A Letter to the Community from GRCB’s Board Chair

A Letter to the Community from GRCB’s Board Chair
July 8, 2021

Hi! I’m Chris, Chair of the GRCB Board of Directors.

Now that we are beginning to venture out of our homes and back to the world of live music, band practices, and seeing our friends and family, I wanted to give you all an update about the awesome work that has been happening at GRCB! 

Personally, I’ve done a lot of reflecting on the changes that took place during these many months of the unknown and this pause helped me see truths within myself more clearly and make adjustments in my life that more fully reflect who I am. The same has been true for GRCB. 

This past year has challenged us in many ways. We had numerous shifts within GRCB including the resignation of one of our beloved and phenomenal co-founders, Hilken Mancini. We certainly would not be where we are today without her vision and dedication to uplifting the voices of youth. Thank you Hilken for your commitment to the youth and adults in our community and making space for new voices in leadership.

GRCB was put under a magnifying glass by us and our community to make changes, to show up and stand up for who we are as an organization, and to address social and racial justice. Throughout the past year the Board and staff have been working to ensure we live up to our mission and values. Again, we thank you for challenging us, and for your feedback and caring for GRCB. We will continue to listen and change until all voices are able to be heard. Here are some strategic areas staff and Board have been dedicated to improving: 

Strengthening Programming: Youth to the Front! 

GRCB overwhelmingly believes that we must uplift, center and amplify the voices of our young people. Centering youth this year meant committing to reinventing programming to give them a virtual space to make noise. We welcomed two new staff members who developed an amazing digital audio program for youth over Spring break which will resume again this summer. Our Youth Activism Project (YAP) completed a year-long research project on the impact of policing in school, and students rocked virtually at the Gardner Pilot School with Club GRCB. Look out for a Mighty Network Page designed specifically for youth, where they can connect and collaborate year round. Additionally, GRCB is restarting the Youth Advisory Board and dedicating space on GRCB’s Board for young people in our community to have a voice. We are excited to see the new directions GRCB will go with the youth having more power in steering its course. Thank you for always standing by them and believing in their power.

Strengthening Infrastructure and Investing in People

As an organization we have used the past year to strengthen our infrastructure. This Spring, GRCB welcomed six new Board members who bring a wealth of collective knowledge, experience and energy. Together staff and Board helped in the formalization of HR policies and procedures, updating our Board and Staff Handbooks as well as our volunteer and program guides. We also committed to building pathways to leadership through creating transparency in Board participation, opportunities to be on Board committees and leadership positions in working groups.

GRCB is invested in equity and dismantling white supremacy and white feminism. We began our work with VISIONS, an organizational consulting group committed to Equity, Integrity, Diversity, Inclusivity and Connectedness to guide us in this work. VISIONS will be sending out a survey to past and present participants and volunteers to help us identify the ways GRCB is succeeding in serving our community and, more importantly, where and how we need to change to make GRCB a more accessible and equitable organization. Stay tuned for more information and we hope and encourage you to fill out the VISIONS survey and help us with this work. Thank you for always pushing us and being part of the change we are creating.

Mobilizing Financial Support 

GRCB has big plans for the future including finding a permanent space for GRCB offices, Programs, and Community Meetings, expanding our staff, and deepening our programming. In order to make these goals realities we are strategizing ways to do all of this, including reaching out for your support. 

I want to thank everyone who makes this community what it is. Thank you for always challenging us to be our best, supporting us when we stumble and celebrating with us when we succeed. We are all in this together and GRCB is stronger and better able to rock so much louder because of this past year. Feel free to connect with the Board and staff at any time via board@girlsrockboston.org or info@girlsrockboston.org and please join us for our next virtual Community Sharing coming up on July 22nd. Your voice and opinions are important to us. 

And we would love to see you at the two events we have coming up – the, in-person, Halloween ReBOOt Benefit for GRCB on July 11th and the Digital Audio Week Virtual Youth Showcase on July 31st

Remember, don’t forget to put in your earplugs so we can rock forever!

Hope to see you all out in the community,