A message from Melissa Rudnick, outgoing Headwaters Director of Program and Grantmaking

Dear Community, 

After much reflection, I decided to move on from my role at Headwaters at the end of 2022. Now, as we enter the new year, I want to take a moment to share some reflections, gratitude, and excitement about what’s next for Headwaters. My love for this organization and community runs deep, and I’ll stay connected in a few ways, including serving as a consulting advisor and resource in this new year. 

I joined the team 7.5 years ago as a community organizer and facilitator because I wanted to be part of a foundation that not only funds movements for justice, but also celebrates and centers community wisdom and generosity. I wanted to be part of a foundation that prioritizes work led by and for BIPOC and rural communities and knows that communities’ dreams, hopes, and bold visions matter and are worthy of trust, celebration, and significant investments.

It’s been a great privilege to play a role in Headwaters’ nearly 40-year history, to work alongside the best colleagues and with you – Headwaters grantees, grantmakers, Giving Project participants and alumni, donors, and partners. I’m so grateful for the leaders who came before us and whose legacy we’ve had the honor of building upon.

Today, Headwaters is a strong, healthy, and vibrant organization. Even amid change, our mission, values, vision, and commitments remain. They – and each of you – are the anchors and northstar that will help guide and shape what’s next. Headwaters is hiring to build capacity, and is excited to welcome a new member to our Board. If you haven’t seen it yet, here is our 2022 annual report  I’m excited about the incredible people who are carrying the work forward and co-creating Headwaters’ next chapter.

As for me, I look forward to a little bit of time for rest and recharging, before I determine  what’s next for me in our shared commitment to justice and liberation. Wherever I land, I will remain a super fan of Headwaters and a fierce advocate for movements getting the resources they’ve long deserved. I trust that our paths will continue to cross. 

May we go from strength to strength,

Melissa Rudnick 

Outgoing Director of Program and Grantmaking