US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



A Transition Announcement

Feb 22, 2021


A Three-Part Transition Announcement

To our beloved community,  


I will be leaving my position as Interim Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network effective March 1, 2021. I am proud of our 2020 accomplishments as we steadied the organization through turbulent waters while centering, honoring, and reflecting the people and Peoples most marginalized. 

I am enthusiastic about the future of the Network. The next steps for me are exciting and three fold: (1) I will do some resting, dancing, singing, songwriting, guitar playing, and recording, (2) using my training as a certified professional coach, I will consult with organizations and movements to help them build healthy cultures through mediation, leadership coaching, and DEI facilitation. I will do this through a company that I am newly the co-owner of called Brave New Us, and finally (3) I will re-engage with my passion project which supports Black womxn and non-binary folx in finding their life’s purpose through She Hunts Treasures. You can keep in touch with me at

Thank you for trusting me to take on such a key role in transitioning and moving this organization and movement forward. I will be forever grateful.

In Solidarity,
Salimah K. Hankins, Esq.
Outgoing Interim ED


Salimah has our deep gratitude. Her tenure through an extraordinary year - 2020 - was replete with obvious and untold hardships, all tangled tightly in opportunities to trek further into the Network’s highest calling. And with her, we did: her trusted and accomplished leadership made it possible to reach an important summit. We wish her the very best and ongoing strength, solidarity and collaboration. 

On behalf of the US Human Rights Network, we are excited to announce a new leadership model going forward. With it, we mean to take the Network to the next level. As a people-centered movement, “the next level” will not be hierarchical, but instead, multidimensional. We will go deep inside ourselves; extend in every direction to our members; and deepen into our roots. All of this, while reaching higher than ever to end human rights violations on this globe for good. A new structure is called for. Therefore, we have adopted a Co-Executive Director structure.

The purpose of our new Co-Executive Director design is to institutionalize, inspire, and facilitate the most collaborative member leadership we have seen.  Our first of two Co-ED hires is Dr. Vickie Casanova-Willis, PhD. Vickie has been an active USHRN member for nearly two decades, is a non profit administrator and educator, and cultural worker. Vickie is also a co-founder of Black People Against Police Torture, former FIHRE fellow, and is the outgoing secretary of the USHRN Board of Directors. We are on the search for our second Co-Executive Director, to be hired by the end of March. Please consider taking part in this brief survey to aid us in that immediate next step, and in collective visioning towards our USHRN 2030 strategic plan.

With Love,
USHRN Board of Directors


Family, it is with great pride and joy that I accept this new challenge to continue the legacy Salimah inherited and built on in service to our movement. For me it is not a one-person job; we all are needed as we apply the Sankofa spirit: looking back to the lessons and powerful legacy of the Network’s history, and carrying it forward as we renew, repair, recommit and rise together. As Co-ED I am thrilled to take the helm in partnership with my incoming Co-ED, collaborative Board, and all of you.

Let us continue building this strong, people-centered human rights movement while we further institutionalize human rights, literally, “at home”. Our Co-ED structure positions our overall Network, supported by the National Coordinating Center, for a sustainable future based on collaborative leadership that is laser-focused on liberation of humanity through our mission of strengthening “a human rights movement and culture within the United States, that is led by the people most directly impacted by human rights violations." We will struggle, we will celebrate, and we will not miss a beat as we do what must be done to secure this era in human history as the one where we fulfill our intergenerational mission of human rights for all. Forward, together!


Dr. Vickie Casanova Willis, PhD
USHRN Co-Executive Director




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