On Friday, the Board of Directors accepted the resignation of YBB’s Executive Director, Julian Saucier. On behalf of the entire Board and incredible staff, we are truly grateful to Julian for his many valuable contributions to YBB since 2016.

Julian was Board Co-Chair in 2019 and then took on the incredible responsibility of Executive Director that same year. While there is never a good time for leadership changes, we are aligned, share the same goals, and hope to find ways to partner with Julian in the near future.

Julian created a lasting impact in his role as Executive Director

We, the Board of Directors, and our community partners deeply respect Julian’s people-first collaborative approach. His incredible vulnerability allowed him to reach across aisles to share the impact of his lived experiences and perspective to advocate for systemic healing and transformative justice solutions.

Julian’s tenure directly impacted YBB’s stakeholders, programs, and overall mission of breaking the cycle of trauma-stress-prison, setting us up for many more years of operations.  As Executive Director, Julian contributed to several important milestones for YBB including:

  • 3-year Strategic Planning centered around insights from our community listening tour, including the populations we serve behind bars.

  • Maintained financial stability by securing two PPP loans during the COVID pandemic.

  • Amplified YBB’s work by cultivating key partnerships with mission-aligned organizations, funders, and YBB’s loyal and generous community of donors.

  • Built YBB’s advocacy and allyship muscle around criminal justice reform through his partnership with Treatment First WA.

  • Supported YBB’s amazing staff, pivoted urgently to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, connected to people we serve behind bars in new ways, centered community outreach and healing through race and social justice caucuses, and increased BIPOC participation in YBB’s Trauma-Informed Yoga training by 50%.

While he will be greatly missed in this role, we support his decision to step away for important family reasons, to create more space for work/life balance, and to find his next professional challenge. Julian has so much to offer the world and brings his experiences as YBB’s ED with him.

Bright Future Ahead – Interim Executive Director and Implementing our Strategic Plan

Looking ahead, the Board of Directors and the staff are ready to implement a thoughtful and inclusive succession plan that reflects our #1 goal: keeping the mental and whole body welfare of people we serve behind bars at the forefront of everything we do.

Before we start an inclusive and participatory recruiting process for a new Executive Director, Janis Avery will serve as YBB’s Interim Executive Director to prepare the organization towards meeting the goals of the Strategic Plan. Janis Avery is a mission-focused, outcome-oriented leader who fosters alignment in organizations, clarity and belonging. Janis is an experienced ED who led Treehouse, an organization providing vital services to youth in foster care, on the path toward growth and impact over 24 years. YBB looks forward to working with her and to sharing more about the details of our Strategic Plan soon.

Today and in the future, our intent is to continue to ground YBB’s programs to confront mass incarceration by offering evidence-based, trauma-sensitive yoga and meditation to adults and youth across Washington while building a community of social justice allies and change agents.

On behalf of the Board and YBB staff, thank you for your heartfelt and meaningful support of YBB’s incarcerated community, our programs, and our dedicated volunteers. We just can’t do this work without you.

Holly B & Ashok

Chair & Co-Chair, YBB

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