Thursday, December 5, 2013

My Resignation Letter

Act #339:  Write your future resignation letter so that you don't lose sight of your goals or get complacent.  And when the time is right, go ahead and make room for others to step up.

July 1, 2017

Dear Board of Directors and Colleagues,

Please accept this letter as my notice of resignation. Thank you for allowing me to respond to a life calling that in many ways was beyond my control.   When I first stepped into this role 5 years ago, I had never really been in a work environment where every single person fully and whole-heartedly stood behind such a powerful shared mission: To eradicate sexual violence.  Thank God for spirited and dedicated souls like you who have never stopped believing in something that so many have felt defeated over.  While I may have served at the helm during this time, it truly is YOU who deserves all the credit.  YOU have propelled a single brick and mortar organization of 16 into a social justice movement of thousands of survivors, volunteers, community members, local businesses, and everyday ordinary people who care about eradicating sexual violence. 

YOU have stabilized and diversified the financial framework for our operations by inviting local businesses, concerned individuals, regional grant makers, and other funding organizations and foundations to directly contribute to an issue that so greatly impacts their own communities.  Because of you, we no longer sit at the edge of our seats at the end of fiscal years, vulnerable to government shut-downs and sequestrations.  YOU have taken us back to our founding roots 45 years ago, and have invited our local community to once again become an integral part of the solution. 

YOU have made our services more accessible and our doors more approachable to the most vulnerable survivors. Because of you, we now help train local faith leaders to identify and help survivors in crisis.  Because of you we now have established partnerships with retirement homes and senior centers, multi-cultural community centers, and LGBT advocates.  Because of you, we are now working with local school districts in all 17 of our counties to implement violence prevention education at the high school, middle school, and elementary school levels.  Because of you, we are once again, the movement on which we were founded.

YOU have had extraordinary courage to be willing to look critically at ourselves.  To challenge the way things have been done, and to step outside our own comfort zones to meet new and emerging challenges.  Thank you for your willingness to do what was sometimes painful:  to truthfully assess and measure our own effectiveness, and to restructure and adjust our operations to ensure that we are making real impact.

YOU have thrown open, the doors of access by offering different ways of healing to those who need us most by your commitment to meet people where they are through: quality, research-driven, trauma-informed therapy, community writing workshops, expressive photography groups, equine-assisted therapy, yoga and tai chi classes, and weekend healing retreats.

YOU have redefined what it means to be a survivor of rape and sexual violence in central Kentucky.  You have transformed our unmarked, unpublished "centers" into welcoming places of respite and calm for survivors to heal alongside advocates, volunteers, and staff who can help surround them with light and uplift their spirits.  You have slowly and gently helped survivors find their own place and voice in the movement - whether it's merely having the strength to seek help, sharing their story, or maybe even volunteering one day.   Most importantly, you have listened - not only to the research, the experts, and the conference professionals, but perhaps to the voice that matters the most - the very individuals we are supposed to be serving.

Like I said, you have done the impossible.  In five short years, you have reached out to more survivors and empowered entire communities of advocates.  And I promise you, this will make all the difference.  Because of you, maybe, just maybe, we now really do have a shot at eradicating sexual violence.  Your continuing work and your outstanding mission will always, always be supported by me.

Once as advocate, always an advocate,
Mae Suramek


  1. This is a really neat idea! I had a friend who wrote a letter as a senior to her freshman self and it was truly uplifting! I am so blessed to be around such creative and genuine people!