Alabama Arise names Robyn Hyden as next executive director

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The Board of Directors of Alabama Arise has chosen Robyn Hyden as the organization’s next executive director. Hyden will begin her tenure in July. She will take over for Arise’s current executive director, Kimble Forrister, who will retire in June after 27 years leading the organization.

Hyden joins Arise from the United Way of Central Alabama, where she has served as director of grants management in the Department of Community Initiatives since 2017. Previously, Hyden worked as a North Alabama organizer for Arise and directed development and communications efforts at the Birmingham-based nonprofits Urban Ministry and Alabama Possible. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from Vanderbilt University.

“Alabama Arise’s members are our state’s most outspoken advocates for dignity, justice and power for people in poverty,” Hyden said. “Arise is at the forefront of organizing grassroots advocacy, holding elected officials accountable and producing trusted policy analysis – work that is now more important than ever. I am honored and humbled to carry this work forward with Arise’s amazing staff, members and board.”

Arise Board President Cindy Lowry praised Hyden’s track record in fundraising and organizing and touted her relationships with civic organizations and faith-based groups across Alabama.

“Robyn has what we believe to be the right attributes – passion, commitment and professionalism – to lead this organization into the future,” Lowry said. “As a former organizer for Arise, she knows the organization very well and has a vision that will build on our history and strengths. Through her words and actions, we know she is fully committed to Arise and our mission.”

Forrister, Arise’s outgoing director, also offered praise for Hyden.

“Robyn brings just what Arise needs: a vision for where we need to go, a vision grounded in deep relationships with a network of change-makers,” Forrister said. “She’s a collaborator. She listens. And she’s thoughtful. She steps in at a time when our staff, board and membership are strong and eager to engage the issues of 2019.”

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