Today is a day of historic proportions.  We have inaugurated the first female vice president of the United States of America.  Pause for just one moment and consider that in this country’s 244 years, never before has a woman been deemed worthy to hold this office, in a nation that is 51% female, never before has this voice been heard at this level on decisions that impact more than half the population.

Madam Vice President. 

First black woman, first south Asian woman, first graduate of the proud Historically Black College and University (HBCU) community and on and on.  What this represents, what she represents is a breakthrough, an opening of our collective eyes to the value that people other than white males bring to this country.  This is not an indictment of white men, but a realization that leadership is not monolithic, and leadership should not be homogenous in a country as vibrantly diverse as our United States of America. 

We are optimistic.  Today is a good day, as we put distance between us and the divisive rhetoric of the past, as we put an end to leadership through insults in 280-characters or less. We’ve turned a page, a new chapter but make no mistake, the work remains.  Hatred that was stoked for political gain and power, hatred, like the miseries that flew from Pandora’s box (not the music service Gen Z...) is very difficult to reverse when people can no longer talk to each other.  What we saw in our nation’s capital on January 6th was a grim representation of the power of hatred, bigotry and fascism.

Our nation is deeply wounded, and some version of truth and reconciliation may be necessary to begin the healing process.  “Truth” has been a casualty to the power grab, and kindness and compassion have all but died in our collective quest to prove a point and get “likes” while launching devastating grenades at each other.  

This won’t change overnight.

It is incumbent on all of us to find ways to revive the art of conversation, communication, and understanding.  Collective dialogue on a very personal and individual level may be the only way that we can, in our shared humanity, move forward as a nation.  For 35 years, the Institute for Sport & Social Justice has been in the trenches on these critical issues.  For us, this is not a short-term mission, we are in it for the long haul and we show up every day, trying to make a difference, one person at a time, one organization at a time. 

And even still,

Today is a good day.

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