Fifteen years ago this week, in the depths of the Bush-Cheney era, I found myself both frustrated with the direction of our country and hopeful about the amazing people whose values I shared who were fighting relentlessly to turn things around. With my founding donor, Peter Lewis, we started working on the plan for what would become The Management Center and The Management Action Center. We hoped to do our small part to help those leaders and their teams succeed in advancing justice by making it easier for them to achieve their missions.
I’m proud of what we’ve become since that time. As just a few measures of our progress, we’ve gone from serving ten organizations in 2006 to almost 400 last year, from reaching 25 individuals a year to 15,000 in 2019, from being supported entirely by one donor to covering the bulk of our expenses through earned revenue, and from two white co-founders to a powerful, multi-racial team of 50.
More importantly, we’ve had the incredible privilege of working alongside and in support of all of you reading this. You all are fighting the most important struggles of our time: You’re fighting to promote racial and economic justice. You’re fighting for immigrant rights, for LGBTQ liberation, and for policies to slow climate change, to reduce gun violence, to expand access to health care. You’re working tirelessly to ensure schools provide students of color with the opportunities they deserve. And you’re building the infrastructure that will advance our collective work on all those fronts, whether you’re registering and mobilizing voters, developing new leaders from marginalized communities, shaping media coverage and public understanding, or providing funding to support all this work. In short, you’re working day in and day out to help turn this country into what it could be. I have learned so much working alongside all of you, and I have drawn my energy, day in and day out, from yours.
And…now that we’ve completed this most recent election, Donald Trump won’t be the only one leaving his job in DC! (Gosh, that was fun to write.)
We know that the struggles for justice continue—as will our work here at The Management Center—and that the need for the work you all are doing is as great as it has ever been. Personally, I know that after 15 years as CEO, I’m ready to contribute in new ways and use different muscles than I do in this role. I’m also excited to make room for new leadership here that I know will make our work even more useful to the world.
I can’t wait to write to you again in the new year to introduce my successor. In the meantime, thank you for all that you are doing—every day, in the face of painful injustice and daunting odds—to make this a more just world. And thank you for the honor of having worked so closely with so many of you!
— Jerry Hauser