The Board and Staff Leadership Team of Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR!) are delighted to announce that Kelli Wescott McCannell will be our first Executive Director. Our country is at a critical juncture for reproductive health, rights and justice. Transitioning from our Founder to our first Executive Director will propel GRR! to a new level of effectiveness on the national level.
Kelli has worked in the non-profit arena for nearly two decades, in Maine and San Diego, CA, supporting missions with her leadership, program development, marketing, fundraising, operations and outreach. She comes to us most recently from Hardy Girls Healthy Women, an organization committed to changing the culture and supporting young people in challenging the status quo, through year-round, statewide programs.
“When girls and gender expansive youth realize the extent to which the system is built to work against them, they seethe”, says Kelli. “What I love about talking with women as they get older is the ownership they have over their anger. As we age we feel those same feelings along with the understanding of power.”
Judy Kahrl, GRR!’s founder, will continue as Chair of the Board of Directors.
“Kelli, with her background in culture change, program development, and outreach, is the leader GRR! needs,” says Judy. “With the imminent possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned, the persistent voices of the older generation will be amplified as they join with the national coalition protecting our rights. GRR! will be able to work more forcefully at both the state and national levels with Kelli’s leadership.”
“My goal has always been to provide people and organizations with the tools they need to feel like they have choices,” says McCannell. “I’m honored to join GRR! and grow together, building on the incredible work they’ve contributed to the sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice movements. Across the United States, we will forge intergenerational, intersectional conversations and advocacy to ensure stories are amplified, coalition is strengthened, and justice is protected. We will not go back.”
McCannell received her undergraduate degree, and her Masters in Organizational Leadership, from Gonzaga University.