Greetings GPSEN friends! It is a pleasure to be back in Portland, serving our communities and helping to shape and create a sustainable future for our region and beyond. I want to extend immense gratitude to GPSEN leaders, especially the board and co-founder/ambassador Kim Smith, for placing their trust in me to step into a leadership role for the network.
I will dispense with the typical platitudes, because this moment demands more. Anxiety and fear abound, and each day can feel existential. Many of us have suffered, and are continuing to suffer – from loss, from oppression, from injustice. I believe injustice and savage inequities hurt all of us, whether we realize it or not. This pain we carry can prevent us from listening deeply to one another, and can lead to a poverty of the spirit.
Our mission, whether as leaders, allies or accomplices, is to serve with compassion and humility, speak truth to power, and build bridges of solidarity across lines of historic and current separation. We must reject the false binaries that keep us apart, and strive for radical connection. We must remember that we are all enough – good enough, strong enough, and powerful enough to take action to create our shared story. Regardless of what tomorrow may bring, we will continue to stand in solidarity and be in communion with one another. We will roll up our sleeves and get to work. And then the next day, we will do it again.
I hope to connect with our full network, in whatever capacity, in the coming weeks, months and years, and encourage all to reach out with your thoughts, ideas and energy. I’m most excited to experience the full breadth of our network, and to co-create new possibilities of collective action towards a more sustainable and just future.
Executive Director, GPSEN
Learn more about this month’s events, resources, and news in our November Newsletter.