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Introducing Split This Rock Interim Executive Director: Rasha Abdulhadi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, November 13, 2018

CONTACT: Sarah Browning, Executive Director, 202-787-5210, browning@splitthisrock.org

 

A Message from Split This Rock Board Chair Susan Scheid

Greetings!

More than ten years ago, the co-founders of Split This Rock cleared a space and planted the seeds for a community garden that became Split This Rock. This garden has been incredibly well tended over the last decade, both by the dedicated leadership of Sarah Browning and other staff, and through the support and love of you, Split This Rock's beloved community.

So it is with gratitude and excitement that I introduce to you the next generation of Split This Rock leadership, Interim Executive Director Rasha Abdulhadi.

You may have met Rasha at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2018, when they served brilliantly as the 10th Anniversary and Festival Fellex. You can read more about Rasha, including a short note from them, below.

Throughout the hiring process, we have all been deeply impressed by Rasha's clarity, vision, and dedication to Split This Rock. They bring more than 16 years' experience in non-profit management and organizational development. I hope you will join us in welcoming Rasha into this new role. Keep an eye out for opportunities to say goodbye and thank you to Sarah and to welcome Rasha in person over the next couple of months. Rasha's first official day is November 26. Sarah's last is January 15, 2019.

On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I thank you for your support and investment in Split This Rock's work over the last ten years. This garden would never have grown without it! I look forward to your continued investments in the work we have in front of us and in our new leadership. 

All the best,

Sue Scheid, Chair, Board of Directors 

Meet Rasha Abdulhadi, Split This Rock Interim Executive Director

Rasha Abdulhadi is a queer Palestinian Southerner who grew up between Damascus Syria and rural Georgia and cut their teeth organizing on the southsides of Chicago and Atlanta. They have worked as a popular educator, cultural organizer, and community technologist, and bring more than a decade and a half of experience in movements for racial, economic, and environmental justice. Rasha is the author of Shell Houses (The Head & The Hand 2017). Their writing has appeared in Strange Horizons, Mslexia, Mizna, Room, and |tap| magazine and is anthologized in Halal if You Hear Me (Haymarket 2019), Super Stoked (Capturing Fire 2018), and the Hugo-nominated Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler (Twelfth Planet Press 2017). Alongside Sheree Renée Thomas and Erin Roberts, Rasha co-edited a special edition of Strange Horizons featuring speculative fiction by writers of color from the Southeastern US (July 2018).

Rasha has received fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the Maryland State Arts Council, and Split This Rock and is a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers and Justice for Muslims healing collective. Rasha serves on the Executive Committee of Alternate ROOTS, a 42-year-old member-led arts organization with its origin in Southern Freedom movements. As a practitioner of traditional Palestinian embroidery, Rasha's work is a commitment to bridging communities through the ways we remember, tell stories about, and remake our daily lives.

A Note from Rasha

I enter this leadership role with a full heart and a readiness to work with Split This Rock's staff, board, and beloved community in poetry and social movements. That beloved community has played a major role in my own life as a poet, and that work to convene poets and organizers, locally and nationally, is needed just as urgently now as it was ten years ago--maybe even more so.

As an organizer with family across multiple communities and generations of leadership, I aim to bring the best of my skills as a writer, editor, and organizer to navigate this crucial transition in Split This Rock's life. I look forward to growing this shared work with you all.

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