I'm currently visiting my family in Peru (see picture below!), and although I've been busy eating all the Peruvian food available in sight, I wanted to send a special thank you message to close the year.
2023 has been a big growth year for Diversity Coalition in all the possible senses. From our coalition growing faster than we can update our Partners & Sponsors webpage, to our educational programs delivering presentations to OVER 3 THOUSAND community members each school year (including middle school and high school students and community at large).
Not only our reach grew, but also our team! The incredible Vickie Prothro joined our team earlier this year, leading our very successful BIPOC Board Leadership Training. Vickie's experience producing high quality training programs made this thousand-piece-never-done-before puzzle a reality. We finished the year with a historic celebration of our first round of graduates, and a nonprofit board matching mixer that was covered by the SLO Tribune.
Another amazing addition to our team included finding Krysti Escobedo. Krysti's experience and passion for health equity was a perfect match for the equity work that 2023 had in store for us. We are currently entering the last phase of a $340,000 grant from TECH Clean California, that we co-own with other local social justice groups (read The New Times coverage here). I can say with confidence that reaching this milestone wouldn't have been possible without Krysti. And we're just starting! just this month, and in partnership with the City of SLO and CAPSLO, we have been awarded a prize from the Department of Energy to continue much needed equity work. Read the Mustang News coverage here.
Of course, we have a great support system to make this happen. From our phenomenal grant writer Greg Ellis, bookkeeper Christina Grimm, CPA Peggy Rosler, Insurance Agent Scott Astrosky, (please don't take them from us), to the unwavering support of partners like Epic Entertainment, Heraldo Creative Studio, and so so so many more! Each of them growing their own businesses while supporting our own. Thank you so much!
This year we also grew our community of volunteers!...!! (all the exclamation marks!). Thank you to everyone that donated their time in 2023, it's truly an honor to count with your support, and it's a joy to get to know you all more.
But the spine, central nervous system, heart, and compass has been our amazing Board of Directors: Cornel, Jean, Trey, Michael, Sarah, Kathy (missing in picture below), Kendra, Joy, and the amazing Joe. Each one of them bringing the compassion and focus needed to do the work and to have the hard conversations. Thank you for your patience with this new Executive Director and for always wrapping me with your wisdom and faith. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Last, but obviously not least: YOU. Thank you for joining us in this marathon. You have been there by our side cheering and supporting and some of you have jumped on as volunteers and partners. Thank you for attending our events, donating, writing, keeping us on check and in your checkbook :) - Honestly, YOU make all the difference.
If you are so inclined to make an End of Year donation to continue supporting all this amazingness, you can do it at diversityslo.org/donate - All donations are tax deductible and are incredibly appreciated.
Oh yeah, the Peruvian food picture :) Do you know what it's called?
Sending so much light your way for 2024,
Rita Casaverde - Executive Director (she/her)
Diversity Coalition San Luis Obispo County
P.O. Box 376 | Arroyo Grande, CA 93421