TABITHA BLACKWELL NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF BOOK HARVEST DURHAM
New Role Propels Organization’s Expansion
Durham, NC, April 12, 2022 -- Ginger Young, Founder and CEO of Book Harvest, announced today that Tabitha Blackwell has been named Executive Director of Book Harvest Durham effective May 25, 2022.
Blackwell will be responsible for all of Book Harvest’s operations and
programming in Durham, the organization’s home community. Her particular focus will be on scaling the reach and scope of existing programs in Durham and piloting new and innovative initiatives that provide books and literacy supports to Durham’s children and families.
Blackwell’s appointment comes at the conclusion of a national search that began in January 2022, following the appointment of Young as Chief Executive Officer of Book Harvest, Inc., and the news of the organization’s expansion.
Young commented, “This is an exciting time of possibility for Book Harvest as we embark on our second decade and seize opportunities to realize impact across North Carolina and beyond. We are able to pursue our big dreams of books for every child, support for every parent, and literacy for every community because our beloved flagship community of Durham has shown us the way - and will continue to do so under Tabitha’s leadership.”
Blackwell served on the Book Harvest Board of Directors from 2015 to 2021, including serving as its Board Chair for four years beginning in 2018. “Tabitha’s long history with Book Harvest, including serving as Board Chair, made her a perfect fit for this role,” continued Young. “Her in-depth knowledge of the organization is matched only by her incredible vision for how Book Harvest can grow. Book Harvest Durham is getting a leader who has a deep understanding of children’s literacy; proven experience building alliances across systems that impact families; and an unparalleled knowledge of our organization and our city. I can’t wait to welcome Tabitha home and work alongside her!”
Blackwell comes to her role as Book Harvest Durham’s Executive Director from Funders Together To End Homelessness, where she has served as its Director of Networks and Programs since 2018. Her work helped to coordinate a national network of funders in their efforts to provide strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness, including the creation of policies and systems that center people with lived experience, addressing underlying causes like structural and racial inequities.
Previously, Blackwell held staff leadership positions at several national organizations where her focus was on programmatic and capacity-building efforts to more effectively serve youth, families, and communities. These included First Book, where she helped to build paths out of poverty for children through educational equity, including the provision of new books and learning resources; Reading Partners, where she worked to mobilize communities to provide students with the proven reading supports they need to read on grade level by fourth grade; and KABOOM!, where she collaborated with partners to create child-centered, community-driven play spaces for all children.
Blackwell resides in Durham, North Carolina, where she is the parent of a rising kindergartener. “I am thrilled to continue my journey with this organization I love, as Book Harvest Durham’s Executive Director. I have had the honor of working for over 15 years in the areas of literacy, book access, and education. This work is more than a passion; it is my life’s purpose. I look forward to returning home to Book Harvest and to leading Book Harvest’s work to ensure that ALL children in Durham can thrive.”
About Book Harvest:
Book Harvest provides an abundance of books and ongoing literacy support to families and their children from birth and serves as a model for communities committed to ensuring that children are lifelong readers and learners. Since its founding in 2011, Book Harvest has provided more than 1.7 million books to children and a wide range of literacy supports to parents in central North Carolina and beyond. Learn more at www.bookharvest.org.
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