July 10, 2015
To members of the Faith in Florida community:
Faith in Florida is pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs. Faith Seabrooks as interim Executive Director, for a period of three months. The board of Faith in Florida recently accepted the resignation of Jerry Peña as Executive Director due to a family relocation, and offers its deep thanks and best wishes to Jerry. The board has chosen to delay hiring a permanent Executive Director, and unanimously supported naming Faith as interim ED.
Faith (known to all as "Miss Faith") is currently in her second term as chair of the Faith in Florida board. Her work with Faith in Florida, as intern, community leader, and board member, started with her contributions on rights restoration; she’s also been active in our efforts around access to healthcare and support for undocumented residents.
Miss Faith is a native of Wilmington, Delaware, and served in the US Army Reserves for six years. Her professional work spans four decades in accounting and administration, both for businesses and for our Florida state government. Married and mother of two sons, Miss Faith describes her entry into the issue of rights restoration:
In the year 2010, when doing an address change with the Supervisor of Elections, it was brought to my attention that my husband could no longer vote after voting in the 2008 election. It was at this time that Faith In Florida (FOCUS at that time) was doing 1 on 1's with residents of the Parramore community. Rights restoration was the big issue and still is with 1.54 million Floridians disenfranchised, of which my husband is one. This fight has found its way into my home, and I've been a community leader with Faith in Florida for the last five years.
The choice to name an interim Executive Director reflects the short-term challenges facing Faith in Florida. We see these as falling into three categories:
Organizing: we believe our staff and community leaders do excellent work; the task before us is to provide them with the best tools and support, so they can be even more effective. We also need to make careful choices about where to allocate our effort and limited resources.
Communications: we believe we can improve both our internal and external communications. Internally, our growth into a statewide organization has made it essential that we have timely and thorough communications among all our team members. Externally, we can make better use of tools available to us - including social media - to better engage with the communities we serve and with all of our stakeholders.
Funding: our short-term need is to secure funding to keep us moving ahead on our current organizing efforts. The interim ED will have a special focus on this task. At the same time, we want to set longer-term plans to stabilize and grow our funding from all sources, notably from our congregations, from individual donors, from grants and foundations, and from local businesses and organizations.
We call on our community of loving supporters to ask themselves how they might contribute to meeting these short-term challenges. Financial help - especially helping us develop existing and new sources of funding - is critically needed; we would also value help in improving our communications. And, as always, volunteer support for our organizing work is the lifeblood of Faith in Florida. Please help in any way you can!
Most important, please be in prayer for our work, our team, and especially our new interim Executive Director.
With thanks, and with best wishes for a blessed summer,
Stephen E. Garrett
Acting Board Chair, Faith in Florida
The mission of Faith in Florida is to build a powerful multicultural nonpartisan network of congregation community organizations in Florida that will address systemic racial and economic issues that cause poverty for our families. With multiple different religious denominations and faith traditions represented, Faith in Florida seeks to provide a prophetic, interfaith voice on civil rights restoration, immigration, and healthcare expansion.