Farewell Kina!

Kina at an ICE protest in Williston, October 10, 2019

It is with mixed emotions that we announce Kina Thorpe’s departure from her role as the PJC Educational Programming Manager. Kina joined us almost four years ago, straight out of college, as a Program Assistant and quickly grew into her management position.

We have so much to be grateful to Kina for! Thousands of people have participated in the workshops overseen by Kina, especially the Racial Justice programs. Because of Kina, Vermonters of color can find more community and spaces for both action and healing. Additionally, white Vermonters are better able to create safety, dignity, and humanity for People of Color.

During her time here, Kina brought our workshops to a new level of professionalism, both through her forward-facing facilitation work and behind-the-scenes administration. Things like our registration process, filing systems, cancellation policy, the way we onboard new facilitators, and so much more, are a credit to Kina’s forethought as well as follow-through. Her contributions to the content of the workshops and her strategic thinking about programs as a whole have been incredibly valuable. Kina’s facilitation was always spot on. She was able to pick up on nuances of things that participants said and reflect on them in a way that truly moved our community toward justice.

Kina also brought our bi-weekly enews to a new level. The layout, the content, and the data clean up were all vastly improved under Kina’s leadership. She is someone who is a great writer and also likes cleaning up a database – an unusual mix! 

When Kina started at the PJC, she was the only Person of Color on a staff of five people. We are now a team of seven people, four of whom are People of Color. As we have bumped along on our anti-racist journey, Kina has been bruised more than once. If she hadn’t offered us her grace and stayed with us, the transformative work we are doing as an organization would have been derailed. We are learning how to be a place that truly supports people whose identities have been marginalized so that joy and healing can be part of our work for peace and justice. We do this better and are a better organization overall because of Kina.

So while we are sad to see Kina go, we are also so excited for her and can’t wait to see how her life unfolds! Please join us in thanking Kina for her incredible dedication to the PJC and for all her hours of hard work – both logistical and emotional. And to send her off, here is a bunch of nice things people who have worked with Kina say about her:

  •       I really appreciate Kina’s inherent kindness, willingness to patiently follow up, and her honesty in naming what is important.
  •       Kina answers endless e-mails with clear directions and patience.
  •       Kina is incredibly responsible, thoughtful, honest, and determined.
  •       Kina’s critical thinking and advocacy are so valuable.
  •       Kina is in touch with the community and down to earth so she connects well with people.
  •       Kina is playful, caring, and kind.
  •       Kina makes people smile.
  •       She balances kindness with naming what is important.

Our work is hard, but it’s easier to do with people you like. We are lucky to have worked with you, Kina!