Today, in acknowledgment of Juneteenth, the DANA Offices are closed. I was happy to see that the Governor of Delaware closed state offices and many agencies and businesses followed suit. It’s come time to have wide acceptance and awareness of this commemoration. If you don’t yet know what Juneteenth is – I recommend you read this.
Also, on this day, we need to be honest with ourselves – there is still much work to be done. While DANA had been delving into education and training for the nonprofit sector around diversity, equity, and inclusion before the most recent racial tensions boiled over, there is more we can do. And, we are working on it as I type this.
But, for today, I want to leave you with this very eloquently written statement by Nyia Rennalls, DANA’s Engagement Manager. I will ask the same of you as she does – continue to have compassion, act in love, and stand united while we work to change our world.
United We Stand, Divided We Fall: A Call for Compassion
By Nyia Rennalls
I hope all is well with all beings of this world even though objectively, I know many are suffering today. Nonprofits are the first line of duty, standing tall with the most unseen populations in our society: the criminal, the homeless, the veteran, the child, the hungry, the sick, the person of color, the person of different abilities, the elderly, the foreigner, the environment, the endangered. And, the list goes on.
DANA has long been an advocate on behalf of the nonprofit sector to advance, enhance & enrich our leaders and thus the sector as a whole. We need that very leadership today! We need our leaders to remind the sector- to not resign themselves to the forever struggle of simply providing services for people. Rather, we must fight together to dismantle the system that forces the people to need these services.
DANA has made it appoint to have diversity, equity, and inclusion be at the forefront of our programming. This was done as an effort to continue to support the needs of our nonprofits, our communities, and its people. Right now, a major need in the sector, and universally, is compassion! We must have compassion for the people whom the system has failed. The families we see at our food banks, sleeping in our public parks, needing help with translation, struggling at school, or living paycheck to paycheck. Radically acting in love rather than fear is the only way we can come out this still hand in.
We have all experienced how similar we are when a tremendous threat seized our nation. This thought may cause you to envision a person, political party, or social justice movement that has created such unrest. The humbling truth is that I am alluding to Coronavirus or COVID-19. We have all suffered in one way or another from this virus; one that is fully capable of the destruction of any person regardless of class, color, or creed.
Fortunately, this epidemic has brought to light the disparities that have always existed. The light is shining brighter than ever on the very people we have always been aiding. The light is shining on both the good and the bad parts of the system. Do not look away just because the sight is unpleasant – because the light hurts your eyes.
We must agree that this time, more than any other, is a time for unity, diversity, equity, inclusion, compassion, and leadership. We must fight harder than we have ever fought before for the change towards a more equitable future. Delaware’s nonprofit sector & DANA Members remember: United we stand, divided we fall!