Pramila Jayapal, OneAmerica Founder and Executive Director, has announced she will step down from leading OneAmerica in the spring of 2012.
Pramila launched Hate Free Zone in the wake of 9/11 to address the backlash against immigrant communities of color (the organization changed its name to OneAmerica in 2008). The organization began as a volunteer effort in Seattle, working primarily in Western Washington and using word-of-mouth, community meetings and flyers to organize.
Ten years later, OneAmerica has grown into the largest immigrant advocacy organization in Washington State including a staff of 24 people and OneAmerica base groups in nine cities across the state. OneAmerica combines grassroots community organizing with policy advocacy and sophisticated communications strategies to reach and organize tens of thousands of diverse immigrants into a powerful voice for immigration reform, immigrant integration and protection of due process and human rights.
OneAmerica board and staff thank Pramila for providing her visionary leadership and unyielding commitment to social justice in helping create a powerful, sustainable, and ever-growing organization that impacts so many residents across the state.
Below are excerpts from statements made by Pramila and OneAmerica Board President Luis Fraga:
It has truly been a remarkable privilege to birth, lead and grow OneAmerica into the powerful voice it is today and I am so proud to have taken this journey with you over the past decade. The victories and accomplishments belong to all of us, and even our disappointments and defeats have only made us stronger.
While acknowledging the loss that Pramila’s departure represents for OneAmerica, we are confident that the national reputation, accomplishments, health and vibrancy of the organization will allow us to find a strong and talented Executive Director to lead the organization through its next phase.
The OneAmerica board has formed a transition committee comprised of both board and staff members to oversee an orderly and thoughtful process over the next eight months to find a new executive director. The board has retained CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, which specializes in nonprofit executive transitions, to assist with the national search and expects to hire a new Executive Director by April 2012.
To read the full statements from Pramila and Luis, visit our transition page for details.