BURLINGTON – After seven seasons leading the Peace and Justice Center team, Executive Director Rachel Siegel is stepping down amid claims the world is less peaceful. The board of directors did not publicly state the rising tensions with Iran as a direct cause of the decision, but sources inside the organization say that they would have liked to see peace in the Middle East by this time.
Brought on in 2013 after years of failing to even make the playoffs, the PJs had high hopes that Siegel would ultimately bring about world peace and social justice. Her team trained hard and made huge strides in anti-racism campaigns and climate justice, but ultimately stumbled when approaching the finish line. Despite a strong home game win against Ignorance, not once in her tenure did they bring home the trophy when facing rival teams Greed or Stupidity.
“I feel strongly that we made great progress here in Burlington,” Siegel told press during her resignation announcement. “Ultimately, we were not able to defeat War and Injustice, but it wasn’t because of any lack of heart by any of my team. Things just didn’t go our way. We scored a lot of points where people thought we weren’t going to score any points, and when you consider the shape the organization was in when I was hired, I don’t know that anybody could have done any better. But I recognize that people here want a championship, and they want full peace and justice over all the earth. That’s not something I was able to deliver, but I’ll still be at home rooting for everyone here and I hope whoever comes after me will be able to do what I wasn’t able to do and eliminate all selfishness and hatred from human hearts and minds across the globe. It’s been a great run, and I’m going to miss it here a lot.”
Team members have lined up in support of Siegel, with a few people on Twitter expressing their opinions that the deck was stacked against their leader from the beginning, and she was faced with an impossible task from the get-go. No replacement has yet been announced, but the board expects to start a national search immediately, with the hopes of having a new coach in place by late spring.
Image Credits: VTDigger.