I still believe that 2021 will be a year of promise.
I know that many of us were hoping this new year, the turning of the page, would usher in a different political and social reality for us. As January 1 approached, we went about setting our intentions, crafting our vision boards and verbalizing our goals. We looked forward to setting our movement resources to proactive uses, rather than hurried responses to emerging crises. At Borealis, the team made a huge decision in selecting me as their new leader.
And then, hours after waking to celebrate the tremendous organizing of grassroots leaders in Georgia, we all watched in horror as white supremacist insurrectionists descended on Washington, D.C., my home, and attacked our nation’s Capitol. While the visuals may have shocked some, the truth is, white supremacy is never far: it is in the fabric of so many of our institutions and systems.
So despite the emotional and political whiplash of January 6, I still believe this year will be a year of promise. After navigating a challenging and scary 2020, Borealis’ history-making grantee partners and funders remain as committed as ever to creating a world where all people are truly free. Borealis remains a key space for education, strategizing, coordination, resourcing, and further mobilization. It is a place to build deeper connections between funders and movement leaders, where they can come together to create exponential impact, not just in movement moments, but year-round.
In organizing circles, when we feel this kind of animating excitement, we often remind each other that “change moves at the speed of trust.” It is a reminder to slow down, to get to know and understand each other so that we can build relationships that last longer than any campaign, funding cycle, or direct action. In this line of work, our connections to each other are sacred, and should be treated as such. That’s why this year, I will spend much of my time building relationships with this incredibly passionate and driven team, our funders, our board, and our peers in the field.
We will also continue the work of welcoming more funders into this fight as they are driven to action by events we are witnessing. By increasing our reach, we will scale up the support we are able to provide to movement folks who are doing the heavy lifting, while also building deeper relationships with the people who make it possible to lend that support.
2021 will be a year of promise. This is just one of many new beginnings that will bring renewed energy to our work together. We can’t wait to build with you.
President, Borealis Philanthropy