A joint message from our Founder & Executive Director, Renee Black, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Simon Canning
2019 was PeaceGeeks’ most successful and defining year yet. As we approach 10 years in the peace and technology sector, we are taking the opportunity to reflect on our growth and accomplishments to date and look ahead to the future of the organization.
In March 2019, with generous support from the Province of British Columbia and the Google.org Impact Challenge Canada, we launched Arrival Advisor, our free, multilingual mobile app for newcomers to British Columbia. Arrival Advisor offers immigrants and refugees relevant, timely information about the various services they’ll need to access as they navigate their settlement journey in Canada.
In November 2019, we screened one of our forthcoming original shorts at the Sochi International Film Festival and received a Special Mention prize. Written and produced by Meshkat Community, our flagship PeaceGeeks Jordan project, The Box miniseries dives deep into issues that lie at the intersection of technology and contemporary Arab society: how they can impact our self-awareness, our relationships, and the communities around us. The full Arabic-language miniseries launched in Spring 2020 and is accessible to everyone for free on YouTube.
These are just two highlights that cap an incredible year at PeaceGeeks. As you read through the rest of the Annual Report, you will learn about the myriad ways in which our staff are fiercely committed to building and leveraging digital tools to empower communities in the pursuit of peace. We have also strengthened our internal processes to best support our organization’s growth and development, including introducing a new Human Resources policy, revising our financial structures,and preparing to roll out a new strategic plan to carry us through the next several years.
As we look at taking the organization through the next decade, we are excited to announce another definitive moment for the PeaceGeeks family. Our Founder and Executive Director, Renee, has decided to step down in Spring 2020.
After an extensive search, we are thrilled to welcome our new Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Freeman. Jennifer comes back to Canada with over 15 years experience in conflict zones, refugee settlements, nonprofits and at universities, learning from and with peace leaders from over 55 countries. She has been at the forefront of re-energizing and restructuring organizations, developing strategic initiatives and public-private partnerships that bring technology to enhance the safety, security and agency of peacebuilders around the world. Our comprehensive succession plan will ensure a seamless transition from Renee to Jennifer. We are very confident that Jennifer will lead us through our next phase of empowering communities in the pursuit of peace.
On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Renee for her perseverance and tireless work ethic. Renee inspired local action that solved local challenges, facilitated access to information, advanced the rights of women, immigrants, refugees and communities everywhere. As well, her ability to build a strong, diverse team who live and breathe PeaceGeeks’ values of compassion and collaboration are the foundations that Jennifer has to work with.
Finally, we want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our generous donors and supporters, our passionate corps of volunteers, and our numerous community partners in Canada, Jordan, the Middle East, and across the globe.
We simply could not do what we do without every one of you.
Executive Director and Founder
Chairman of the Board of Directors