Terri E. Barnes, Lead to Read KC Interim Executive Director
Lead to Read KC is pleased to announce that Terri E. Barnes will join our Leadership Team as Interim Executive Director, effective January 1, 2024. Current Executive Director Pauly Hart is stepping down after eight years of dedicated service.
Barnes is ideal to serve in this capacity due to her considerable experience and deep commitment to empowering youth. Barnes is the Founder and President of The Nia Project, which supports the success of Black girls and women, and previously served as Interim Executive Director and Board Chair at the W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center.
“It’s an honor to be asked to serve and I don’t take this opportunity lightly. I look forward to working closely with the team and learning from them,” said Barnes. “I am confident in my ability to make meaningful contributions to the great work already happening!”
Along with her role with The Nia Project, Barnes’ expertise includes 25 years of service to Kansas City nonprofits and 35 years of corporate leadership. She has demonstrated an energetic approach to managing projects and community engagement. She brings a track record of working collaboratively in the community through her leadership with Black Women Get Fit, a health & wellness initiative, R.O.A.R! a reading program that targets faith-based organizations and the creation of The Beloved Community – A Black Nonprofit Resource Directory. Currently, she is working with ArtsKC on the launch of The Drop, and recently participated on the search committee for the next artistic director for the Coterie Theatre. Terri is an advisory member of the KC Race Project and serves as Chair of the Mayor’s Commission on Reparations.
“We’re incredibly grateful that Terri Barnes agreed to take on this crucial responsibility,” said Eric Graham, Lead to Read KC Board Chairperson. “Her skills, experience, and demonstrated passion for our mission will help lead the organization through this critical transition. Further, I believe that Terri’s involvement will help ensure that, in the end, the right permanent leadership will be put in place for the benefit of children across our city.”
We expect a permanent Executive Director to be named in spring 2024. A search committee has been formed and is working in conjunction with CBIZ/EFL Associates Nonprofit and Social Impact Practice.