Let’s Create a Brighter Future Through Play

  1. Updates
I am so thrilled to continue my journey with the Playworks Michigan team after joining as Executive Director in November 2022. 

photo of Vincent

After only a few months I have had the opportunity to experience firsthand the outstanding passion of Playworks Coaches, Site Coordinators, program staff, board, and volunteers, who are the heart of this organization.  Through conversations with our school partners, I have gained valuable insight into the challenges they currently face and the vital impact that Playworks programming is making in their schools. In the coming months, I look forward to connecting with, and listening to the many community partners, school staff, school administrators, and donors whose support makes our work possible. 

I’ve spent most of my career working in Sports Marketing and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. For the past seven years, I served as the Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of MRA Mobile Experiential Marketing. In this role, I created settings for a one-to-one dialogue delivering a first-hand immersive experience and brand interaction. Additionally, I was and currently sit on the commission for Parks and Recreation for the town I live in, working to improve the quality of life for residents by immersing people in nature, creating connections with neighbors, and facilitating memorable experiences.

photo of Vincent as a childMy passion for the Playworks mission is both professional and personal. I still recall my time as an elementary school kid, playing on the playground at John F. Kennedy Elementary School. Looking back, I now realize how important that time was, as it taught me valuable communication skills, promoted physical activity, and provided countless benefits for my social and emotional well-being. It is disheartening to think that some students today do not have access to the same recess opportunities I was given over 20 years ago. It is not fair and it is not equitable. Something MUST be done. 

All kids deserve the social, emotional, and physical benefits of play. Together, let’s continue to create healthy play environments where every child can join in.


Vincent Kirkwood
Executive Director
Playworks Michigan

More Updates

January 10, 2023

Understanding the Complex Simplicities of Play ›

Play is a behavior that is natural and has existed for thousands of years and across species. It combines a set of made-up rules or norms and a willingness to…

three people with Playworks shirts
three people with Playworks shirts

July 28, 2022

A year of social and emotional learning ›

“You can’t do SEL, trauma, or equity work without each other,” Jennette Claassen, Head of Evaluation, Playworks. As Playworks continued to progress on our equity journey, we explored a critical…

August 24, 2021

Playworks Founder Jill Vialet Publishes ‘Why Play Works’ ›

Play brings out the best in every kid. Over the course of 25 years since Jill Vialet founded Playworks, she and her colleagues, as well as researchers and play experts,…