Preparation, responsiveness… and courage

October 29, 2018

Six years ago this week, Hurricane Sandy struck New York. Letters were on the press, emails were queued up. The immediate requirement for any organization working in and around New York was an instant pause followed by a thoughtful re-crafting of strategy. Preparation and responsiveness mattered.

This past weekend, as hate-fueled tragedy struck the congregation of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the immediate requirement for any organization working in faith, social justice, and tolerance is strikingly similar, yet even deeper – to react, renounce, support, and re-build a strategy to resonate in the new consciousness of this moment.

But what if you’re an arts organization… a public television station… the local nature preserve, museum, library or zoo? Have you responded? Please be assured that the better world we all envision is awaiting your response.

Indeed, as the civil and moral fabric of America is being tested, threatened and torn in ways that many of us have never experienced so overtly, this is a storm we all must face head-on. A response is expected, needed, and required by those considered to be community leaders – that’s you and your organization.

For you cannot reach the full potential of your organization’s mission until you consider all people, openly welcome all people, and overtly denounce those who refuse to do so.

This is not the time to stand by and let your work speak for itself on some higher plane that avoids the messiness of humanity and politics.

The only choice now is to courageously join the ranks of those who will speak for everyone. Or in the end, your work may end up speaking for no one.

Be prepared. Be responsive. Be courageous. And especially with year-end campaigns upon us, be sure your constituents know where you stand.

Your organization – and the world – will be better for it in the end.