When I got off the elevator to enter the holiday party at Intersections last Friday, I was immediately struck by the festive atmosphere that had been created by Lucretia Holden and her team. The twinkling lights, the colorful decor, the scrumptious goodies—it was an elegant environment, not opulent, and set just the right mood for us to pause in the midst of our weighty work and consider the many blessings that we share.
I had been out of the office for a couple of weeks on medical leave and it was more than heartwarming to arrive at Intersections to such a buoyant and welcoming setting. Farid Johnson remarked that it was like walking into a Macy’s holiday window. I couldn’t have agreed more and I am grateful to Lucretia for the personal touch she invested in creating a celebratory aesthetic so conducive to sharing in conversations and deepening relationships. I have long maintained that a welcoming atmosphere is an important ingredient in creating safe and sacred spaces. It is out of such spaces that so much of Intersections essential work is born.
As the guests began to arrive, the room’s inviting atmosphere came to life as past and present Intersections staff, family and friends, Board members, building employees and Collegiate staff engaged one another in conversation about matters large and small. In one corner, Believe Out Loud staff were sitting on the floor in animated discussion with Chuk Obasi’s two young sons, Victor and Elijah. I am not sure about the content, but they were all obviously enjoying the moment.
I was reminded again how Intersections’ principled positions, our work with individuals and communities across lines of difference, and our commitment to justice and inclusion, all arise out of the relationships that are begun and nurtured in settings like the one at our holiday party. It is as we relate to one another in love and trust that we can form the foundation for the transformational efforts we have become known for this past decade. And as we move into 2017, this gives me great hope about the future of Intersections and, indeed, the future of our world.
And, of course, we could not do this work without you—our many partners and supporters who have stood with us these past ten years to help create a better world, united in diversity. The theme for our tenth anniversary year is “Honor the Past; Shape the Future.” So many colleagues, friends and partners have enabled us to make this possible in communities here at home and across the world that the words “thank you” only begin to unlock the deep feelings of gratitude that I have for your support. If you are able to include Intersections in your year-end giving, we would be most grateful. Click here to help us expand our impact as our work continues to be innovative and it continues to be urgent. The really good news is that it also continues to be based on those moments of interpersonal sharing made possible in settings grand and small where we truly listen to one another and then act together in the best interests of all humankind.
For a time during our first decade, we used the phrase, “Change Starts Here” to describe our work. What we meant was that the starting point for change begins long before initiatives go public or laws are enacted. It begins in the quiet, one-on-one conversations that increase understanding and deepen relationships, like those we had at last week’s holiday party. Thank you for all you have done these past ten years; together, we look forward to a new decade of increased impact based on the relationships we build in settings like the one at the Intersections’ holiday party. It was truly a magical moment.