My love affair with community visioning started ten years ago. I witnessed, as a volunteer table facilitator for the original visioning process, the power of thousands of people coming together to articulate a shared vision. In 2011, I consulted for SA2020, fledgling nonprofit, helping the organization move into the “Do It” phase of its original “Dream It. Map It. Do It.” tagline.
I started as President & CEO in 2015, and over the last decade, SA2020 went from startup to one of the most successful community visioning and indicator organizations in the country. We’ve worked with cities across the U.S. to help them create their own shared visions, and in the process we celebrated San Antonio nationally. We continue to track and report on indicators prioritized by San Antonians—shifting as data and research warranted—and align a growing number of multi-sector institutions toward common goals. Throughout 2020, we facilitated another community visioning process, setting the precedent that San Antonians will envision the future together every ten years.
And the work is not done.
As we planned the yearlong community engagement strategy, I knew it was time to plan for new leadership, as well. Led by SA2020’s commitment to recognize and cultivate leadership from within the organization, I worked with the Board of Directors and our team on a succession plan. I believe it’s fitting that with the new decade comes new leadership.
The Board unanimously agreed that Kiran Kaur Bains, SA2020’s current Director of Community Impact, will best lead the organization in the new decade. Kiran is a San Antonio native and St. Mary’s University graduate, who previously served as the City of San Antonio’s first Chief Equity Officer. She joined the team in 2018 and deepened SA2020’s work in advancing racial equity, strengthening Partner capacities and recruiting multi-sector Partners. In 2020, she was named an Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity, joining a network of leaders across the U.S. and South Africa with a track record of building a more equitable future.
The momentum behind San Antonio’s shared Community Vision and SA2020’s work has never been stronger. More than 12,200 of you co-created the vision for the next decade – in the middle of a pandemic, no less. Plus, we just learned that SA2020 is a finalist for the 2020 Civvys Awards, a national award that highlights exemplary cases of collaboration, impact, and scalability from which other cities can learn. (A special thanks to Mayor Ron Nirenberg for the nomination!)
My last day as President & CEO is February 15, so I’ve got another month to help finalize projects with the SA2020 team, including our ten-year commemorative report and launch of the strengthened Community Vision. (Have you gotten your ticket to The Collective yet?)
There will be no bigger champion of SA2020 moving forward. I will continue to be a monthly supporter. I will continue to make informed decisions utilizing the data and research SA2020 produces. I will continue to point to San Antonio’s shared goals in all my work. I will continue to meet every call to action SA2020 makes for the community.
And I hope you will join me.
We wrote San Antonio’s shared Community Vision together, and it is our responsibility to uplift the organization that keeps us accountable to it.
It has been my absolute honor to serve this nonprofit, and I count myself lucky to have worked with our small but mighty team of women.
Thank you for your partnership and trust over the last decade. I look forward to working with you to champion San Antonio’s shared Community Vision and SA2020 for another ten years.