A Message from Rising Voices Executive Director Laura Misumi
It is with both sadness and excitement that I announce that I will be stepping down as Executive Director and Board member of Rising Voices, a project of Tides Advocacy, and Rising Voices Fund, a project of Tides Foundation, at the end of February 2022.
In my time as Executive Director, I have held the following goals: first and foremost to make Rising Voices a good place to work; second to build a solid infrastructure capable of helping us build power for Asian Americans in Michigan, and finally to ensure multi-racial movement building and solidarity were baked into the DNA of the organization. Over the course of the last two years and two election cycles, I believe I have accomplished those goals to the best of my ability and have set Rising Voices on a path to move forward with those goals making up part of the organizational North Star.
It’s been a rollercoaster: I moved to Detroit as a staff attorney, and I’ll leave having helped found and lead a million-dollar organization that grew from having no staff in 2019, 1.25 staff in the beginning of 2020 (about ten years ago before the pandemic) to having seven permanent staff and a remote phone bank team and an in-person paid canvass. We have grown from being primarily c3-focused, with the prescience of Board Member Aamina Ahmed to create a c4, to also co-directing an independent expenditure superPAC.
I’m so grateful to the Rising Voices’ staff, our volunteers and leaders, the Rising Voices Board and the Rising Voices Fund Independent Advisory Committee for the opportunity to lead the organization at its start. Though I am leaving, I believe this transition is an opportunity to bring in new leadership and deepen the bench of Asian American organizers and political operatives across the state and country. For myself, I will be taking time to rest and recharge, but will be around in the future to offer support and uplift the work Rising Voices will continue to do.
Thanks to everyone who has helped me on my journey here and I hope you will continue to stay involved and offer your support to Rising Voices and to my successor once found.