Hawah Kasat: Leadership Transition
After over 20 years, I will be leaving my role as Executive Director (ED) of One Common Unity (OCU).
Birthing and serving as the Director of this organization has been one of the greatest joys, learning experiences, and privileges of my life. I’m not going to say I never dreamed we would be this big when we first started. The opposite; I dreamed we’d be running programming all across the globe one day, and I still believe that to be a realistic goal.
OCU has reached a beautiful place representing the completion of many cycles for the organization and for me. Since its inception, the organization ebbed and flowed with my cycles. Even just five years ago, OCU didn’t have full-time employees. Now, at 20 years, we are rooted and cemented in the community in such deep and profound ways. I feel deep trust that our accomplishments over the years have set the groundwork for a more impactful and inspiring future.
“I’m not going to say I never dreamed we would be this big when we first started.”
Today, OCU no longer ebbs and flows with me. The organization is now a truly living, breathing ecosystem with an incredible staff (30+ full-time employees strong!) who embody the mission. And with that comes an equally powerful opportunity. It allows me to pivot at an important juncture in my life where I am being called to once again return and dedicate more of myself to the passions that spurred the creation of OCU to begin with. This moment also opens space for OCU’s next leader, whose vision, skills, and strengths will propel the organization toward more opportunities for community (and global!) transformation.
Although I’ll be leaving the day-to-day operations and the role of ED in the fall of this year, I’ll still be involved in supporting OCU in various capacities. I promise to be around, accessible, and available for the years and years to come. In the meantime, our dedicated Board of Directors, in partnership with staff and me, has begun the process for a transition to the next stage of OCU’s life cycle. You will be hearing directly from the Board over the next few weeks with more details on our next steps for a smooth transition and hand-off. I’ll be here as ED during that time. And when it’s time, I’ll support the new individual to get situated and acclimated into their new role and position.
“This moment also opens space for OCU’s next leader, whose vision, skills, and strengths will propel the organization toward more opportunities for community (and global!) transformation.”
As I reflect on these past twenty years and look ahead to this next chapter for both the organization and for me, I also want to take a moment and thank YOU—our OCU community—for being with us every step of the way. We wouldn’t be here without your support, friendship, and collaboration over the years, and I can’t wait for the incredible things OCU will continue to do in partnership with you.
We also wouldn’t be here without our excellent and hard-working staff! They inspire me every day, and I am at peace knowing that our impactful programs are in the hands of our talented staff and senior leadership team.
I am forever grateful for the intertwining of my life with the work of One Common Unity. I have always meant for this organization to be an inspiration and a symbol of what is possible when we dream. Letting go is part of the teachings of the i-ching and yoga: to flow effortlessly, to let go of the sail, to trust the process, and to swim into new uncharted seas.
I’m ready to stand side-by-side and in lockstep with you, our OCU community, and all the new people that we attract in the coming years to this incredible organization’s work and mission. I am ready to be there and celebrate with all of you for our 30th and 40th, and one day 50th anniversary! I’m ready for all of it. And I am also ready to get back to the basics and return to what brought me into this work, to begin with—teaching, writing books, filmmaking, poetry, and unhinged activism.
Thank you for all you’ve done to support One Common Unity and me as a leader. I am grateful for your support as I prepare to embark on my next journey!
With love and admiration,