Baltimore native Krystle Starvis recently joined social change organization CLLCTIVLY as the first chief operating officer.

By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
msayles@afro.com

CLLCTIVLY, a Baltimore social change organization focused on racial equity, narrative change, social connectedness and resource mobilization, recently welcomed its first-ever chief operating officer, Krystle Starvis. 

Starvis is no stranger to the nonprofit or the city of Baltimore. She was born and raised there, and when CLLCTIVLY launched in 2019, she immediately messaged founder Jamye Wooten on Instagram to share her enthusiasm for the nonprofit’s mission, as well as offer to lend her support. 

“This return is truly a homecoming because I really believe in the power of local organizing [and] local efforts to push change,” said Starvis. “I still really appreciate my national experiences, but I think the revolution will be local.”

As a youth, Starvis said she greatly benefited from being raised and nurtured by her whole community, and she picked up several neighborhood aunties along the way. 

Her deep connection to her city engendered a spirit for local community empowerment.

She first entered the nonprofit space in 2015 when she began working for Living Classrooms. There, she oversaw the organization’s workforce development programs, and notably, she expanded its programming for returning citizens in four different community hubs in East Baltimore. 

Most recently, Starvis temporarily left Baltimore to work with the Aspen Institute, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to realizing a free, just and equitable society. As associate director there, she spearheaded program strategy for Weave: The Social Fabric Project, which aims to build social trust to address root cultural causes of America’s social problems. 

As chief operating officer for CLLCTIVLY, Starvis will be focused on creating sustainable systems that will support the organization internally and externally. 

“My priority is sustainability and scale, like how can I support Jamye in establishing structures now that will honor the liberatory framework that he has brought to this work [with] network-building and community-building that can support many Black-led organizations in Baltimore for many years to come,” said Starvis. “I’m thinking now about what we will need two years from now.” 

Starvis will help increase CLLCTIVLY’s capacity as a nonprofit, and she will create technical assistance opportunities and educational offerings for its ecosystem of Black-led organizations. 

She will also take charge of the organization’s Annual Day of Giving and its #28DaysofBlackFutures campaign, a crowdfunding initiative to boost and mobilize resources for Black-led organizations serving Baltimore. 

Currently, Starvis is looking forward to CLLCTIVLY’s We Give Black Fest, which will take place from August 19 to 21, and will be held in collaboration with the Vegan SoulFest. 

The three-day event coincides with National Black Philanthropy Month and Black August, and will celebrate Black businesses and nonprofits that are committed to social change and supporting their communities. 

“I believe that when you solve for the person who is most marginalized within the community, the person that is at the edges, you solve for everybody,” said Starvis.

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