Willie J. White, who founded and has led AVillage..., Inc. for its nine years in the South End, has stepped down as executive director. In submitting his resignation to the AVillage Board of Directors Saturday, Mr. White said he plans to pursue other opportunities and focus on his family, but plans to stay engaged in the community.
"I will never turn my back on injustice in our community," he said. "You can always count on me to fight racism, bigotry, hatred, discrimination and many other injustices perpetrated on our community." He added that he intends to continue to fight with the residents of Ezra Prentice Homes for an end to air pollution from trucks and trains, and to establish Wakanda Park, the new community park on Green Street at Fourth Avenue.
The AVillage board accepted Mr. White's resignation with thanks for his service which is unmatched in our community. The board appointed a committee to develop a job description for the next executive director, and then initiate a search.
"Willie's contribution to AVillage and the South End community cannot be duplicated," said Interim President Marva Richards, "and as a legacy to Willie, the board is determined to continue the important work that AVillage is engaged in." Projects addressing neighborhood revitalization, environmental justice, health disparities, and access to healthy food will continue with the work of the AVillage staff and its partners, she said.
Tom McPheeters, who has served the organization in various capacities for most of its life, was appointed interim executive director.