The Martha’s Vineyard Boy’s and Girl’s Club has named Dhakir Warren as its new executive director beginning in June, the club’s board announced in a press release Wednesday.
Mr. Warren will leave his current post as administrator of student affairs at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School at the end of the school year to take the new job.
As club executive director, Mr. Warren will manage operations for the organization’s numerous services and educational programs. He will assume the role at a pivotal time in the club’s long history of serving thousands of Island children by providing quality recreational programs in a safe setting at a very low cost. The club’s summer camp and after-school programs are staples of the Island child care community.
A year and a half ago the club launched a major capital campaign to expand its facilities to a new 21-acre campus in Edgartown.
“We are at a critical point in the club’s history. The club plays a unique and important role for many Island children,” board president Jeff Madison said in the announcement. “We are looking forward to providing these kids with additional growth opportunities through the building of a new state of the art facility to help meet those needs. We need a leader who can take us through this process, and Dhakir Warren is that person.”
Mr. Warren will inherit the position from former executive director Jessie Damroth, who led the nonprofit for four years before stepping down last August. Club program director Chris Roberts has been acting as interim director since September.
In a statement in the release, Mr. Dhakir said he was honored to take the job. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue serving Island youth through this lens,” the statement said in part.
Mr. Warren came to the Island in 2016 with his wife Sophia Brush, who grew up on the Island. In his time at the high school, he has been a champion of social causes and an advocate for students, among other things spearheading the school’s anti-vaping campaign and helping launch a truancy program this spring to keep struggling students in school.
He has also been a leading voice on issues of social and racial justice throughout his tenure and especially as the school has looked to expand its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in recent years.
In a forum on racial justice hosted by the high school this June, he spoke poignantly about the Island’s role in the national movement.
“Silence is the most deafening when it comes to issues of race and inequality,” he wrote in a letter inviting the community to the talk. “Silence breeds more silence, inactions, indifference, and ignorance. We, as individuals who comprise a larger school community, can no longer be complicit in our silence.”
Before joining the MVRHS faculty, Mr. Warren worked as a high school humanities teacher in the Boston public school system, according to the release. He has also served as marketing and communications manager at Constant Contact, managing director of Youth Design Boston, director of Demand Abolition’s Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation (CEASE) and the youth program development consultant at the Harold Robinson Foundation.
Mr. Warren and his wife live in West Tisbury with their daughter Sloane.