The Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Karissa Lewis has been named Executive Director. Karissa helped found the Bay Area chapter of the National Taxi Workers Union and has played a key role in establishing and anchoring black movement organizations in the Bay Area. As a graduate of CTWO’s Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program (MAAP), she has worked on issues ranging from environmental justice, police and state violence, as well as workers rights. Karissa started with CTWO six years ago and has held many positions with the organization, continuing to push the envelope, sharpen our work and lean into our organizational vision.
“There is no one whose life and work better embodies the mission, vision and spirit of CTWO, and the Board of Directors is proud to be able to announce Karissa’s well-deserved promotion to Executive Director. We have full faith and confidence that her commitment, creativity and considerable skills will continue the essential contributions that CTWO makes in developing and supporting leadership and building capacity in the movement for social, economic and racial justice.” said board member Louis Guida, on behalf of the entire CTWO Board of Directors.
Karissa has served as Interim Executive Director since May 2016. Under her leadership, she has increased funding, broadened our reach programmatically and designed two new programs. As an active participant in her community, Karissa is a member of Black Lives Matter Bay Area Chapter and the BlackOUT Collective.
“As a MAAP alumni I have always considered CTWO my organizing home. I am so humbled and excited to be chosen to lead CTWO in this moment. I am standing on the shoulders of the former directors and MAAP alumni, who have acted as mentors and comrades. I know this moment calls for us all to step into challenging conditions, it calls for us to be creative in our strategies and steadfast in our commitment to the world we are fighting to create. I am honored to continue to support this beautiful struggle, and to build cadre for the movement. I believe centering joy is as necessary as centering strategy and I am a commitment to carrying both into this leadership role at CTWO.”
The Center For Third World Organizing Board of Directors and Staff would like to extend our utmost gratitude to the community and stakeholders as we moved through this transition. As we head towards our fourth decade of leadership development and movement building, we are excited to enter into a phase under Karissa’s leadership to ensure the next period of our work is both deeply impactful in these critical times, and connected to our mission and vision of the organization.