February 2, 2023
Meet the Educopians: Katherine KimBy Kelly Pendergrast
In October 2022, Educopia moved to a new collaborative leadership model. Katherine Kim took on the role of Co-Executive Director along with Racquel Asante and Jessica Meyerson. Katherine’s focus as Co-Director is on research, consulting, and project management.
Below, Katherine reflects on the new co-leadership model, how it’s going so far, and what she is excited about for the future of Educopia.
Can you reflect on the process of moving to a shared leadership model?
The process of moving to a shared leadership model has encouraged us to revisit our current practices in a way that’s been pretty illuminating. We’ve had a lot of conversations–with staff, the Board, our partners, people who work at organizations we admire–and did a lot of research. This process surfaced a lot of underlying assumptions and questions on what leadership means: What is the role of executive leadership? How can we, as an organization, address our equity commitments, not only through our programs and activities, but in our internal organizational structure? What accountability measures should we institute in assessing this shared leadership model? I’m looking forward to continuing to grapple with these questions as a group.
What excites you most about Educopia’s future?
We referenced this in a previous blog post, but I just want to emphasize (to quote Akaya Windwood) that “transition is the work.” I’m excited about the kinds of conversations we’re going to have as an organization in navigating questions around power, leadership, and strategic direction. There are going to be a lot of habits that we’re going to need to let go of, but that will in turn give us more generative space for possibility.
As Co-Director, what organizational culture do you want to cultivate?
I would love to support the organization’s learning and leading culture. I’m also interested in putting our values into practice and really figuring out what that means, with specificity and accountability measures in place.
Can you say a bit about your work, and what brought you to Educopia?
My position is responsible for Educopia’s research, consulting, and project management. Our portfolio of research projects and consulting work is centered around collaborative approaches and guided by our Community Cultivation Framework. It’s been incredibly rewarding to partner with so many communities, all in different stages of their organizational development. I’ve learned a lot from our partners and had the privilege of seeing groups flourish and work towards sustainable approaches. Prior to working here, I was drawn to Educopia because of the organization’s broad span of projects, its commitment to its values, as well as my previous experiences and interactions with the facilitators of Educopia’s affiliated communities as the former Assistant Director of the Digital Library Federation.
What keeps you energized?
I have the privilege of working with such great, energetic people who lead with honesty and integrity (both within our organization and our partners), and I find that the energy they bring to the spaces I’m in is really meaningful.