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Executive Director, Book Harvest Durham
Tabitha joined the Book Harvest staff in May 2022. In her role as Executive Director of Book Harvest Durham, she oversees all of Book Harvest’s operations and programming in Durham, with a focus on program excellence, 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.
This is a new chapter in the long story of Tabitha’s leadership at Book Harvest. From 2016 – 2021, she served on the Book Harvest Board of Directors and held the role of Board Chair for four years. During her tenure as Board Chair, the organization’s reach, staff, and budget all grew significantly, laying the groundwork for the organization’s ambitious second decade.
Prior to her role as Book Harvest Durham’s Executive Director, Tabitha served as the Director of Networks and Programs of Funders Together To End Homelessness from 2018-2022. 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.”
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