Message from our board chair and co-chair

Beloved Executive Director steps down

Since 2013 (and even before that as a volunteer), Rosa Vissers has played a crucial role in shaping and developing YBB into the organization it is today. She and her partner are expecting a baby in July, and Rosa has announced she will step down as Executive Director on June 24, 2019. She will return to YBB after her maternity leave to focus on supporting, creating, and nurturing our programs for incarcerated adults.

For six years I have had the tremendous honor, joy, and privilege of serving and leading YBB, and I am proud to have done so with an exceptionally dedicated and committed team, board of directors, teachers, students, and supporters. I love this organization. So much. As I prepare to welcome our little one, I have decided to step down from my role as Executive Director in June of this year. It’s the right time and I feel excited about the future,” Rosa shares.

We want to thank Rosa for 6 years of visionary, empathetic, and exceptional leadership during which YBB celebrated big milestones and accomplishments, including:

  • The launch of our Teacher Trainings Behind Bars, one of the first in the nation
  • Growing YBB into a statewide organization with programs all over Washington
  • More than tripling our budget to support the growth in programs and impact
  • Increasing YBBs staff from three to six
  • Partnering with other nonprofits and social change organizations such as Freedom Education Project Puget Sound and Birth Beyond Bars
  • Bringing a strong focus on social justice and equity to YBBs work

Over the next few months, we will conduct a search to find YBBs next Executive Director. We feel fortunate that Rosa will continue to serve in her role as ED during this important transition time. We will share the job announcement when it’s ready and ask for your help in finding passionate, skilled, and authentic candidates who can continue to build on our transformative work.

“Rosa adds: “My deepest gratitude to all of you for your support of this important, beautiful work. Without you, YBB wouldn’t be as strong and vibrant as it is. We just celebrated our 10-year anniversary and we are ready to expand on our vision for a just society for all people.

I look forward to continue to work towards breaking the cycle of trauma-stress-prison through our trauma-sensitive, resilience-building approach to yoga. There’s a lot of work to do during this transitional period. So now I need to get back to work :)”

Please join us in thanking Rosa for her endless dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment to the humanity of incarcerated people and their families. We are hopeful and excited for the next chapter of Yoga Behind Bars. If you have any questions or concerns during this transition process, please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly at board@yogabehindbars.org.

Sincerely,

Julian Saucier, Chair
Erin Stuckey, Co-Chair

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