I’VE BEEN THINKING about the concept of community lately. One of the inspiring things about my 18 months as Executive Director of ACDS has been meeting so many people who understand and support our mission. Some of these people have spent a large portion of their adult lives working with IT workforce organizations, and even drafting supporting legislation. We are, in fact, a community, one that has grown to include thousands, all of us dedicated to helping bring Arkansas employers together with the talented IT workers who help make those employers successful, while themselves earning good salaries that allow them to raise and educate their families. It is a win-win formula that makes it easy for us to get up each day and go to work.
Over the last few months we’ve all been dealing with the worst pandemic in our lifetimes. In order to minimize its impact and spread, most, but not all, of us have developed an attitude and action of unselfishness for our families, our colleagues, our neighborhoods—our communities. While dealing with self-quarantine and social distancing, many of us have realized what’s really important and what’s not. More time together with family has been the gift and blessing during these days. In the meantime, we’re living in a new normal that likely will not ever be the same until we have a trusted vaccine for everyone.
Then in the midst of all this came May 25th and the tragedy in Minneapolis, and the very fabric of the country seemed in danger of shredding. Many of us are saying “Enough, enough.” But mere words won’t end racism and bigotry in the United States. For that pandemic, I believe there has been a trusted vaccine available to us for centuries. It begins with mutual respect, which leads to mutual trust, which forms real relationships and brotherly love.
Your words might be a bit different from mine, and I acknowledge that some of us have farther to climb than others. But as we approach this nation’s birthday, we must remember that the democratic experiment demands equality and justice for all. And that starts in our hearts, and in our minds, in a spirit of community.