Happy New Year friends!
I hope everyone had an opportunity to rest and recharge over the holidays.
2020 hit everyone around the world hard, but especially for us in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic spread uncontrollably, political and social unrest created huge divides, many experienced job loss, we faced economic instability, and the racial injustices and disparities forced us to reckon with our past, our beliefs and [continue to] fight for equality, safety and peace. Then, last week, the trauma and terror of the attack on the US Capitol left us shaken. Many of us are feeling exhausted and anxious. This was not the "Year in Review" I wanted to think about or remind you of.
What I wanted to highlight was how we came together, during a time of crisis, to continue to serve our communities, provide resources, and lift up our most vulnerable populations. The SC Immigrant Victim Coalition and the three Regional Councils developed new leadership teams and continued to grow. We adapted to a new way of meeting and working together, virtually. We trained and supported each other, provided a platform for the grassroots community and service providers to share ideas, best practices, and expertise. We bridged relationships with law enforcement and medical professionals. We offered language access and culturally sensitive services to victims. We helped people navigate systems to receive appropriate care and access to programs. We celebrated accomplishments and made our network even stronger. We were innovative and creative. We used our skills and knowledge to make sure the underserved populations in our state were not left behind by the devastating impact of the pandemic. We proved over and over again that we are definitely better together.
Although 2021 has started off shaky, my hope is that we have lit a clear path to healing and restoration in our communities and in our country. I am so proud of the SCIVC, the Upstate, Midlands and Coastal Regional Councils, and the work we continue to do. Thank you for being a part of this incredible coalition!
My wish for you all is to remain safe, happy and healthy. All the best!
PS. In case you missed it - we were honored to present Ms. Diana Tapp of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office with the 2020 Patricia S. Ravenhorst Trailblazer Award! Congrats Diana! Thank you for all you do to make our community better!