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We are thrilled to announce that our very own Libby Kyles will lead us forward as the newly appointed Executive Director, starting May 3rd. With over 20 years of education, nonprofit, and advocacy experience, her dedication to community and passion for service embody Tzedek’s mission, vision, and values. Since first joining Tzedek in 2021 as the architect and Director of our Community-Led Grantmaking program, Libby’s unwavering devotion to authentic relationship building has proven to be the heartbeat of our organization.
“I am excited by Libby’s deep commitment to our communities, the relationships she has worked to nurture, and her visionary thinking,” said Tamiko Ambrose Murray, chair of Tzedek’s Board of Directors. “I feel confident in her leadership and that she will steward Tzedek’s vision forward.”
Libby’s service leadership journey is as inspiring as her vision for Tzedek. With a deep love for youth, Libby spent two decades in North Carolina classrooms, obtained her National Board Certification, and completed her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from East Tennessee State University. But her passion didn’t stop there. In 2014, Libby co-founded Youth Transformed for Life (YTL) Training Programs and served as Executive Director until June 2019. Under her steadfast leadership, YTL developed various summer, after-school, and outreach programs to support community in overcoming widespread disparities disproportionately harming people of color.
Libby is also part of the founding teams for CoThinkk, Black Asheville Demands, Asheville PEAK Academy, and Asheville-Buncombe County Land Trust, where she is the current Board Chair. Additionally, as former CEO of the YWCA of Asheville and founder of Changing LENS Consulting, she expanded and strengthened her local impact as a racial and educational equity champion. In 2021, she was awarded the Inaugural Rosa Parks Award by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County in honor of her community service excellence.
In her previous work at Tzedek, Libby partnered with community grantmaking fellows to redistribute $250,000 in 2021 and 2022. She was also instrumental in designing and launching the Reparations Stakeholder Authority of Asheville (RSAA). The RSAA is a Black-led, community-driven, fiscally sponsored project of Tzedek that aims to guide the distribution of reparations funds as part of the City of Asheville and Buncombe County’s historic reparations resolutions passed in 2020.
Libby shared, “The work we do at Tzedek is near and dear to my heart. I’m excited to continue the legacy that Amy Mandel started, Marsha Davis shifted, and our amazing team will uplift as we highlight the amazing work done in our communities.”
As we embark on this new chapter, we are positive that Libby’s spirit of inclusion and intersectional social justice lens will elevate Tzedek to new heights.
“I am elated for this next phase in Tzedek’s growth and firmly believe that Libby is the right leader for this moment,” added former Tzedek Executive Director Marsha Davis. “Her extensive community ties, history in Asheville, understanding of Tzedek’s internal culture, and vision for collective liberation will be a huge asset to Tzedek’s work. I can’t wait to see where Tzedek goes next under her leadership.”
We couldn’t agree more – and we’re 100% here for it!
Prioritizing impacted leadership and fostering wide-reaching community engagement are two core values and practices of Tzedek. Libby is living proof that those directly affected by systems of injustice are best positioned to lead change work and that deep community engagement is crucial for advancing systemic change and promoting community healing. We look forward to witnessing and sharing the transformative impact of her leadership on both our organization and the communities we serve.
Please join us in celebrating Libby, and stay tuned for updates as we work for a brighter, more equitable future together.
Tzedek’s national search and executive transition process was guided by Search Consultant Hez Norton of Eos Transition Partners. We received 54 applications for this position from a wide array of applicants. A six-person Search Committee of three staff and three board members led the transition process. After an extensive interview process and thorough deliberation, the Search Committee recommended the final candidate selection to the Tzedek Board, which the Board unanimously approved.