A Message to My Friends and Colleagues

What can be said when it’s all been said before? But remaining silent also sends a message. And so, I’m going to tell you how I’m feeling right now.

Like millions of Americans, I’m heartbroken to see our city and country torn apart at the very time when we need to come together most. 

If you’re like me, you feel overwhelmed with sadness, frustration and even anger that we are still battling through issues that should have been solved long ago. I feel a hopelessness that these issues will not be solved in my lifetime. The rainbow that I usually see in the face of a storm is behind the clouds right now. 

Maybe the most important thing we can do in this moment is admit there is much we have to learn about each other and the society in which we all live. My demographic cannot know what it’s like to live in a world that seems at every turn to send the message to many of our brothers and sisters of color that “you don’t really count.” We can see the pain right now, as we have in every decade. But we cannot fully internalize it no matter how hard we try. 

Albert Einstein said, “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”

Maybe that’s the first step: to seek a deeper wisdom by getting out of our silos, having uncomfortable conversations, and as individuals and communities applying our new understanding in the places where it’s needed most.

Sandra Harbrecht Ratchford
President and CEO