December 31, 2016

10 minutes ago I posted a sad and angry blog: Lived experience isn’t what the law proclaims.

But there must be a partner to the sad and angry blog…

“La esperanza muere última.” Hope dies last. So said Jessie de la Cruz as she fought for the rights of farmworkers.

And “hope has two daughters, anger and courage. They are both lovely,” proclaimed Saint Augustine.

I will embrace what Father Dan Berrigan said: “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice. But there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

I will continue my life in philanthropy because I know what Alfre Woodard knows: “Charity is good, but supporting and creating social change are about power. Power can infuse lives with purpose and dignity. That opens up the possibility of joy. The life of the giver, as well as that of the receiver, is transformed…No matter who we are, no matter how much money we have, whatever our color, gender, age, religion, or language, we can bring change to the world around us. We  can open our minds, roll up our sleeves, and reach out our hands.” (Alfre Woodard in the preface to the most marvelous book Robin Hood Was Right.)

I will continue taking risks. I will speak truth to power. Because social justice matters. As Woodard said, “Creating social change is exciting. It’s proof that we are alive and thinking. What could be beter than to work for a future where fairness is the bottom line?”

I end 2016 with deep sadness and anger. And I begin 2017 with deep sadness and anger — and a commitment to fight on and proclaim justice. Because my hope has not yet died.

Filed under: Social Commentary

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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