Farewell with Heartfelt Gratitude

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Dearest Friends and Colleagues:
My heart is filled with gratitude and pride as I conclude my 22-year tenure at the helm of GCIR. Even though this transition has been long in planning, saying a final farewell evokes profound memories of our shoulder-to-shoulder work, the trials and triumphs we’ve shared, and the mutual trust and respect we’ve built in our quest for justice. As I bring this big chapter to a close, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude and share an offering for each of you.

To my beloved family: Thank you from the bottom of my heart—I could not have poured my heart and soul into this work without your love and support. May you always know that GCIR’s successes belong to you, too.
To my dear GCIR colleagues, past and present: I am deeply grateful for the bonds we’ve built, the struggles we’ve overcome, the wins we’ve won, and all that we’ve learned together. We have held one another through so much, personally and professionally: from parents passing on to children coming into the world, from growing a scrappy organization from scratch to creating and implementing multi-million-dollar initiatives. Your passion and dedication will always inspire me. May you continue to tap the full power of your brilliance and leadership—and shine brightly in everything that you do.
To the GCIR boards of directors, past and present: Thank you for your stewardship and support of GCIR. As ambassadors, you have advanced GCIR’s mission in myriad ways. May your staunch commitment and advocacy continue to strengthen philanthropic support for immigrant justice.
To Marissa, GCIR’s new fearless leader: Our tenures overlapped only a few weeks, but in this time, I have seen how genuinely you value relationships. May the strong relationships you forge with the board, the staff, the movement, and this expansive community of funders help you realize your shared vision for GCIR’s next chapter.
To GCIR members and philanthropic partners: How can I thank you enough?! Funding immigration is not easy—it requires infinite tenacity and patience. Your steadfast support over the years has made a crucial difference in meeting urgent needs and strengthening the movement’s ability to effect systemic change. As you look ahead, I urge you to take more risks, push more boundaries, and let humanity, equity, and justice be the clarion call that anchors your grantmaking and leadership.
To my fellow BIPOC and immigrant philanthropic professionals: You have carried this work with vision and fortitude, even when you have been marginalized within your own institutions and the broader sector. I see you. I bow to you. And I am heartened by the courage and perseverance you muster every day to do this very personal work. May you continue to speak your truth and grow your power.
To my white philanthropic allies: Being an ally has never been more important, especially in a sector that does not naturally value lived experience and expertise. Thank you for championing this work. May you use your power and privilege to engage other white allies—and may you center and amplify immigrant and BIPOC leadership.
To my fellow PSO leaders: I have leaned on you, and I have learned from you. So many of you stood with GCIR—and with me—in the darkest of times, and I sincerely thank you for your solidarity and generosity of spirit. GCIR would not have its wide reach and impact without your partnership and support. May you continue to lead boldly and push philanthropy towards its ideals.
To the movement: It has been my profound honor and privilege to work with you, learn and grow with you, and mourn and celebrate with you. Your fierceness and vision have provided the North Star for GCIR’s work and have been fundamental to this organization’s success. Thank you for consistently grounding me, holding me accountable, and pushing me to do this work with courage. The last four years have been brutal for our movement, and you have resisted and fought valiantly. As our country moves towards a new dawn, may you shift from the stance of resistance and opposition to find strength in one another, cultivate new allies, and unite around the collective goal of building a society in which everyone belongs, no matter the color of their skin, who they are, or where they were born.
To each of you, I offer my deepest gratitude and appreciation for creating this powerful GCIR community. Please take very good care of yourselves and each other, carve out time for rest and rejuvenation, and continue galvanizing the GCIR community to advance equity and justice for all.
With my deepest gratitude,

Daranee Petsod

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