Director’s Desk: January 2021

At a recent Neighborhood Partnerships team retreat to discuss the year ahead a colleague asked the group as an icebreaker to consider the following questions to help ground the conversation. They asked why are you here, why are we here and what about this work matters to you? Given the tumultuous year that was 2020, I think it’s important that we take the time to pause, reflect and reconnect with our why.

My why and the reason I’m at Neighborhood Partnerships is because of my family and my community. Our collective lived experience has shaped my perspective and guiding principles of advocacy, justice and love. We know we have an inequitable system that is not working for our communities and doesn’t reflect the needs, wants, and desires of folks in my family and other BIPOC families.

I believe we are all here because we all want to contribute to making things better for those that come after us. For NP this means doing our work in ways that center race and tackle the root causes of the problems we see. We are here to advance racial, housing and economic justice. Across our networks and the State there is so much positive and encouraging work happening. And thanks to the many brave organizers in 2020, the opportunity for change and transformation this year seems larger and potentially within our grasp. One of our tasks in 2021 will be to figure out how we come together to continue that momentum and organize for the necessary bold and systemic changes needed to support a truly equitable society.

This matters to me because outcomes matter. I know collectively as a community and society we can do better by our people. Living in the most financially rich country in the world, we know we have the resources to value our people and not only ensure basic needs are met, but to make sure everyone’s contributions are valued and to allow our neighbors to build great stability and the opportunity to thrive.

What is your why?