Meet Kim Powe, Interim Executive Director

By Kristen Wendt

We are pleased to introduce Kim Powe as Sage’s Interim Executive Director!

Kim comes to Sage with 18 years of experience in public service and grassroots development spanning youth and adult economic development, racial equity, sustainability and climate justice, food justice, health equity, affordable housing, restorative justice and international development. Most recently, Kim served as the Director of Social Equity and Inclusion for a local environmental organizationand as the Director of Sustainability for Multnomah County.

She knows that success is not a zero sum game and that true sustainability is not achieved when it is at the expense of others. She has a passion for working where sustainability and economic development intersect, which is often where people of color and low-wage communities converge.

Kim holds a Master’s in Business Administration in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (now Presidio Graduate School) in Seattle, a Master’s of Urban Studies, Community Development, from Portland State University, and two bachelor’s degrees from Georgetown University.

Kim has had the privilege to be Larry and Lynn Powe’s daughter, live on four continents, marry a wonderful partner and have a daily teacher in her daughter.

Kim can be reached at kim@pugetsoundsage.org or (206) 568-5000 ext. 11. Please join us in welcoming Kim to the Sage community!

– The Puget Sound Sage team

Staff Spotlight

How did you first get involved with Puget Sound Sage?
The first time I was involved with Sage was when I was in a giving campaign at the Social Justice Fund. I was blown away by the work I learned about in the application.

But I really got involved with Sage when we were co-hosts for the Climate Summit at Daybreak Star. It was a phenomenal day with dynamic speakers on the local, regional and national level. We were able to caucus and I got to meet some of the people I still get to work with today.

What was your first impression of Puget Sound Sage?
Before I worked here my first impression was: “Wow! These people are doing fantastic work, I hope that I get to work with them more.” After I started working here my first impression was: “Wow! These people are doing fantastic work, AND are absolutely amazing people. I am so lucky to get to work here.”

What does climate justice mean to you?
To me, climate justice means we all have a healthy, safe, comfortable and beautiful place to live, work and play on this earth.

It means that race, income, sexual orientation/gender, religious affiliation, region or nationality are not predictors of health, wellness, life expectancy, access to beauty and nature, or an overabundance of benefits or burdens, because we all live in a sustainably justice society. In such a society means we are not harming our soil, water and air, or the beings that depend on them; and, there is recognition that there are many valid and effective ways to achieve that society, not just ones proposed by dominant culture.

Describe a recent traveling experience.
Last summer I had the opportunity to travel to the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, a place that I had driven through on my way to New Orleans before, but had never stayed. I was there to learn about some of the work that members on the reservation were hoping to do. Driving around with them as they described the history they had there, the truths, the hurts and the hopes that they had, energized me and gave me hope.

Under that expansive sky, with the Rockies in the distance I had a sense of openness and possibility that I don’t feel in the city. The spirit of my hosts was humbling as they told me of injustices that they experienced, while maintaining a level of authentic patience and determination that reminded me of the expanse of time.

I left there excited for the work that they were going to do (and did do, organize the FIRST EVER Native contingency to testify at the Wyoming state legislature to hold their elected officials accountable to promises made), feeling connected to their hopes and efforts in ours here, and vowing to return to in solidarity again.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I have moved over 24 times, lived in 17 different cities, 4 continents and speaks 4 languages.

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