Like many others, I have spent the last week in deep reflection to understand the divide that exists in our society. Reflection about our country, our values, and how I and our profession can personally help our country continue to improve and be an equitable and inclusive space for all. I am thankful to be a part of a profession where we value each other for all that make us unique. For a profession that prides itself on access to information and freedom of speech for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, sexual orientation, or ability. I am thankful to be the President of an organization with a vision statement that guides us to “a profession that is diverse, inclusive, and social-justice oriented through advocacy, leadership, and collaboration.” An organization that includes social justice work not only in its vision for the future, but in its mission, in its strategic goals, and in almost every aspect of its work. I am thankful for an organization filled with peers who see the value in supporting each other and building each other up in times of crisis. Who work together to make not only their communities better, but the communities of their colleagues across the nation and the world. I am thankful to be part of this group which values every single individual for all of their identities and recognizes the intersections of those identities.
We are activists, advocates, allies, friends, and family. We are also professional colleagues, and I value the dialogue and work we will continue over the course of the near future to bring forth APALA’s vision through our web content series, webinars, in person meetings at midwinter, and next year, a focus on developing our members’ leadership skills to be the advocates their communities and ultimately, our country need.
Thank you, APALA, for being there for me when I needed you this week. Please let me know how APALA can be there for you through this year and into the future to help make our vision become a reality through advocacy, leadership, collaboration, and whatever other opportunities may come along.