A message of gratitude on my last day

July 30, 2021

After 22 years at Forward Together, I will be transitioning out as the Executive Director today. This moment is bitter-sweet for me because I love this organization deeply.

Forward Together has been an amazing movement home for me, from its origins in Reproductive Justice to its evolution into a multiracial, multi-issue organization. Here, I’ve grown and evolved my leadership, and have been able to build, create and develop beyond my wildest dreams.

For this, I am thankful to the leadership of Black women, who started the Reproductive Justice movement, and for all of the movement activists who inspired my commitment to fight at the intersection of racial and gender justice.

I am proud to have grown Forward Together from a handful of staff working at the local level in the API community in California to a multiracial, multi-issue national organization with 40 staff across the country.   

I am honored to have had the opportunity to help this movement grow and evolve into a vibrant force led by queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, people of color leadership, working at the local, state and national levels to address reproductive oppression, win victories for our communities, guided by a future vision for our country where everyone has self-determination over their bodies, their families and their reproduction.

I learned from and worked alongside some of the most remarkable leaders from both within my staff and throughout multiple sectors in the social justice movement as we organized together to change conditions so that all families could thrive.

In this political moment, I am called to remain in the movement and expand the work I’ve been doing to support Black, Indigenous, women of color, nonbinary and trans leaders to step fully into their power and to make the changes we need to see in the world today.

I will continue to write and publish my book on the Courageous Operating System to help leaders navigate successfully through challenging situations they face. I will lead more Stepping Into Power trainings, provide coaching, and continue to create a home for leaders to deepen their well of courage, connect to their strengths, magnify their power and build a community that will sustain over time.

And as I hand over the baton, I know that Forward Together & Forward Together Action are in great hands with Co-Executive Directors Diana Lugo-Martinez and Wendy Calimag. Together, they have a wealth of experience that will serve both organizations well and help take them to new heights. 

We have an incredible board who is deeply committed to supporting this new leadership model and helping Forward Together through this transition. We have a staff who are doing the work brilliantly and powerfully day in and day out. And, we partner with an incredible group of funders who are committed to continued support of Forward Together – some who have been with us for over 15 years.

I am so excited about the path ahead for Forward Together!

As I say goodbye, will you join me in continuing to invest in the future of Forward Together? 

Thank you for your continued support of Forward Together. Thank you for all that you do for our collective transformation. Thank you for being an important part of my journey.

In solidarity, community and with a deep collective breath.

Eveline Shen, Executive Director
Forward Together & Forward Together Action

P.S. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to learn about Forward Together’s new Co-Executive Directors Diana Lugo-Martinez and Wendy Calimag in the coming weeks!