Executive Director - YMI Cultural Center
Are you passionate about advancing the Black community of Asheville, NC to ensure a stronger region for years to come? Are you a relationship-centered leader? The kind of leader who believes people are an organization’s most important asset and who knows how to build, nurture, and inspire a community internally and externally?
Are you a collaborator, nurturer and organizer who has experience growing a nonprofit organization through revenue diversification and program building?
As one of the oldest, most unique Black culture centers in the United States, YMI Cultural Center (YMICC) was built on the legacy of its founders, Mr. Issac Dickson, and Dr. Edward Stephens. Each and every person at the YMICC makes a difference to the complex, ongoing work of advancing the Black community in Buncombe County. YMICC will continue to stand in and lead the way for Black rights and social justice continuing to accelerate to the next milestones for Black people.
With a new strategic plan in place and The “128 Years and Counting” $6.4M capital campaign finishing up to restore its historic downtown Asheville building, YMICC seeks a leader to guide the organization into the future.
What will you do as YMI Cultural Center’s next Executive Director?
- Support the organization’s mission and vision
- Provide leadership and direction to staff to ensure the effective operation and delivery of programs
- Maintain transparency with board and staff acting as a liaison between the two
- Ensure the implementation of programs, services and activities that meet the requirements of all grants and funding
- Be actively involved in all community conversations about Black history and culture
- Ensure the annual budget is funded and the organization has adequate cash flow
- Monitor the annual budget in collaboration with the Board Finance Committee
- Develop robust and diverse funding strategies; participate in cultivation and solicitation visits with development staff and board members
- Create and maintain strategic alliances and collaborative partnerships with organizations, community leaders and local officials
Strategic Planning & Board Development
- Oversee the implementation of the board’s strategic plan
- Identify opportunities for growth and improvement
- Ensure the Board of Directors are trained on organizational policies and programs
- Actively engage with the entire board and with each individual board member to maximize board member contributions to YMICC’s success
- Maintain a consistent emphasis on the importance of equity and inclusion
Why YMI Cultural Center?
YMICC’s mission is to empower the Black community to celebrate its rich cultural heritage through programs that preserve and promote African American arts and traditions with a commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. YMICC’s vision is uniting diverse collectives to elevate the richness of Black culture while fostering authentic appreciation of Black heritage.
Initially branded as “The Young Men’s Institute,” the more commonly known YMI Cultural Center is one of the oldest, most unique, and beautiful Black cultural centers in the United States. YMICC is a local landmark within the City of Asheville, North Carolina and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The founders, Mr. Isaac Dickson, the first person of color appointed to the Asheville City School Board, and Dr. Edward Stephens, principal of Asheville’s first public school for African American students, envisioned an organization similar to a YMCA to support Asheville’s African American community. Currently YMICC provides services to the local Asheville community as well as Buncombe County at large. The organization is currently governed by a 13 person Board of Directors and day-to-day operations conducted by 4 paid staff members.
Key lived experiences, attributes, and skillsets sought in the Executive Director
- High level of passion for the YMICC mission and the communities it serves.
- Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited four-year college.
- Six or more years experience leading a nonprofit organization as the Executive Director/CEO.
- Dynamic, visionary, high-level strategic thinking, and planning. Ability to envision and convey the organization’s strategic future to the staff, board, volunteers, and donors.
- Track record of fundraising and donor relations.
- Experience collaborating with grassroots organizations, community members, government agencies, and other stakeholders.
- Strong writing skills and ability to speak confidently in public forums.
- High level of initiative, effort, and commitment toward completing assignments efficiently.
- Organized and detail-oriented, ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines and work independently and as part of a team.
- Experience casting a vision, building a strategy, and leading the successful execution of a plan.
- Inspiring communicator who can motivate staff, the board, donors, partner agencies, government allies, and volunteers.
- Relationship builder with a natural curiosity and interest in those who view the world through a lens different than their own.
- Knowledge of human resource functions with direct experience in structuring, hiring, onboarding and continually building a team.
Think you are the next YMICC Executive Director?
YMICC Collective Liberation Statement
Collective liberation means recognizing that all of our struggles are intimately connected, and that we must work together to create the kind of world we know is possible. We believe that every person is worthy of dignity and respect, and that within systems of oppression everyone suffers. This is not just a value, but an action. When we work together across the barriers kept in place to divide us, we strengthen our community. When combined, our diverse identities and experiences give us the tools to dismantle systems of economic, political, and social oppression, and to create a world in which all people are truly free.