The Next Chapter in Leadership at Womankind

To Our Friends and Supporters,

The past few months have been full of change in our world as we all have learned to adjust to a new "normal" in this COVID-19 environment. In recent weeks, we find our country reckoning with our history of racial injustice and, hopefully, evolving toward racial equality. Womankind continues to support the survivors of violence who come to us for refuge, recovery, and renewal, and we fully support our Black and Brown brothers and sisters in this evolution. So, we hope you receive the news we are sharing with the same enthusiasm and support for our critical work that you have done as donors, friends, and supporters through the years.

Message From Niketa Sheth, Womankind's CEO

I want to share my decision to transition from my role as the CEO of Womankind. When I began to contemplate this bittersweet decision, the world was a much different place. No one had any idea what the next few months would bring. I simply knew, for personal reasons, I needed to be more present for my family.

As parents of a child with special needs, my husband and I strive to provide our three-year old daughter with opportunities to meet her needs and achieve her long-term potential. Unfortunately, in January, our little girl began to demonstrate concerning regressions in her development. This reality was a wake-up call, and I'm convinced I need to be there for her during this crucial window of development to provide the care and attention she requires and deserves.

This decision is filled with many emotions but mostly gratitude for having had the opportunity to lead Womankind. In my two years leading this organization and working closely with our extraordinary team, I have been deeply moved and inspired by the dedication of all of our staff and supporters to further Womankind's mission and provide healing for our survivor community.

I am currently working with the team to ensure a seamless transition, and I will continue to support this organization, albeit in a different way as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors. My commitment to Womankind has not wavered, and I do not consider this transition a goodbye.

Our vision to rise above violence is as important as ever, and the spirit of this organization will continue to drive meaningful change. I truly believe and trust that Womankind is in excellent hands. With dedicated and generous supporters like you, I am optimistic about the progress our network will achieve with survivors, and I am excited to see all that Womankind will continue to accomplish.

Message From Karen Elizaga, Board Chair

While the Board of Directors is disappointed to see Nikki step down from her role, we are entirely empathetic to and supportive of her need to turn toward her family. Nikki has been a wonderful collaborator with the Board and leader of Womankind, engaging supporters, zealously advocating for the needs of our clients, and being a champion for survivors of gender-based violence. Through her inspired leadership, Nikki has worked to honor feminine energy and to create an environment of gratitude at Womankind, all the while executing on the effective operation and sustainability of our organization. We thank Nikki so much for all that she has done in her time as CEO.

We are confident that we can build on the work that Nikki, her predecessors, and our incredible staff have done to provide a lifeline for our clients. We are particularly pleased to announce that Yasmeen Hamza will step into the role of CEO on August 1st.

Yasmeen has been with Womankind for eight years, most recently as the Director of Community Programs. Throughout that time, Yasmeen has demonstrated a deep commitment to our mission and our clients. With her extensive knowledge of all facets of our work, Yasmeen is ideally suited to guide the organization into our next stage.

The Board of Directors has complete faith in Yasmeen's ability to lead, even in these rough waters. During her time with Womankind, she has led her team through many challenges with aplomb, and in collaboration with Nikki and the senior team, has devised innovative ways in which to serve survivors. We are looking forward to applauding and supporting Womankind under Yasmeen's stewardship and are optimistic about our continued sustainability and growth under her leadership.

As always, Womankind remains committed to serving survivors of gender-based violence and their children during these extraordinary times and in the face of significant changes within our institution and beyond. Thank you again for your unwavering support throughout the years.

Thank you, again, to Nikki for her hard work, kindness, commitment, and generosity. Thank you to our phenomenal staff for their passion and perseverance. Thank you to you, our friends, for your continued support of our clients and of our organization. And congratulations to Yasmeen!