A New Woman in Charge
Meet Kimball: a woman of vision, integrity, and a high value for conscious leadership. In August of 2019, Kimball was chosen as the Human Awareness Institute’s new Executive Director.
Raised by four teachers – including her step-parents – Kimball was ingrained with a sense of social responsibility, and a strong ‘leave-the-world-better-than-you-found-it’ mentality.
While studying psychology and sociology in college, Kimball volunteered on the reservations and the prisons of New Mexico. It was here that she first became aware of the importance of fundraising.
“I saw firsthand how abuse and poverty can devastate the trajectory of a life. I quickly realized that building resources was critical for making significant change,” Kimball explains. “From there I started making resource development my focus.”
A native Californian, Kimball kept a close connection with her home state. Her love for nature drew her outside and led her career towards sustainability efforts.
“Being in the mountains, dancing by the oceans, and looking at wild vistas still bring me peace, joy, and great connection to spirit – a soul-level connection,” Kimball says. “As I became an adult, I saw the air and water quality as unsustainable. I saw trash littering our streets, and oceans and national parks being devastated.”
When Kimball returned to school for her junior year of college, she was asked to lend a hand on a legislative campaign to keep nuclear waste out of New Mexico parks. The battle was won, albeit temporarily. The combination of electoral politics and positive environmental impact was compelling for Kimball and set the tone for the next stage of her career.
Discovering the Importance of Humanity in Non-Profit Work
“When I graduated, I chose the route that I thought would make the broadest impact for the most people. I joined the ranks of environmental activists, raising money and working to pass and re-authorize legislation for a cleaner and safer environment,” Kimball says. Yet, she admits that there was a shadow side to the work too. “We were working extreme hours, paid little, had no health benefits, and we were generally disrespected as individuals.”
“The shadow of the work was that we had an internalized dislike of ourselves. It was people who were causing the environmental degradation,” Kimball reflects. “Unconsciously, we were by nature the representative of what we hated.”
It took her years to untangle the paradox that resulted – trying to help humanity along but at the same time losing touch with the humanity of people doing the work.
At 29, Kimball was recruited to be the national director of the fundraising division of a large, Boston-based company. She collectively worked to support over 400 of the most commonly known, national community benefit organizations. In the process, she had the opportunity to see the inner workings of these organizations and to support their change and growth. Her organization raised hundreds of millions of dollars for various mission sectors that collectively brought humanity to community around the country and the world — and again the internalized humanity was lost in favor of the mission.
Over the years, Kimball slowly reconnected with her own humanity. She began to build her personal mission, which unites both her personal goals and a broader vision for the world:
“I, Kimball Lane, am a conduit for change as I bring the message of hope and possibility to individuals and organizations so that we can together bring love and respect to a world that is clean and sustainable.”
Developing a Commitment to Social Change
After moving to the Bay Area in the mid 1990s, Kimball doubled down on her work of effecting social change. Her focus shifted from the environment to organizations working with women, children, and those with mental health issues. Among other things, she joined the Board of the Women’s Therapy Center, and started doing transformational work with the Pathways community, studying the mysteries that make us human.
“I began to peel back my own humanity, my own shadow. I started looking at the individual again, looking at myself and my own ability to find my truth. I recognized my longing for connection, to be seen, and to find conscious community with a broader sense of love. In general, I worked to heal the wounds from a place of being, not just a place of doing,” Kimball explains. It was this exploration that brought her to HAI. “In 2012 I started HAI workshops, and I looked more and more deeply at human consciousness, connection, and relationship. I saw what communication can do to bring us together or tear us apart.”
HAI, ultimately, brought Kimball back, full circle; from the individual, to the world, back to the individual.
“I work to bring people together around a mission. I honor individuals in whatever role they play, and I recognize that healthy human connection is the conduit for healthy social change,” she says. “When I attended my HAI workshops, I felt that the Facilitators and team members were building a community in which people could be seen and held for who they are. It was connection and relationship that made a real difference in the world. I had found my home.”
Kimball is eager to get started in her new role. “As I walk through the communities at HAI, I want to stop and see you, as I hope you will stop and see me. That we all remember to look deeply into the eyes across from us, to hold each other’s hearts, to have compassion even if we momentarily forget, and then help each other remember. That we together, will bring HAI’s mission to millions of people out there looking to make connections and find intimacy. I believe this is how we will change the world.”
Kimball, a very warm welcome home, from all of us at HAI.