From our Executive Director

May 16, 2023

Dear Friends of PRA,

It has been my immense honor to lead Political Research Associates through such a consequential period of U.S. and social justice movement history. From the Tea Parties, to the January 6th insurrection, to the Right’s capture of the Supreme Court, the past decade and a half has challenged us to innovate and grow in the ways we support justice and democracy movements.

I’m writing to share some significant news: I’ve decided to move on from my role as Executive Director of Political Research Associates in early 2024. By that time I will have served in this role for nearly 15 years, plus another three years before that as Research Director. It was not an easy decision, but I am confident the time has come to start a new chapter, both for myself and for the organization. 

I am proud of all that our community of staff, board, and partners has accomplished together these past years, including:

  • Having the clarity to stay focused on the growing infrastructure, influence, and power of racist and patriarchal nationalists when it was an unfashionable thing to do, while pundits around us penned obituaries for White supremacy and the Christian Right;
  • Informing the campaigns, public messaging, and strategic priorities of scores of social justice movement partners who are on the front lines of challenging the MAGA movement, White nationalism, authoritarianism, the Christian Right, and misogyny and transphobia (among other key threats); 
  • More than quadrupling our budget and growing our staff to 25, with a strong senior team and key staff throughout the organization who sharpen PRA’s practice;
  • Dramatically expanding our communications and movement partnerships programs;
  • Navigating generational change on the staff and building a strong, diverse, and multigenerational staff and board; 
  • Adopting an ambitious new strategic plan that will carry PRA into its next phase of organizational growth and innovation.

“The best part of this job by far has been the company I have had the good fortune to keep.”

It’s been quite a journey, with some hard and humbling passages. The best part of this job by far has been the company I have had the good fortune to keep. I am deeply grateful for the colleagues and movement partners who have informed and deepened my commitment to this work. You are my font of hope and joy. 

I have not made any specific plans as yet for my own next chapter. I remain focused on advancing PRA’s mission and to supporting the staff and board as they steward this transition. I look forward to accompanying PRA’s next chapter as a supporter and comrade. I would be fortunate to find a new role that calls to me as deeply as PRA has done all these years.

PRA has so much more to contribute and to accomplish. The coming years promise to be a crucible—a trial by fire—for justice movements and for the very possibility of democratic self-governance. New leadership for PRA will bring new perspectives, new strengths, and renewed energy to the vital work of informing both the resistance to authoritarianism and the transformation forward into a broadly inclusive, multiracial, and feminist democratic society. 

PRA is flourishing. I have full confidence in our staff and Board to lead the executive leadership transition process already underway. My advance thanks to each of you for your continuing support of PRA as we start this new and exciting chapter.

With gratitude and confidence in PRA’s bright future,

In solidarity,

Tarso Luís Ramos
Executive Director, PRA

Tarso L. Ramos smiling at the camera

 


 

From our Board Chair

To the PRA community,

On behalf of Political Research Associates, I am writing to let you know that after 18 extraordinary years of service—15 as Executive Director—Tarso Ramos will be leaving PRA in 2024. 

Through Tarso’s passionate commitment to multiracial, feminist democracy, PRA has strengthened its visibility and national impact as a key research and movement support organization. PRA would not have the breadth, depth, focus, reach, or extraordinary staff that it has today without Tarso’s years of leadership. We are deeply appreciative for his continued leadership as we navigate this important transition. 

It was Tarso who had the clarity to lead PRA, as he wrote in his own statement, “to stay focused on the growing infrastructure, influence, and power of racist and patriarchal nationalists when it was an unfashionable thing to do, and pundits around us penned obituaries for White supremacy and the Christian Right.” 

For this and for all of Tarso’s contributions, we are grateful and we look forward to whatever his next chapter brings—not just for Tarso, but for our entire movement. 

“Through Tarso’s passionate commitment to multiracial, feminist democracy, PRA has strengthened its visibility and national impact as a key research and movement support organization.”

What is next for PRA? We are delighted to announce that the board has engaged Strategies for Social Change to secure PRA’s new leadership. With decades of experience supporting the broad social justice movement, Strategies for Social Change’s mission is to help social change groups transform the world. We are thrilled that they will be supporting PRA into our next chapter, starting with helping us to form an Executive Leadership Transition Committee, composed of both PRA board members and staff. Look for updates as we move forward. We expect to send out a job announcement later in the Spring. 

I would also like to use this opportunity to pass my own torch. After 7 years on the PRA board, 6 as the chair, I am thrilled to announce that in October, Katherine Acey will become the next chair of the PRA board. Katherine is already co-chairing the Executive Leadership Transition Committee, and I know that this organization that I care so deeply about will be in great hands with her at the helm. I look forward to supporting PRA in its next chapter, from slightly further afield. 

With love and solidarity, 

Jeyn Levison

Chair, PRA Board of Directors