Spring is here. With all its vagaries of rain, mud, sunshine, and frost. With all its signs of new life in the red buds on the trees, in the high-pitched chime of spring peepers in the wetlands, in intense shades of green shyly returning to alleyways and roadsides and backyards, we welcome this change in the seasons, and practice gratitude for its reminder that change is messy, unpredictable, unsettling, and full of unexpected beauty if you slow down to look.
We are weathering a different kind of transitional state today, as we face the challenges of a global health crisis and the economic, social and environmental impacts it is bringing to all communities. What is being revealed are the fissures and weaknesses in our current systems, the importance of community and connection, and the opportunity to design our responses to maximize healing and minimize harm. There are so many ways to get involved and to stand up for care, accountability, and justice.
At Good Work Institute, we have been wrestling with how to be of use to our community in a time of social distancing, when our foundational belief is that a new system is only possible when we work together, not at a distance, but in authentic interdependence. We have decided to strongly advocate for the resilience and health of our network of inspired people doing their Good Work by pouring our own energy and love into continuing to foster relationships, skills, collaborations, and chances to be together, even as we maintain a physical space between us.
To that end, we are launching our first online workshops this month: Spaces Intended for Us: Social Equity Stemming from Stories and a Just Transition Primer (see below for details). Our online platform for the GWI Network was launched last month and is an active venue for connection and conversation: we’re hosting channels for different topics, a weekly virtual lunch discussion, and investigating new ways to use that resource. We are also working to reimagine how to use our social media channels to create inspiration and action through shining a light on the stories of Good Work happening in the Hudson Valley: both work that mitigates the direct consequences of the coronavirus on people, as well as projects that are already thinking about how we will rebuild from here.
Let’s stay grounded, take time to breathe and feel the sunshine, as we find our way through this season of transition. It is a moment of awakening, the seeds of new life are stirring. This enforced and unstable pause could allow us to reconsider our roles, to replenish our personal stores of energy, to be able to bring life-sustaining focus to the Good Work ahead.
Aja, Caitlin, Hélène, Micah, Susan, and Terri
Worker Trustees of the Good Work Institute