By Daranee Petsod, GCIR President
2020 has been a year unlike any other in our lifetimes. The fourth consecutive year of escalating policy attacks on immigrants and many other marginalized communities. A global pandemic with deadly consequences. Shuttered businesses, alarming unemployment, and widespread evictions. A surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans. The tragic murders of unarmed Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement. Military force deployed against civilians and peaceful protesters. A national reckoning with centuries of systemic racism. Wildfires, hurricanes, and floods. Rampant voter suppression and an endangered census. Deepening economic, racial, and social inequities. Rising authoritarianism and an imminent threat to our democracy.
Through it all, extended and extreme isolation has made it nearly impossible to nurture the human connections that would, in normal times, sustain us and bolster our resilience. It is no surprise that we are all struggling, personally, professionally, and often both.
Yet, in the face of it all, the GCIR community has rallied and risen to the challenge. Together, we have dug deep to both address urgent community needs and support long-term structural change. We have stood in solidarity with community and movement leaders whose activism puts their personal health and safety at risk. We have projected our voices in critical policy debates. We have pushed back against racism and white supremacy within our own institutions and the broader philanthropic sector.
As our country enters the final countdown to the most important election in modern history, GCIR has developed a post-election game plan to support and mobilize philanthropy. Regardless of the election outcome, the path forward is clear. We must fight. Fight to protect our democracy. Fight against four more years of cruel and racist policies. Fight to undo the devastation wrought in the past four years.
The threats we face—to our democracy, our humanity, and our planet—are existential. Despite our collective trauma and fatigue, we have no choice but to dig even deeper. Each and every one of us must act with urgency, courage, conviction, and hope. Together, we will fight on. The future of our country depends on us.