Introduction

Cory Pohley

Director of People & Culture

Cory Pohley

Cory Pohley

Cory Pohley

Director of People & Culture

Cory (she/her) has provided executive and senior leadership and consulting services to social justice and community-based organizations throughout her career. She enjoys serving as a strategic partner and resource to leaders and organizations working to advance the rights of those impacted by injustice and systems that fail them. Cory has supported the growth and development of organizations and networks – large and small and has successfully led numerous Bay Area organizations through challenging leadership transitions. As a lifelong nonprofit professional she has held just about every title essential to the healthy functioning of an organization. This has led to her deep respect and understanding of every person’s contribution to ensuring an organization’s well-being and impact.

Cory’s former roles include serving as CEO of California’s statewide network of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) programs; this role was especially meaningful to her as someone who grew up in and emancipated from foster care.

What Liberation Means to Cory

Tell us why you do what you do.

My inspiration for everything I do including my work choices was forged in my youth. Throughout my childhood, I was a “ward of the court” – not seen, not heard, not protected, not consulted. And then, staff from a progressive organization invited me in and created space for me to speak from my heart to those in power by naming the harm suffered and encouraging me to use my voice to advocate for systems change. It was a pivotal experience that resulted in being entrusted with a job that would allow me to do the same for others. No turning back. Four decades later, I’m still paying it forward, still learning, and still experimenting together with people and leaders I love.

What’s most important to you about being part of Solidaire?

I am honored by the opportunity to work alongside Solidaire’s incredible staff and board, donor members, and partners; to contribute my learning, resources, and energy to a loving community that is resourcing a powerful vision.

Solidaire’s emphasis on collective liberation, collective learning, experimentation, and trust, resonates deeply with me. I am moved by the example of its donors who are working together to radically disrupt wealth narratives by trusting first, and then resourcing the collective capacity, sustainability and wellbeing of Black, Brown, and Indigenous frontline movements and leaders.

What does liberation mean to you?

Enough for all. Life in balance with each other, with nature, with spirit. Spaciousness and encouragement to truly be who you really are with dignity. Creating individually and collectively the conditions we dream of for future generations. And of course, as Solidaire has expressed so beautifully: a world where racism, economic exploitation, and disregard for the wellbeing of the planet no longer destroys whole communities to benefit a few; a world where all people have power to shape the decisions that affect their lives, and to flourish.