Warm feminist greetings from RESURJ!
This year brought in our 11th anniversary and with that our recommitment to sharing power, building trust and feminist accountability praxis. Our mission as a transnational feminist alliance of younger feminists from the global south has been to lead, create and hold space for the realisation of sexual and reproductive justice for women, adolescents and young people, in all of our diversity. Reaffirming our mission and praxis, we are thrilled to announce that RESURJ is implementing a leadership transition from our second Executive Coordinator to the third.
The past two years have given us moments of deep reflection and lessons learned in a collective building, transnational solidarity and fostering collective care, as we felt and lived the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. It reconfirmed the importance of change and flexibility as we shifted our organizing and attention in support of members and accomplices on the ground to respond to the needs of our constituencies and communities. During this time we also focused on strengthening our infrastructure to better navigate a world full of uncertainties – developing our narrative of change and new strategic plan, strengthening our internal accountability practices, revising our foundational guiding principles, such as our Sexual and Reproductive Justice framework and expanding our thought leadership work in the areas of criminalization and interlinkages. While regional and global intergovernmental advocacy looked significantly different from previous years, many of us in RESURJ remained vigilant to an ever-shifting status of multilateralism and global advocacy.
The challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to us all in 2020 also made us postpone our Secretariat transition process to 2021. And while uncertainties remain constant, over the last six months we have relied on our solid foundation to put our transition into effect. This is due to a strong membership of 17 committed younger feminists and close alumni, advisors, allies and donors who believe in and support RESURJ’s vision and mission.
We want to express our immense gratitude to Marisa Viana, our outgoing Executive Coordinator. Marisa has been a member of RESURJ since 2011 and has led RESURJ for the past seven years, holding space for us through various moments and transitions as we shaped and reshaped the collective together. These included our first leadership transition, a strategic shift from global to regional advocacy and organizing, dreaming up and rolling out various thought leadership initiatives, dialogues and campaigns, strengthening the Secretariat, membership and internal processes, and further experimentation with putting our Sexual and Reproductive Justice framework and Action Agenda into practice. Marisa has led the membership engagement from the early moments of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda all the way to the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Plan for Action through the regional reviews to the Gender Equality Forum (GEF) in Mexico and Paris. Marisa has been strategic and caring in weaving our thematic priorities to ensure alignment of our collective agendas with members’ work at the national and regional levels, including by devising mechanisms to support members through the COVID-19 pandemic. We are deeply thankful to Marisa’s leadership, reliability, creativity, kindness and care in sustaining and growing RESURJ.
We look forward to her new era as she explores new possibilities in supporting emerging feminist formations and movement organizing.
We are thrilled to announce the result of our collective process and share that Sachini Perera will be our new Executive Coordinator. Sachini is a queer feminist from Sri Lanka and has been a member of RESURJ since 2017. Over the last four years, Sachini has brought to the collective a strong political and human rights background, from her work on digital justice and sexual and reproductive justice to her experiences engaging with treaty bodies and intergovernmental processes and coordinating the Global South Women’s Forum. She comes to her new role with a deep enthusiasm for nurturing collective intersectional organizing and outstanding experience in strategic communications, research and policy advocacy at the national, regional and global levels. We are confident and excited about the ways RESURJ will continue to grow and thrive with Sachini’s leadership, as a transnational feminist alliance that is responsive to the priorities and organizing of our constituencies and members. Sachini will assume this role in November 2021, with Marisa’s accompaniment until March 2022.
Along with the Executive Coordinator transition, RESURJ’s Secretariat is going through a powerful and exciting process, bringing in new people and identifying needs and mechanisms to strengthen our virtual ways of working and be more resilient in the face of ongoing crises. As part of this process, we want to express our deep appreciation to Mari-Claire Price for her role as RESURJ’s Operations Coordinator over the last four years. Mari-Claire has been a member of RESURJ from the early days and over the years have contributed to our various thought leadership work, advocacy at global and regional levels, and fostered collective care praxis as core to RESURJ. While stepping down from her role in the Secretariat, Mari-Claire will continue as a member of RESURJ.
In addition to the incoming Executive Coordinator Sachini, RESURJ’s Secretariat will also be bolstered by two members taking up new roles; Nana Abuelsoud from Egypt as our Programmatic and Advocacy Lead and Sibusiso Malunga from Zambia as our Monitoring & Evaluation/Operations Lead. They will work alongside Suman Saurav, Digital Communications Associate and Bruna David, Organizational Support Consultant. We are delighted to welcome the new members of the Secretariat and reaffirm our trust in their leadership along with members to carry RESURJ’s vision forward.
As a collective we express our sincere appreciation to the members that put themselves forward for this process as well as to the current and former members who supported the internal, practical and logistical aspects to ensure a transparent, caring and learning leadership transition process. We are particularly grateful to Madiha Latif, Mirta Moragas Mereles and Soha Abdelaty for their time and dedication to the Evaluation Committee in supporting our transition. We are reassured by the abundance of expertise, brilliance and passion for feminist organizing towards realizing sexual and reproductive justice.