Julie Cohen


Eight years ago, I said yes to joining a scrappy nonprofit organization that had bold ambitions to transform our midwest region through art, story, and human connection. Pollen has since evolved into an impactful storytelling, narrative changing, community building powerhouse. Being a part of Pollen’s growth and success has been the highlight of my career. And now it’s time to invest in my own growth and evolution. I’ll be leaving Pollen at the end of April to explore my what’s next. 






Getting to practice my passion for narrative, engagement, and advocacy while working alongside the most talented and equally passionate group of people—Pollenites included!—has made this the best and most rewarding job I’ve ever had. Being in community with you all has deepened my understanding of justice, world building, community power, and impact storytelling.


Illustration by Andrés Guzmán


I’ve had the honor and privilege to meet and know so many of you who make our community worth showing up for. The stories and grief and wins we’ve shared as a collective are forever imprinted on me. This experience has shown me what kind of human, citizen, and leader I am and hope to become. For that, I am forever grateful. 






I have no intention of leaving any of that behind and will continue to be one of Pollen’s most vocal champions, especially as the team continues to bloom under the visionary leadership of Ruby Oluoch. My last day will be April 28. In the meantime, I’m working with Ruby and the team to ensure a smooth transition. I’m not one for public fanfare, so there’s no farewell party planned. Instead, I hope you’ll consider making a small contribution to Pollen in recognition of what we’ve built together. 


As we like to say at Pollen, “Once a Pollenite, always a Pollenite.” I trust our paths will continue to cross and remain steadfast in building a more just, loving, and free world with you all.