CFK Welcomes US-Based Deputy Director, Shamecca Bryant February 16, 2017 by Nick Johnson
2016 marked Carolina for Kibera’s 15th anniversary of providing community-driven programs that foster leadership and create opportunities in Kibera. In 2016, we celebrated our successes, looked toward the future, and acknowledged that there is so much yet to be done. We asked big questions about what constitutes progress for a participatory development organization in one of the world’s largest informal settlements, and we agreed on one common theme: respectful and productive partnership.
In 2017, we’re excited to announce that a new leader is joining our US office. Shamecca Bryant will be assuming the role of the US-based Deputy Director of Carolina for Kibera. In keeping with our participatory approach, the Deputy Director will work in close collaboration with Julian Rowa, CFK’s Executive Director based in Kenya. Shamecca will lead US-based operations, providing technical leadership and direction for strategic partnerships, communications, and fundraising. We’re very excited for her to join our team.
Shamecca has a long and accomplished history working with local, national, and international nonprofit organizations. Most notably, she led the monumental growth of the Orange County Rape Crisis Center (OCRCC) in Chapel Hill as its Executive Director from 2010 to 2015. At the end of 2015 she embarked on a new, challenging venture of starting her own consulting firm for nonprofits. Shamecca thinks and acts long-term, meticulously mapping out each step required to achieve organizational goals. As CFK embarks on a new strategic vision over the next several years, Shamecca’s talents will be instrumental in helping guide us to our destination.
Through her consulting work, Shamecca became progressively more interested in using her skills to help an international organization grow. She was drawn to CFK for its philosophy as much as its programming, saying, “I became specifically interested in CFK, because I think that sometimes organizations do all the work, set the table, set the menu, and say, ‘Come and get it.’ It’s rare, even now, for them to ask what people need first.” She added, “Ensuring the community leads themselves, while helping to supply the resources they need to do that, is incredibly important.”
Shamecca is also well prepared for the challenges of operating an international non-profit like CFK. “International work at its core is built on partnerships, which are difficult but so rewarding to maintain.” When asked about the differences in leading an organization like the OCRCC and CFK, Shamecca explained that the scope of CFK’s programs will take some time to learn. “While we were focused on various aspects of people’s lives [at the rape crisis center], this work is different in the sense that we’re talking about basic human needs. If someone doesn’t have reliable access to food, clothing, shelter, it makes it hard to focus on anything else.” She adds, “It’s a different kind of trauma.”
Most of all, Shamecca is excited about bringing her experience and knowledge to an organization and setting that expands her world view. Something she is expecting to learn from her first few weeks on the job is that she “will witness two very different experiences of what need looks like, and that will be challenging.” This will only deepen her resolve. “Those types of challenges will help me grow in my commitment to social justice work. I plan to gain perspective on how to create impact on a global scale. That’s really exciting.”