone Action for the last four years, most recently as the Vice President of Impact and External Affairs. Before joining our team, Jessie spent a decade leading community organizing and public policy efforts throughout the country. He has trained thousands of community organizers, campaign managers, candidates, and elected officials to build a democracy where everyone is in, no one is out, no exceptions. He brings an intimate knowledge and understanding of our program work and will be essential to managing our partnerships and relationships as we move forward.
Jessie and Sara Beth are joined by the rest of the Senior Leadership Team at Wellstone who guide our program, operations, and development teams:
- Adriana Barboza, Director of Movement Building
- Aliya Rahman, Director of Movement Technology
- Andy Fuller, Vice President, Development
- Deepa Kunapuli, Director of Marketing and Communications
- Martín Diego Garcia, Director of Public and Political Leadership
We’re excited about Wellstone’s next chapter, and hope you are too.