It’s hard to escape the feeling that we live in a fragile world. Every time I read the news, I brace myself. The increasing frequency of the acts of violence we are bearing witness to is overwhelming and devastating.

In these moments of great uncertainty, our tendency is often to turn inward and build walls to protect ourselves. We shield ourselves from the world, holding tighter to what we are familiar with and to whom we know.

It’s understandable. People feel vulnerable. We all want a sense of safety.

Yet, I’m mindful that in these moments when we feel threatened, our immediate response can be to vilify and dehumanize “those” people and cast them as the “other.”

We know all too well in our community what this feels like, which is why we have to do everything we can to prevent this from happening.

From the beginning, our struggle has been to ensure that every person is seen and treated as a full human being—valued and recognized for their humanity. That is still our calling.

Unfortunately, you don’t have to look far to see the alternative. We see it on a daily basis, as the institutions and systems we’re a part of make clear whose lives have value and whose don’t.

Our collective work is to build a different world. One that elevates the voices and experiences of everyone, especially people most impacted by oppression and injustices—people of color, transgender people, queer youth, rural LGBTQ folks, and immigrants—to create lasting change. We remain committed to creating a world where everyone has the freedom to live safely and openly.

Across our region, I see glimpses of what this can look like. I am inspired by the incredible work of our grantees and the stories of strength and resiliency from our community. Stories like Marty’s, Damien’s, and Sergey’s—which fill me with an incredible amount of hope.

As we celebrate this holiday season, please remember to find the beauty and love that exists in this world. It can sometimes be hard to see, but it’s there.

Kris is Pride Foundation’s Executive Director. Email Kris.

Read the rest of the articles in the December eNews:

Posted In: Blog, Blog, Building Organizations, Blog, Connecting Leaders