Personnel note: Robyn Hyden named Executive Director of Alabama Arise

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Alabama Arise — a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of congregations, organizations and individuals promoting public policies to improve the lives of low-income Alabamians — on Wednesday announced Robyn Hyden would be its new Executive Director.

Hyden will replace Kimble Forrister, who is retiring next month after 27 years as the organization’s Executive Director.

She will join 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.

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,” said Lowry. “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.”

“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.”

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 added. “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.”

Hyden, a native of Alabama is known for her strong connections and relationships with a variety of organizations across the state, ranging from civic groups to faith-based and social justice organizations.

She said she is honored to accept the position.

“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.

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