I went to the gathering on the Village Green that the Out on Orcas group sponsored last night. The focus was to start challenging conversations concerning race, equity, and power. It was well attended and uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because we were asked to look deep and recognize how we have contributed and benefitted from systemic racism. Uncomfortable because we are grieving and in pain. Uncomfortable, but necessary. We have an opportunity to make a major shift in this nation. It is worth the time to reflect, plan, and commit to actions that will make a difference. I applaud the people who are working to get the work started.

As OICF and the CERF Advisory team look forward, we see the need to create a more resilient community that allows all of our citizens to flourish. This can only happen if we identify the barriers that currently exist, work to break them down, and construct new pathways. With our local unemployment nearing 30%, focusing on the economy will have to be part of the effort. Our plan has been to gather a diverse group to dive deep and start a community conversation focused on Economic Recovery and Resilience. We have received many applications, and IF there is sufficient diversity to reflect this community, we will launch next week. If we do not have strong diversity, we will need to pause and rethink our strategy. Uncomfortable, but necessary.

One thing I know for sure is that this community has the resources needed to get through this complex crisis in a way that helps us all. Working together, we can and will move mountains.

Stay well-