Looking Ahead: Honoring Our History, Imagining Possibilities

Dear ProInspire Community,

As we embark on this new year, I reflect on where we have been as an organization. The past year was a pivotal year for ProInspire marked by our theme, “being and becoming.” 

This resonated with us as a team because we were in a period of transition, planning for the departure of our founder and engaging in a strategic planning process. As a team, we saw ourselves evolving into another version of ourselves as an organization. We were becoming an organization that more intentionally, creatively and joyfully honors the needs, perspective and experiences of Black and Brown people. We are continuing our journey by exploring more collaborative ways to hold space with our program participants, building deeper relationships with our partners in the ecosystem, and exploring principles grounded in Black Feminist practice and wisdom that we want to embody more explicitly in our work. 

As our journey of becoming continues, this year we officially celebrate our 15th anniversary. We are giving ourselves the space to reimagine possibilities because now more than ever, our work is needed in the social sector. Facing an election year, racial equity and DEI work is under attack in institutions around the nation. We remain alarmed by the feelings of isolation and burnout expressed by BIPOC leaders, and we see the dangerously abrupt regression of funding for Black-led organizations, which adds to a history of under-resourcing disproportionately impacting Black communities. This reality reinforces the systemic barrier to sustaining community-led efforts needed for lasting change. And, social sector norms continue to be incongruent with the values and decision making practices that will truly advance equity within our organizations. These workplace disparities harm those who are trying their best to support change in communities that are already denied the safety, access and resources needed to thrive. 

This is why ProInspire is dedicated to move boldly and intentionally towards being a fully equitable, inclusive and joyful organization–one that supports creating lasting change in communities of color. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” We remain steadfast and hopeful because we believe justice will prevail. 

Prevailing will require boldness, creativity, being intentionally intersectional, and aligning our actions with our peers to create collective change. This is why I am excited to announce our theme for 2024 is 15 Forward: Honoring Our History and Imagining Possibilities. We are honoring who we have been, while exploring who the sector needs us to be right now. Our dreams are forged in the belief that when leaders of color and their organizations have the access, safety, and resources that they need to thrive, their work within communities will thrive, as well. We envision and dream of an equitable and just society, that includes social sector workplaces, a society that is free of racism and other forms of systemic oppression where all people thrive, a society that are free of racism and other forms of systemic oppression where all people thrive.

I invite you to courageously move forward with us in the new year and beyond.

With gratitude, 

Bianca Anderson, Co-CEO

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