This week is why we can’t go “back to normal.”
Our communities are starting to feel some relief from the pandemic as more than 66 million people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated. And yet…
Daunte Wright, a Black 20-year-old, was shot by police in Minnesota during a traffic stop. A school shooting killed one student in Knoxville, TN after a series of mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, CO. More than 562,000 people have now died of coronavirus with rates of infection increasing in some states. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control announced this week that they will pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in light of cases of people experiencing blood clots.
We have so much work to do. But we also need to lean on each other to align our work toward collective healing and systems change, and we aim to ensure that the IS community provides a platform for that work.
Today we introduce our new monthly publication, ChangeWorks, which will feature storytelling and milestones from Independent Sector members working to create a healthier and more equitable future for us all. Independent Sector is only as strong and effective as our community. Since our founding more than 40 years ago, we have been one of the only national infrastructure organizations representing both grantmakers and grantseekers, and in recent years, we have doubled down on our direct strategies to build community with all of you – the leaders who ensure the nonprofit and philanthropic sector works to create positive change in our communities.
Whether you have attended one of our Upswell events, participated in a focus group on of our initiatives, or served on a committee, you are part of this community. But a critical part of that community are the paying Independent Sector members, who have taken that extra step of supporting our work. We are deeply grateful to Independent Sector members and that’s why this newsletter will focus on their stories, in particular. By doing so, we hope that their best practices, stories of impact, and innovation are shared with our entire community of changemakers from around the country and globe.
In this inaugural newsletter, you will read about the work of impressive Independent Sector members, including Dallas-based AT&T Foundation, Los Angeles-based Young Storytellers, Smithtown, NY-based Guide Dog Foundation, New York City-based Girls Inc., and Global Press and National Health Council, both based in Washington, DC. We also feature leadership announcements from several members and other notable events. Through this publication, we not only want to highlight what our member are doing in their communities every day, but also bring the larger community an understanding of the depth and breadth of these diverse organizations and leaders. And we hope it sparks connections for all of you. If you ever want to reach out to anyone featured in our newsletter, please let us know and we’ll make that connection.
For members, this will also be a space where we can more directly share the work we do together every day to advance the work of the entire sector. Just last week, 170 leaders from IS member organizations joined us on a call with the White House Office of Public Engagement and we are proud of the strong showing we had on the call and for the notable speakers from our membership as well. This kind of collective work is what we are all about, and we hope that sharing the opportunities and this newsletter only helps to build our community and deepen our impact.
If you are already an IS member and have a story or announcement to share with us, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not currently a member and want to explore that option, please visit independentsector.org/membership or reach out to us at email@example.com.
Finally, to our members – thank you. Thank you for committing your organization to Independent Sector, for your contributions during and through a challenging time for our country and sector, and for the work you do on behalf of all our communities, particularly Black, Native, Latinx, Asian, and other communities of color. And to everyone in our community, we are grateful to have you alongside us, fighting to ensure that all people thrive, and that together, we are building a healthier and more equitable nation.
We look forward to continuing to share ChangeWorks with you.